True Transgender Diversity

There is a growing population of individuals who are confused about their personal identity.  They believe that they have the wrong body, or perhaps they believe that there are days when they feel they are female and days when they feel they are male.  This issue of being transgender creates conflicts in both personal and public life.

I believe that these conflicts are all based on a misconception.

In philosophy there is an issue referred to as the mind/body problem.  There is a recognition that we have a body.  We have a mind.  There is considerable debate over exactly what each of these are and how they are related.

I maintain that being male or female is a simple matter of body identification.  At birth, the doctor looks at our physical anatomy and declares either male or female for the birth certificate.  This issue of physically being male or female is determined, not by choice, but by our chromosomes.  Males have an XY pairing, females have an XX pairing.*  These chromosomes are present in our cells and they will not be changed by surgery or hormone therapy.  Literally, on the cellular level our bodies are either male or female and there is nothing we can do about that except accept it as a fact.

So why is there confusion?  What am I talking about when I say true transgender diversity?

For many years, and in many societies, there were expectations determined by one’s identification as male or female.  These included occupations, sexual practice and personality traits.  There were jobs that were considered appropriate for men and other jobs for women.  Men were expected to marry women and women to marry men.  There were also personality traits that were considered masculine or feminine.  Some example of masculine  traits were assertiveness, courage, strength and competitiveness.  Some examples of feminist traits were gentleness, compassion, and sensitivity.

Over the years, at least here in the United States all of these expectations have been challenged.  We no longer think of occupations as being the work of specifically men or women.  We recognize that sexual attraction is not exclusively heterosexual.  We have come a long way in redefining our expectations of personality.

We are not done.

True transgender diversity will exist when we are comfortable recognizing that we have a male or a female body and that does not say anything definitively about our minds.

When a person says that they are a female in a male body they are guilty of assigning certain feelings exclusively to a particular sex.  They literally cannot know what it feels like to have a female body, so they must be assuming that the way they feel is associated with being female.

However, feelings are not determined by our chromosomes.  Thoughts and feelings are neither male or female but are present in both sexes.  It would be better to acknowledge our personal physical identity as male or female and recognize that our individual thoughts, feelings and desires are simply our mind, individual and independent; neither male nor female, wonderfully complex and diverse.

We have minds.  We have bodies.  Gender should be a term that applies to body.

No one is in the wrong body.

We are simply diverse in our thoughts, feelings and emotions.

 

I welcome your comments.  They will be moderated.  Let us try to have a civil conversation about a complex issue.  There will be a delay in posting because I am only on this site once a day.

 

*I am aware that some individuals have an extra chromosome resulting in an XXY combination.  This results in both male and female genitalia being present.  This article is not addressing that extremely rare issue.

Most of my recent postings have been religious.  I have been encouraged to again post some articles that are more philosophical in nature. 

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