Wednesday, October 20, 2021

More and more of one thing leading to another / Simply being human

Not sure how this came to my attention in the last few days.   Probably more of "one thing leading to another."

Although I find it odd that this is sponsored by Proctor and Gamble and feel cynical about their financial motives, I was moved and enlightened by what Alok had to say.  Our public library has a copy of his small format 64-page book published in 2020, Beyond The Gender Binary, in their section for teenage readers and so I put a copy on hold.  I've finished reading the book this morning.


"Indigenous people and people outside the Western world have long existed outside of the gender binary: two-spirit among American Indians, hijra in South Asia, waria in Indonesia, muxe in Mexico, just to name a few.  In many of these societies,  people outside of the binary were and continue to  be recognized as leaders."

Until I learned that an intersex child was born around 13 years ago to a member of R's extended family in the San Francisco Bay Area, I did not realize that intersex children have been born as long as there have been children in the world.  The doctors involved could not determine whether the newborn was male or female.  However, the parents decided that what they wanted was a boy and surgery was performed on the infant.  I did not meet, only heard of, that child who is a teenager by now.  I have wondered how that child has fared as a boy and now a teenage boy.  I wonder if that teenager will find Alok's book and feel supported in whatever choices there are to be made or not made. 

Alok writes:

"The fact that doctors still perform non-consensual and non-medically necessary surgeries on intersex people just because they are different shows how binary sex -- like binary gender -- is a political construction.  These people are not accidents or malfunctions; this is how human diversity works."

Listening to the discussion with Alok Vaid-Menon and reading his book, I'm grateful to have heard what I needed to hear about his experience of simply being human.


Anonymous said...

I haven't watched the video yet, but I did want to say that it's time for humans to just recognize each other with open hearts for who we are. We are one species on the planet; we are diverse; we don't come with rules; we just are.

Tara said...

"Being alive is messing up gloriously." Amen, Alok. I'm so glad you posted this. There seem to be more non-conforming people speaking out, and all of us have much to learn. I have a trans nephew, and when he was transitioning, I would make such an effort to call him by his new name, and new pronoun, as he identifies as "he."

Everyone deserves respect, and everyone is deserving of love. I hope these stories move people off of their knowledge base. Again, thank you for posting.

ellen abbott said...

My son had/has a friend who was born intersex, genetically a boy but easier to make these babies girls so that's what they did. Of course s/he grew up mentally and internally male even though s/he was socialized as a girl. S/he was attracted to girls and lived as a lesbian when s/he was really just an ordinary boy. This is just one of the many evils of Judeo/Christian/Muslim triad religion that demonizes these people who are just as much a part of the natural order as cisgender males and females.

Linda said...

I have always needed to identify and put things in a box (in my head, of course). My 4 kids have been kind and patient in helping learn that not all things fit in a box and that it is just ok as it is. Sometimes I still wonder and then I go inside myself and try to figure out why I need to do so. Acceptance.

am said...

Hello Linda! Welcome to my blog. Thank you for commenting.