Thoughts of the Day

Today, I started thinking about gender and sex. One topic I always find myself discussing is race and ethnicity, but I feel like gender and sex are two other key factors (often interchangeable for one another, like race and ethnicity) that make us who we are. If it weren't for gender and sex, we wouldn't have sexual orientation. When someone argues that sexual orientation is part of innate biology, its true, but its not as essential or defining as how you identify biologically, or culturally. The waters are muddied because we, as reasoning beings, are able to distinguish the difference between what is learned and what is innate. We use this to our advantage. We use it against others.

What do I think about the terms? Well, how about what I prefer? I detest the term "race" because it suggests that not all of us are human. It suggests otherness, and I feel that it has been used to separate people rather than unite them. Ethnicity, on the other hand, correlates to cultural affiliation or heritage, which I think is more relevant. It also allows, in a non-threatening way, to allow people to identify the way they choose - American, Armenian, or a hyphenated combination.

As for sex or gender, I prefer gender, although I know that the difference between the words is something akin to nature versus nurture. Call me immature, but I still feel like "sex" is a word used to describe what happens behind closed doors (or in public, if that's your thing), while gender has more relevance towards how one IDENTIFIES. It takes the sexuality out of the identification, and relies less on what's hanging (or not) between your legs, and what you believe in your head. I think this is far more important.

I hate seeing only "M" or "F" tags on surveys. I've known a few trans people in my life, and I can't imagine what they must feel when they are forced to chose one. With this week's victory for trans people everywhere, I can't help but feel our world is moving in a more positive, accepting place, although we still have many dragons to slay. They day will come when gender and sex are about as black and white as rainbows.

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