This one’s sure to fuck with the social conservatives.
A totally awesome trans man named Thomas Beatie successfully conceived a child, which he’ll raise with his wife, Nancy. Though certainly an incredible turn of events, not everyone’s reactions are encouraging:
Doctors have discriminated against us, turning us away due to their religious beliefs. Health care professionals have refused to call me by a male pronoun or recognize Nancy as my wife. Receptionists have laughed at us. Friends and family have been unsupportive; most of Nancy’s family doesn’t even know I’m transgender.
Well, those who don’t sure will now.
Are you sure this isn’t a hoax? I swear I’ve seen this somewhere else, then I did some digging, and I found out it wasn’t actually real…
I have no idea if this is a hoax, but I know of at least one other account of a trans-male having a baby: the lover of a Patrick Califia, a transmale formerly know as Pat Califia when she was sex advice columnist for the Advocate. She wrote an article about their ordeal as parents that appear several years back (maybe 7 or 8 years?) in a late June issue of the Village Voice — the issue focusing on the gay community that they publish every year before NY’s Gay Pride march. So unless you believe that Califia’s article is a hoax, you should presume that this story can’t be true.
In fairness, this is pretty creepy. Doesn’t being pregnant completely defeat the purpose of wanting to be a man? Eh, something about this just isn’t right … though, of course, it’s wrong to judge or discriminate.
The hoaxes usually claim that a man (who was born biologically male) is pregnant. This is a transman who “decided to have chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy but kept my reproductive rights. Wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire.” The story is in the latest issue of the Advocate. As long as he and his wife are comfortable with it, the congrats to them!!! I love the story and the picture with it is beautiful in my opinion.
No, it’s not creepy, it’s just unusual. So what. If you think you deserve your right to do your thing then you should not be so quick to pass judgment. This situation has caught he public eye before. Columnist Pat Califia transitioned and became Patrick. He appeared with his transgendered boyfriend (yes, she went from lesbian woman to gay man!) on the cover of the Village Voice a few years back and one of the men, I forget which, was pregnant.
If I had a dollar for every man I have impregnated LOL
I see that Google News lists this news item in the Entertainment section.
I thought it was still impossibile for “men” to have babies??
If he wants to have kids, cool. But … my mind still rebels. Men don’t have vaginas and fallopian tubes and ovaries and menstrual cycles. Cutting off your breasts and growing a beard does not make someone a ‘man,’ anymore than putting on a dress and lip-synching to Diana Ross makes someone a ‘woman.’
I’m oddly jealous.
If he wanted to be a “man” why not let his wife have the baby. Mentally challenged?
I would laugh too.
Listen gender nazis, if someone has wider parameters than for gender appropriate behavior, what’s it to you? People could say the same thing about your sexual practices.
Getting pregnant isn’t geder appropriate “behaviour” …
Anyway, if he gives birth to a child, how is he ever going to get anyone to take him seriously as a man?
I’m with you Miss Understood! What the heck are you people so creeped out by and why don’t you get over yourselves?
Sure, this person is different than many of the other people in the world, but his life, goals, decisions, love, and desire to have a family all deserve our respect.
Just stop judging people!
Umm…. He choose to get pregnant because his wife had a hysterectomy and is unable to carry a child.
Couple wants baby, couple gets pregnant. What’s the big deal?
As someone noted on another blog, the “OMG that’s so freakish and wrong” are pretty similar to the comments that he got 20 years ago as a gay man adopting a child.
BTW, “male” and “man” aren’t the same thing. You’d still be a man if you were castrated, yes? “Male” is what’s between your legs, “man” is about what’s between your ears, and how others see you.
FWIW, this is definitely not the first case of its kind. While many trans guys (among those that I’ve met) would be horrified to get pregnant, there are other trans guys in similar circumstances who’ve chosen to have a child out of a desire for a baby and the devotion to their wives (or husbands) — sometimes sucking it up and doing so despite their own personal distaste for becoming pregnant. Which in my book is being one helluva a mensch.
“Doesnâ€™t being pregnant completely defeat the purpose of wanting to be a man?”
Wanting is not being, but let’s not go the philosophical route. While I totally agree that this defies the psychosexual commitment to permanently altering one’s gender, who are we to say what ‘being a man’ is about? S/he’s not the hoax. Maybe WE are.
“I see that Google News lists this news item in the Entertainment section.”
