Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Why is my reflection someone I don't know?

When it comes to religion and sex it seems that we in the Western world often put the two at odds. Sexuality, however, is more than just the simple matter of who we are attracted to.

Our sexuality is defined from birth one words by the mere act of our parents giving us names. (I'm lucky in that my birth name – which is not Melanie – can be used as a male or female name, although it's more commonly found in men.) By that mere act, our parents say “you will act male” or “you will act female.” Usually the name corresponds to birth gender, although John Wayne's real name is a notable example. The roles are reinforced through play, watching our parents, and even the omnipresent television.

The next step right after birth is when our parents dress us and how we learn to act through the example of our parents. Some of us might know something is wrong with our gender and expected role from an early age by playing with “inappropriate” toys or insisting we're female. Others, like myself, discover it later. It may or may not be repression. Nor can I say for sure that all transgender people will have male or female mannerisms which would provide further clues as to gender identity. In my personal experience, this is more often the case with a certain type of homosexual male. (Yes, I'm engaging in crass stereotypes. Please forgive me.)

When what we feel does not quite match up with our expected gender roles, we begin to struggle. No one as a child wants to be different In order to avoid being hurt, we will conform to what society expects of us. If you can overcome this easily, good for you. Those of you who are more like me probably will have a great deal of guilt to overcome about feeling that way. After all, you're not supposed to want to be the opposite sex and you're made to feel through various outlets that you're a freak of nature.
For whatever the reason, God made you and me as we are. I do not pretend to know his motives, but I do wish he'd tell me sometime. I, too, must overcome my own guilt if any progress is to be made. I hope I'll also discover why this happened to me.

As a side note, Wednesday's entries at The Lair of the Sinister Porpoise are intentionally less serious and will remain so. Today, October 11 is also National Coming Out day. I never knew such a holiday existed, but I think I shall refrain from celebrating. Internatonal Left Hander's Day and Talk Like a Pirate Day are enough for me.


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