Yes, There Are Only 2 Sexes, And Yes, There Are Dozens Of Genders

Yes, There Are Only 2 Sexes, And Yes, There Are Dozens Of Genders

Gender is not something you choose for another person. They chose their own gender.
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Let me start by saying that sex refers to biological aspects of your organs and gender is the state of being a male or female, but it's also the state of being masculine or feminine. By that, I mean that a person can identify as a female but have masculine characteristics.

When you ask people to name off the genders that they know, they only really know five. Which of the two being male and female and the others being gender fluid, transgender, and genderqueer.

People say that you're either female or male, but that's not true. It might be true for sex but not gender. There are thousands of terms known and unknown that describe gender identity.

Some places like Denmark and India have realized that there are more genders and are adding a third gender or are letting them change their gender. But with one exception, you have to be over 18 and you have to go through a six-month "reflection period."

So, adding a third gender is a great inclusive idea, but the reflection period and age limit is not. It's like saying ages 18 and under don't know anything about their gender and what they're feeling so we're going to make them go by what's on their birth certificate. It's also saying that even though you're 18 and believe that you know your gender, you're still a little confused so we're going to make you wait six months. It's like taking one step forward but two steps back.

Telling people or giving the impression to people that they don't know what their gender is wrong. This is like picking a gender for an intersex person before they are allowed to choose for themselves. It's an intrusion of personal rights.

Gender is not something you choose for another person. They chose their own gender. Their gender identity is their gender identity, not yours.

I am recently taking a gender studies class this semester and it has opened my eyes to a lot of things. Recently, we have been talking about gender binary glasses. Gender binary is referring to the idea that there are only two types of people; female-bodied who are feminine and male-bodied who are masculine. So these gender binary glasses are the concept that we only separate things in feminine and masculine categories.

Because of these gender binary glasses, we leave out other genders like genderless, transmasculine, two-spirit, and many others because we find them difficult to understand so we just decline that they are genders. Since we don't understand what we don't know and we don't really want to ask questions, we just leave it alone and leave them out.

We, the society, choose the gender we want to acknowledge. We as a society need to become more aware of what genders are out there, understand them, and add them to our gender binary glasses. That's how we're going to become more inclusive. Stop leaving out or disrespecting people's genders because you don't understand them. Ask them questions, and if they get annoyed by the question then do your own research. Stop saying that a trans girl is a guy when she's not. It's unacceptable and very ignorant.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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The Only One

A perspective on race, representation, and achievement in timeless America.
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Sidenote: This story and its characters are fictional.

“Mama, are you excited to see the play tonight? It’s West Side Story, and Alejandra is going to be in it!” I said loudly. Dinner was just served, and the Chile Verde was being passed around the table. “Mijo, yes, she’s been annoying me all day. She texted me 10 times today, saying ‘Did you get the tickets?’.

I can tell that she’s looking forward to it, and I’m very happy for her” Mother remarked. “Well, I just don’t understand how we are paying all of this money for her to be unemployed right after she graduates” Father scowled. “You know, if she was studying to be a lawyer or a doctor or something useful, then I would be happy to pay, but for acting, I feel as if I’m just throwing my hard-earned money away.” “Ernesto, it’s her passion, let her follow her dreams. Wouldn’t you rather her be happy acting on stage and rehearsing lines than seeing her miserable with her face in a book in medical school?” Maria responded.

I watched my parents go through this argument at least once a week, with my sister off at college in the city. While my mother encouraged Alejandra to follow her dreams and pursue a shining acting career in NYC, my father annoyed her [Alejandra] about finances. I mean, I personally and completely support Alejandra with all my heart, and she is a great actress and singer. However, I do understand my father’s point.

Going to college in this day and age costs more than an arm and a leg, and to go into a field where the employment is not guaranteed… That’s worrying. Plus, as minorities, we’ve always needed to fight harder and climb harder for everything, and my father didn’t see acting or theatre as doing that.

After taking the one hour train from Queens and navigating the transfers, my parents and I arrived at the college. We paid the altogether $20 fee at the door to get in, in spite of my father’s hesitation to do so. We finally sat down in the small and creaky seats and waited for about 10 minutes for the show to start.