Mine appeared on the ‘Weird News’ tab. Let’s sue.
“Listen gender nazis, if someone has wider parameters than for gender appropriate behavior, whatâ€™s it to you?”
Absolutely nothing. Or everything. Gender does not become UNimportant simply because we wisely seek to expand our definitions of it. Evolutionary biology hard-wires us to have a need for perceiving/distinguishing gender, for more or less obvious reasons. It’s why some feeble-minded straights feel betrayed and become violent when they decide they’ve been ‘tricked,’ and may have found a trans person attractive.
But we all can’t have our self-exploration writ large like Calpernia [Adams]. Individuals like her may even yearn to be pregnant, but obviously cannot become so (give science a little more time on that). So now we have a human who wished to be male–at least, externally so–and has become pregnant. Do we applaud this, even when MTFs can’t father children either? (yet) Do we merely ‘broaden our horizons,’ as if accepting a different concept of Parenthood should necessarily set aside what this human, himself, wished to present to his mind and the world?
In what I think is a very liberal perspective, this sounds a lot like “having one’s cake and eating it,” as averse to pushing the envelope or conducting a social experiment. At the very least, who here would impose media scrutiny on their child before it’s even born, subjecting him or her to a level of sensationalism equal to or greater than the first test-tube baby or your average “kid born in a car, tune in at 11.”
I say props to him and his wife.
My only question is about his testosterone treatments and how that will affect the hormonal environment of his fetus.
And it does make me sad that he won’t be able to breastfeed.
Otherwise, though, wonderful wonderful wonderful.
When I first read about this, I must admit it fucked with my head. I have to work at this some more. I have never found it easy to wrap my mind around the concept of being physically configured one way but mentally configured another way. I worked with a transgender man. The first time I saw him I was walking behind him and recognized him as female by his walk. Then he turned around and I was startled. Really bad case of acne, but there were no breasts and a hint of beard. When he spoke, he sounded like some of the more butch lesbians I’ve known, but by that point I already made note of the missing Adam’s apple.
He was kind of male and kind of female in his behaviours. I don’t think he would have made a good mother or father because he just didn’t get the whole child thing.
“My only question is about his testosterone treatments and how that will affect the hormonal environment of his fetus.”
I was going to link the article earlier, but it wasn’t working. http://advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid52947.asp
In it, he explains that he stopped his hormone therapy for several months before even trying to become pregnant since he had to reestablish a menstrual cycle.
“At the very least, who here would impose media scrutiny on their child before itâ€™s even born, subjecting him or her to a level of sensationalism equal to or greater than the first test-tube baby or your average â€œkid born in a car, tune in at 11.â€”
I don’t think that was the point of the article. Rather, I think the goal was what Leomoore had to do. “When I first read about this, I must admit it fucked with my head. I have to work at this some more.” To expand understanding and acceptance of new ideas and new types of families.
I’m not being a gender-nazi, darling … and I don’t see anyone else on here being one either. I think there are some serious questions we need to ask here. If someone wants to use science to modify their body to change gender or to look like a cat or Barbie or Michael Jackson, then fine. I might mock them (well, the last three, not the trans-gendered), but I wouldn’t oppose it.
But when you start experimenting with *life* I get worried. I worry abut freezing eggs for later use, and using chems to allow 65 year old women to get pregnant, and shopping for babies in China, and research into cloning, and now making someone a man but now making him a woman again to carry a child. There’s something in me that rebels, that says we need to ask ourselves some serious questions about where we are going with all this.
But then again … I never felt that I needed to have a child using my very own sperm. I’d be fine with adopting, and would choose that over surgery and hormone treatment any day.
This is just something to get attention. Clearly, this is a dyke who wants to be “the man” in her relationship. No news there. Like someone said, having a beard and cutting off your tits does not a man make. sorry, but you need a penis. it might be tough news to hear for a lot of folks, but…no penis, no man. (and spare me the whole, “what if his penis gets cut off, is he still a man-crap”. Those are exceptions, not the rule.
I can appreciate the whole “gender boundaries” and all that, but remember, these various gender determinations only exist within the gay community. No woman is going to say that a trans-woman is a woman in the same way she is. And ditto for men about trans-men.
Cry for attention (or help)
Fuck. Me. I just realized that I know the couple, from the clubs, the gym, and from volunteer work. I knew them when they were lesbians, and knew them when they were straight. I just never got used to his male name, and didn’t recognize it in the article. Didn’t recognize him being knocked up, either. I used to be pissed because after a few months of hormones he could grow a better beard than I could, and had a nicer back and ass (narrow hips and wide lats, damn him).
