Understanding and accepting gender diversity as a natural state of being is crucial in protecting the wellbeing and lives of trans and non-binary people.
If you were to write two lists of characteristics headed ‘male’ and ‘female’ (and I would encourage you to do this briefly), we often find these characteristics fall into two extremes. Males are supposedly ‘dominant’, ‘loud’, ‘strong’, ‘rugged’; females by contrast something like ‘passive’, ‘quiet’, ‘sensitive’, ‘warm’, ‘pretty’, ‘small’. We may then ask ourselves, do we fit either of those binaries? Perhaps more importantly, do we know anyone that does?
Probably not. However, these stereotypes have the effect that many of us often feel that we are ‘failing’ at our gender. Failing to a woman may mean not feeling attractive enough, petite enough, being unable to carry a child. Men similarly may feel they are not athletic enough, successful enough or they may encounter these feelings through experiencing infertility. Feeling that we do not fit the mould of our gender expectations is not the preserve of people who attend gender clinics and affects most of us at some point. Gender issues exist on a spectrum. And like other issues of intersectionality (race, age, ability), individuals who are unable to entirely fit the cis, white, able-bodied mould are likely to find themselves excluded by mainstream society in one way or another.
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