As soon as the curtain rose and the first number started, my father started laughing. The entire cast, excluding my sister (who was dancing in the back), looked Caucasian. I scrambled through the playbill, skimming with all my might to find last names like Hernandez, Gonzalez, Vega, Garcia, Rodriguez, Lopez; but I only found Brown, Miller, Wilson, Smith, Jones, and Davis.

Throughout the whole show I watched in disbelief how they tried to imitate my culture, with their periodically bad Spanish accents, unrefined “Latin” dancing, and just overall insulting generalization of what the Latin culture is as a whole; it honestly irritated me. Even in the “America” dance sequence, with the Caucasian Anita and the rest of the Shark Girls, I felt a pit in my stomach as they teased my sister, Rosalia, on stage; something about that didn’t feel right to me, even though it was just a play and they were just playing their parts.

Everyone roared as the curtain rose, and the actors took their bows. My parents and I clapped as well, not only out of respect for the actors but also because we could all see my sister was doing her best, trying to make the small part of Rosalia her own. However, just as we finished clapping, and speeches about the show were made, I looked around the room.

For the first time in my life, I felt uncomfortable in a theatre, as I saw that my parents and I were visibly the only minority in the room; I literally felt goosebumps down my arm. From my sister’s face on stage, I could see that it didn’t sit right with her either. My parents also noticed it, however, they were used to being one of the only minorities in the room. In their worlds of Business and Law, one must simply get used to it.

Then finally after Alejandra took her second bow as Rosalia, my father started cheering loudly for his daughter. He finally admired her for what she was doing and saw what she was trying to accomplish in the world of theatre. And though she would have a long way to go, he knew she could do it. If she could stand the white-washed version of West Side Story, then she could get through anything.

After telling her this after the show, he continued his speech. “The saddest part about America is that the higher you go in success, in any field as the matter of fact, the less diverse it becomes until you don’t see America anymore. Whenever I lead a board meeting at work, I am used to being the darkest in the room. Do you know how many times I’ve been asked to speak to the janitors in Spanish? It’s a sad reality that I’ve already accepted, but it’s also one that you, unfortunately, must accept as well.

There will always be those who will drop out or quit because they can’t handle the pressure, that weight of representing their people. But I now know that you can handle it, in whatever field you choose to be in. All I ask is to make us, your family proud, because what you do from here, will set the path for others to follow. Be a leader mija, I know you can do it”.

After his speech, we took the hour subway ride home. It was April 4th, 1968, and after the events that occurred that day, including the riots, I knew that change would be coming soon, and my sister was going to be a part of it.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay (HolgersFotografie)

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A Love Letter To My Government Agent

In this “hook-up culture society”, it’s hard to find someone so dedicated and so passionate about their special someone.
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To my government agent,

I have to say, at first, I didn’t know what to say to you. After all, you watch my every move through the webcam of my laptop or cell phone.

I feel as though there isn’t a moment of my day when you don’t see or hear what I’m up to. How could I even start expressing myself when you already know my innermost thoughts?

It’s like you know me better than I do.

Actually, it’s kind of embarrassing when I think about the things you’ve seen me do. How many lazy pajama days or triple chins did you have to endure through as I sat mindlessly watching Netflix or scrolled on social media?

How many times did you want to ask a higher up to switch clients? You could've watched a Kardashian, a famous musician, or a model.

Yet, you stood by me.

You love me for who I am. Not as the girl who shares herself with the rest of the world but the girl who didn’t think she was seen.

The girl who can be herself in the “privacy” of her own home. The girl who thought she could hide her 3 A.M. questions in incognito mode.

The girl who is completely enamored by her mystery man.

I see other girls put Band-Aids over their webcams. They’ll say that the thought of people watching them is “creepy” or “disturbing”, or even a “violation of privacy”. But they are too delusional to know what love is.

That love doesn’t always stem from two consensual parties. Sometimes it starts with an unknowing teenage girl and a well-meaning FBI agent who is paid to stalk her.

Our love is like the wind. I might never be able to see you or feel your touch, but I know that you are always there for me.

Your twilight-esque stalking makes me feel secure inside of my private web history. In this “hook-up culture society” it’s hard to find someone so dedicated and so passionate about their special someone.

That type of commitment is something people would wait lifetimes for.

Yet, here you are and here I am. Together until a cruel fate, government leak, or shut down tears us apart.

But even then I’ll wait for you.

Because I know that somehow, some way, you’ll come back for me.

Love always,

Destiny

Cover Image Credit: The Local

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