My mind is still rebelling … I’m working on it … but this isn’t a prank. He’s a dude, not a weekend drag-king. So if you’re reading this, congrats and good luck.
Having worked a lot within the transgender community, I find this all fascinating, particularly from a legal aspect of how “same-sex” marriages are legal if they involve transgender community members, and I’ve never understood why progressives haven’t followed that route in terms of addressing marriage equity concerns.
When I used to teach this stuff (i.e., human sexuality) on a regular basis, there was an interesting project done by showing subjects illustrations of a human figure with transparent overlays of various body modifications–i.e., flip one section and you get a human body with a penis and breasts–flip something else and you get a lot of body hair without a penis…this was to explore exactly what it is that triggers a decision on the part of a subject: “This is a male” or “This is a female.”
We know from gender attributional studies you make a decision within one tenth of a second as to whether or not you perceive someone as male or female. In fact, it would seem you have a internal “template” (like a cookie cutter) of “male” that you superimpose on someone you first meet. If there’s a “decent” match, you perceive that person as male. If there isn’t a decent match, then within one tenth of a second, you perceive the person as female. That is–female is the “default” for gender perception, at least in the studies that I’ve seen.
Also of interest (at least to me) once this determination has been made, a person tends to hold on to that concept, even if there are additional clues that indicate an error of gender assignment has happened.
And yes–as one poster here indicated–the existence of a penis seemed to be the sine qua non of being perceived as male by a “lay” community. I don’t say that as a “right or wrong” observation–it simply “is.” Of greater importance is the fact we live in a society where we don’t ordinarily have the opportunity to visually confirm the existence of a penis on someone we meet in most social situations.
I don’t have time to go into this now, but there’s the concept of “social” genitals that many cultures observe…in other words, not all cultures require hormone therapy and sexual reassignment surgery–if you conduct yourself as a certain gender, then the society recognizes you as such.
There are also some theories about the level of hormones within the womb (which can also be influenced by previous births) in terms of the sexual orientation/gender orientation of a child. It will be interesting to see how this kid turns out…
And I have no problems wrapping my head around a pregnant male, but then I’m Native American, and in some of our communities, we have as many as 8 different categories of gender…
It may sound like catering to a stereotype, but a Native American appreciation of human sexuality is almost always far more inclusive (this is NOT true for all tribes, from what I can tell). Regardless, it’s nice to hear from someone outside the Anglo mindset.
You mention something particularly useful: The issue about “legal” gender status. If it were as ‘easy’ as declaring oneself female, on paper, then we might–collectively–have fewer issues, but the various levels of government aren’t quite so ill-informed as we might hope…nor are they very enlightened. Ultimately, leaving one’s identity up to the State, in any respect, is asking for a great deal of disappointment in this country, and many others. Which is only to say, this ‘problem’ is not unique.
Gender is presupposed as a universally understood characteristic. Without launching into some faux Womens’ Studies treatise, it should suffice to say that it’s set for us practically before we’re born, nowadays. It gives OTHER PEOPLE a starting point in their perceptions of us. Perhaps, that’s a faulty system, but not all judgments are judgmental, if I can make that nuance; i.e., we want to know things w/o necessarily putting them down.
Until they challenge what we think we know. In that case, we put down everything unfamiliar or–to co-opt a stage name–misunderstood.
Some time ago, there was a Dutch judge appointed to the world court, who had an interesting (to me) idea–he suggested that our historic/legal concept of gender starts with Napoleon, and it was specifically related to conscription. In other words, if you were declared male, you could be drafted to fight in Napoleon’s army.
The Dutch judge suggested we return to the Napoleonic concept of addressing everyone as “citizen,” which has no gender status. Just so, one would have fundamental rights as a citizen–and this would include an individual’s right to marry or to adopt. It would theoretically solve a great deal of contemporary problems with a simple elimination of gender status altogether.
And as to the Native American angle–to be truthful, the more traditional a Native Nation is, the more it tends to be “inclusive” for lack of a better word. The more assimilated a Native community is, the more likely it is to have incorporated homophobia.
