The title pretty much says everything I want to say. I could add “Transmen are men. Non-binary folks are non-binary folks” and feel pretty good about my essay here. But I’ve been on Twitter for two days reading remarks from people who keep what-abouting at me so I guess this isn’t really settled.
I mean, I knew it wasn’t settled. I just live in a bubble where all my friends are groovy about gender identity. It wasn’t until JK Rowling showed her ass about the issue that I was starkly reminded that gender identity bothers people a lot.
On a better day, I would get into the science of biological sex and the research into how much that and gender exist on a big, beautiful spectrum but I’m not feeling that intellectual. Besides, unless you’re a doctor treating trans people, you don’t need to consider biochemistry and gene analysis and hormone levels. It’s not something any of us think about when we think about cis-folks so we can dispense with thinking about it regarding trans-folks.
Instead I am going to say this: Why does anyone care about anyone else’s gender?
If you are not romantically or sexually involved with a person and are thus intimately involved with their genitals, why on earth should those genitals matter to you one bit?
And why should their chromosomes matter to you, either?
Seriously? Why do you care?
If you meet a person, find out their name, find out their pronouns, file that info away. Then you can move on to the things that are really interesting about a person. Learn their favorite band. Ask what books they read. See if they like to travel. Maybe they’re a sports fan and you can talk about that. If you’re at work, you can bitch about how slow the elevators are. The possibilities for human interaction are really limitless and GENDER IS LARGELY IRRELEVANT.
It’s not irrelevant, of course. It’s deeply personal and a matter that consumes people’s internal lives. If gender identity and physical anatomy don’t line up, it’s a situation that requires such remedies as a person and their medical team see fit. People should have access to the right kind of care and insurance should cover the care so people can live their best lives. All of that is relevant and important and it’s something anyone who loves a trans or NB or otherwise genderqueer person knows already.
But when you’re dealing with people day to day? Eh. You can just be nice to them regardless of anything pertaining to their gender.
And you can totally stop concern trolling on social media, saying things like “But what about sports, huh? Won’t trans athletes be a problem in sports?”
Transpeople are people. Treat them like people, not like problems or science experiments. They are people of inherent worth and dignity and they deserve to be regarded as such.