I had worked in the past with the Mohawk–if you goggle their late 20th century past, you’ll find an armed confrontation regarding the federal government trying to put a road for a golf course through sacred ground. The Natives “won,” but at a great emotional cost of trauma (i.e., grannies and young children being witness to brutalities of federal law enforcement along with even more rifles than we tend to see at most major airports these days.
A therapist I know worked with the community and after a while said, “There’s something you’re holding back on–tell me what this is.”
She was told, “it’s homophobia.” She replied, “unitil you address this, your community cannot heal.”
This is one of those “untold” stories–I have just read on Queerty about the American solider who was killed in Iraq last January and the discussion if his sexual orientation-“don’t ask/don’t tell” issues should be made public….
The chief negotiator between the Mohawks and the feds–was a Queer Native–or as many Natives prefer–a “Two-Spirit.” Btw–the role of a negotiator is a traditional role of Two-Spirit people. It’s why we know about so many of them because their function was recorded by observers and historians.
Mohawk (current) law requires all official publications be published in the Mohawk language as well as English and French. When the Two-Spirit woman went to one of the elders to translate the announcement of an upcoming workshop on Homophobia, the elder refused to translate it, stating that “those people” were the result of European influence. Didn’t matter to her that nearly 2/3rds of North American Native languages have terms for more than 2 genders. The workshop was eventually held in Quebec, rather than on the reserve, because many of the people who wanted to attend didn’t feel safe enough for it to be held on the Reserve.
At the Friendship House (a sort of social support system for First Nations folk in many of the larger towns/cities in Canada), a dinner was held to honor the participants. I was there with my significant same–they started to play some recorded music and no one danced. We got up and danced. To be frank, I had my eyes closed and was just enjoying the moment. When I looked up at the end of the song, there were all these couples dancing around us–including the negotiator. She shared with me how this was the first time she and her partner had ever danced in public. On the reserve, they would sometimes close all the curtains and dance in the living room.
I thought that was so sad…
Having come from a traditional community and having spent a lot of my adult life in places like San Francisco, I sometimes forget what every day life is like in many other places….
citizengeek, perhaps he not looking for you to “take him seriously”
perhaps his path is governed by his inner needs and happiness. that is the only motive I can see behind claiming ones own identity and changing gender and the only motive there EVER should be behind childbirth.
I hope for your sake you are moving through the very early stages of adolescence, attitudes like that make for sorely unhappy adults.
The really sad part of this story to me is that by beer belly is twice the size of the pregnant man.
I am going to check with my Doctor to make sure I am not carrying quads cause if I am, I am going to bitch slap this dude off Oprah’s sofa.
Why do I see this story being twisted around and made into an awful, awful movie?
Anyway, congrats to the couple. I wish them luck.
i would really really be interested in meeting this trans man (if this story is indeed real). i do find it quite strange but i admit it’s because i don’t really understand why he wants what he wants. i think it would be quite a fascinating experience to have a long, serious, unprejudiced talk with him. learning is knowing, knowing is not fearing, not fearing is accepting.
I say congrats to them.
I don’t have a problem ‘wrapping my mind’ around this, nor do I think it is a cry for attention. Do any of us know his reasons for becoming a man? How do we know it wasn’t so that they could have the same benefits as a hetero married couple?
I think it is wonderful that because his other could not carry a child he decided to.
As for something Jake said, if somebody went from a man to a woman I would see them the same as me. Likewise if a woman went from woman to man I would see him as such.
Thank you for pointing out the in your face agenda this story is taking on, whether or not that is the couple’s fault. (They seem likable enough.)
The main issue is just the pure dishonesty of the story. And alarm bells should sound as to the declining intelligence of Americans if they fall for it. If “he” is getting periods and able to get pregnant, than he is a not a man. SO many people seem eager to destroy scientific fact in the name of being tolerant. And btw, telling people you’re offended by scientific fact, doesn’t change said scientific fact. Reality exists whether or not you like it. I agree, getting a mastectomy and hairy doesn’t make you a man.
Eagle dancer, are you f’ing kidding me about traditional cultures being the most inclusive??!!!!!!!!!!! In the West, we are at the height of political correctness, otherwise this story wouldn’t be pushed the way it is. So many traditional and non western cultures would not even allow something like the Advocate to exist.
Goodness, Francesca, if you re-read my last post I was giving an example of how some Native American Nations (Mohawk in the instance I shared) can be just as non-inclusive and homophobic as many other communities in North America. If you go back and read the posts more carefully, youâ€™ll find it was someone else who suggested Native communities were â€œmore inclusive,â€ while in my own comments, I tried to distinguish between Native groups that were more â€œTraditionalâ€ that tended to be more inclusive than those that had adopted Christianity early on in their history (like the Mohawks). Let me also point out that from a historical perspective, when reservations were created, in almost all cases the Federally appointed Superintendent of a reservation was a Christian Missionary because part of â€œcivilizing the savageâ€ (congressional records terminology, not mine) required converting them to Christianity (so much for separation of Church and State, huh?). Thatâ€™s why even now, most reservations tend to be â€œmostlyâ€ say, Episcopal, Catholic, or another denomination, because the reservations were in essence, â€œfranchised outâ€ in the manner of McDonalds or KFC. This was a deliberate act, so there wouldnâ€™t be competition of different churches on the reservations.
Given the fact in the Twenty-First Century, weâ€™re now looking at over 500 federally recognized tribal Nations, not all groups were exactly the same in their attitudes about gender and sexuality (and there are many that are not federally recognizedâ€”to simplify, to be federally recognized, you had to have a treaty with the U.S., which usually meant you were at war with the U.S. If you were a â€œpeacefulâ€ tribe you often never signed a treaty, which means you arenâ€™t federally recognized these days. Sadly, Seattle is named after a Duwamish leader (whose name, by the way WASNâ€™T â€œSeattle,â€ but the Salish language has sounds that donâ€™t exist in English, so Seattle is a mispronunciation of his actual name), who was a great friend of the White settlers. They were such great friends, that the Duwamish tribe is a â€œnon-federally recognizedâ€ one, which means they donâ€™t get the same support and protection that all their neighboring nations have, because the federal government doesnâ€™t consider them to be â€œrealâ€ American Indians.) The remaining Native peoples represent a fraction of the survivors of White contact (itâ€™s estimated that up to 90% of Native Americans died within 2 generations of White contact. In my fatherâ€™s side of the family, Spanish history records there were at least 90 Pueblo Indian villages when the Spanish came. Now there are 19 surviving. On my momâ€™s side of the family, Lewis and Clark record in their journals passing by villages of the Columbia River with 3,000 inhabitantsâ€”on their return voyage, less than 300 remained alive in the villages. Natives had no immunity to the imported diseases. Newspaper editorials in the late 1800â€™s blamed Native deaths on a punishment from God because of their bizarre sexual practices and being non-Christianâ€¦a century later, the newspaper editorials seemed to cross out â€œIndianâ€ and write in â€œhomosexualsâ€ regarding GRID/AIDS. History can be very instructive.
What I HOPED would be helpful in this discussion is the fact that concepts of gender are very much culturally bound. In another gender experiment, subjects are shown words such as â€œtable,â€ or â€œship.â€ Now for those of you who are mono-lingual speakers of English, many European languages give a gender to inanimate objects. Just so, a table is considered â€œmaleâ€ or â€œfemale.â€ In Spanish, for example, itâ€™s â€œla mesa,â€ so the table is feminine. It would be incorrect grammatically to say â€œel mesa,â€ since â€œelâ€ is a masculine article. We have a carry-over in English, where ships are referred to as a â€œshe.â€
Now hereâ€™s what (to me) is interesting. When you ask English speakers the gender of something abstract, such as â€œ47â€â€”they tend to assign the number a gender. Perhaps this is generating a mind-set once the testers have established questioning that are â€œmale/femaleâ€ oriented. Many of the European languages include a â€œneutral gender.â€
If you go back to my original post, I shared that in some Native communities there are as many as 8 categories of gender.
When I used to teach my university students, I would use politics as an example. In the U.S., asking people if they are Democrats or Republicans seems to be a perfectly logical question. Itâ€™s the way we organize our political system. But if you ask a person from Belgium, or Austria that same question, it doesnâ€™t make sense for them, because they donâ€™t organize their political system in that way. Not all human cultures organize gender in a binary fashion the way we do in the U.S. And Iâ€™m not talking â€œonlyâ€ about Native American cultures.
And this is when I normally get a snarky comment from a student about, â€œwell, sure in primitive cultures thatâ€™s true, but in REALITY (which is a code word for â€œscientificâ€ in the case of the student), we of course know, thereâ€™s only male or female. Youâ€™re either XX or XY. Deal with it.â€
And then I respond to the â€œrealityâ€ that science is actually about learning, and as we learn more, and learn with greater accuracy, science changes what it teaches. Thatâ€™s what tends to distinguish it from â€œfaith,â€ where one doesnâ€™t always routinely question doctrine. XX and XY? Two and only two genders? Thatâ€™s what we teach in high school. But if you go into more advanced studies of microbiology, you discover there are at least 5 different XY combinations. Hmmâ€¦.maybe â€œprimitiveâ€ traditional cultures knew a little something after all. Wouldnâ€™t be the first time.
Also go back and notice my post discussed how many traditional cultures recognized â€œsocialâ€ gender, rather than basing things on measures of hormones or sex-reassignment surgery. As a researcher, lolâ€”I canâ€™t â€œlose.â€ My greatest interest is in how people make sense of the worldâ€¦epistemologyâ€”â€œhow do you know what you know.â€ As we enter into discussion about gender â€“of what makes a â€œmanâ€ a â€œman,â€ or a â€œwomanâ€ a â€œwomanâ€ â€“and even more funâ€”what in some cultures, makes someone of say, a â€œ5th genderâ€ a â€œ5th gender,â€ we learn a great deal of how human beings understand the world.
This brings us to practical issuesâ€”where protestors of same-sex marriages scream about marriage being restricted to those who can procreate, but donâ€™t advocate forbidding non-fertile heterosexual couples from marrying, or not allowing marriage licenses to heterosexual couples who simply donâ€™t want children. Does having a period make you â€œnot at man?â€ The person in question had not been having periods, until changing his meds. Does that mean he was a male before he started having his periods again? Iâ€™m not debating thisâ€”like the test that shows a human body with different attributesâ€”a hairy body with breasts, or a hairless body with breasts and a penis, Iâ€™m less interested at the answer than I am in the reasoning behind the response.
Anthony Jay once said, â€œIt doesnâ€™t take a creative mind to realize youâ€™ve got the wrong answer. It takes a creative mind to realize youâ€™ve asked the wrong question.â€ Amongst sex researchers, we start making distinctions between terms like â€œmanâ€ and â€œmale,â€ understanding they donâ€™t mean the same thing to everyone, and one may have a â€œculturalâ€ meaning and one may have a â€œbiologicalâ€ meaning. Science and what we learn changes as we learn moreâ€”which also indicates what we teach now may be proven inaccurate in another generation. In anthropology, for example, we no longer use terms like â€œNegro,â€ or â€œHottentots,â€ in contemporary writings, unless weâ€™re quoting an older text. I mentioned Iâ€™m American Indianâ€”I come from a collective history where European â€œlearned mindsâ€ didnâ€™t recognize we were â€œhumanâ€ with â€œsoulsâ€ until a papal decree in the 1500s. In terms of how historically â€œfactsâ€ are turned into political and legal execution, once my ancestors were recognized as having souls, in 1529, Pope Clement VI sent a papal bull to Charles V instructing him: â€œWe trust that, as long as you are on earth, you will compel and with all zeal cause the barbarian nations to come to the knowledge of God, the maker and founder of all things, not only by edicts and admonitions, but also by force and arms, if needful, in order that their souls may partake of the heavenly kingdom (Washburn 1971:11).
Sound like some contemporary religious types telling Presidents and presidential candidates to use â€œany force necessaryâ€ to prevent Same-Sex marriage and to â€œeducateâ€ citizens as to why this is so essential? History is often like a map. It shows (not always accurately, btw) where youâ€™ve been and (not always accurately) where you might end up. It isnâ€™t outside of future scientific possibility for biological males (with a lot of medical support) to carry a child in a version of pregnancy. I suspect such biological males wonâ€™t be reclassified as female, any more than a contemporary female who cannot menstruate or become pregnant, is now reclassified as male.
In my own lifetime (and I wonâ€™t say Iâ€™m old, but I barely beat out a tyrannosaurus rex as valedictorian for my high school graduating class) Iâ€™ve seen a shift in the U.S., where gender was like â€œsex on a stick.â€ You were either male on one end of the stick, or female on the other end of the stick. Native people often prefer a circle to a straight line. When you bend a stick into a circle, you end up with an infinite number of points along the circle. Younger folks seem to better understand a continuum of genderâ€”a more fluid concept. That includes not everyone in the trans community is requesting hormones or sex reassignment surgery. Hmmâ€¦which sounds like a lot of traditional non-Western (and not only Native American)communitiesâ€¦.
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