Entry 261: Bi/Tri/Pan/Non/Other/Fluid Pride Parade

Well, late June and early July were certainly exciting times for anyone in the non-straight community. First there were those landmark Supreme Court decisions concerning same-sex marriage. Then Gay Pride Day. And, finally, Independence Day, a celebration of our freedom, which should have made the first two events unnecessary.

Yes, it seems that Americans have mostly come around to accepting your basic man-on-man and woman-on-woman alternative lifestyles.  But what about all the alternative alternative lifestyles?

I speak, of course, about all the bigender, trigender, pangender, nongendered, agender, logosother-gendered, gender-fluid, and genderqueer people out there. These are folks who don’t have a parade, who are not represented in the LGBT Community because they don’t have a letter, and who don’t know what sort of bars they should frequent.

Like many people, I suppose, I did not know these types of humans existed. But while researching a recent post about gender-neutral pronouns, I came across a reference to the “transgender/genderqueer” community. I had never heard of the term “genderqueer,” so I looked it up in Dictionary.com, which defines it as “pertaining to or having a gender identity that is other than male or female or is on a continuum between the two genders”

This sounded like genderqueer people, when asked their sexual orientation, check “none of the above.” Or maybe “all of the above.” I thought there must be more to it than that, so I turned to Wikipedia, which, as it usually does, went into much greater detail, with many links, footnotes and disclaimers (which I am not including here):

People who identify as genderqueer may think of themselves as one or more of the following:

•having an overlap of, or blurred lines between, gender identity and sexual and romantic orientation.

•both man and woman (bigender, trigender, pangender);

•neither man nor woman (nongendered, genderless, agender);

•moving between genders (genderfluid);

•third gender or other-gendered; includes those who do not place a name to their gender

men-are-from-mars-women-are-from-venus[1]Yikes! If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, what planet are these people from? I was going to have to click on a lot of links to find out what all of these were. This is much more work than I’m accustomed to doing for these posts, but I figured if these people–and, no doubt, their psychologists–went through all the trouble to name all of these states of being, the least I could do was look them up.

So prepare to be educated, readers!

Let’s start with an easy one. Bigender is not the same as bisexual. Bisexuals know what gender they are, but just can’t make up their minds about which gender they prefer to have sex with. Bigender people themselves switch back and forth between genders which, I expect, can cause tremendous confusion for their lovers, who may unknowingly go from straight to gay (or vice versa) during a single encounter.  And, by the way, I would suggest that, contrary to what appears to be the accepted spelling (“bigender”), bigender people begin using a hyphen (“bi-gender”), so that folks don’t think of them as big enders.

Okay, fine. So now you’re probably wondering what trigender is. You may be hoping that it’s a bigender person who enjoys riding tricycles, because otherwise everything you learned in high school biology will be compromised. I’m going to have to let Wikipedia handle this one:

Trigenderism is a non-binary gender identity in which one shifts between or among the stereotypical behaviors of male, female and a third gender (genderless, a mix of male and female, or any other variety of genderqueer identities). A trigender person may shift from one gender to another depending on the individual’s mood or situation. In contrast, someone who is gender fluid and identifies as trigender may mix two or more genders at a time. Trigender falls under the general category of genderqueer or androgyny, a gender identity that goes beyond the normal binary gender system (male and female) and tends to be a catch-all place for other gender identities.

Look, I’m a pretty tolerant person. As far as I’m concerned, you can practice any religion you want as long as you don’t annoy people trying to convert them, and you can be any race you want because, really, what choice do you have? You can even dress up as, act like, or have sex with any consenting adult you want, in any way you want, as long as I don’t have to watch.

But I really must insist that you choose a public bathroom and stick with it. I don’t care if shoesyou were born one gender and identify as the other, either sartorially or surgically. You’re a woman partway through a sex change? You’re welcome to use the men’s room and even stand at the next urinal (if you don’t mind me staring). You’re a man who rocks a pair of Jimmy Choo’s? Feel free to stand on line in the women’s room. But you don’t get to switch!

Also, when you start talking about a third gender and non-binary gender, it’s time to admit that you’re making stuff up. Read that definition again, particularly this part “…in which one shifts between or among the stereotypical behaviors of male, female and a third gender.” What in the world is the “stereotypical behavior” of a third gender? Nobody even knows what that is, so how can it have a stereotype?

The telling phrase in the definition is “depending on the individual’s mood or situation.” Look–I don’t get to “identify” as a two-year-old just because I throw a tantrum, and you don’t get to identify as Maureen instead of Maurice because you’re feeling girlish that day, or because it’s Ladies’ Night at your favorite bar. Either be Maurice all the time or Maureen all the time

Having said all that, it’s really none of my business, and you can identify yourself any way you like.

Just tell me which pronoun to use.

See you soon.

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13 Responses to Entry 261: Bi/Tri/Pan/Non/Other/Fluid Pride Parade

  1. Kaseytrue says:

    How would you react if your child felt like there was something wrong with them simply because they couldn’t understand why the other kids won’t play with them because they are the wrong gender. They aren’t allowed to play with the boys because they are a female or the girls won’t talk to them because they are weird. What if it was your child who could not Identify with their birth gender. Is there something wrong with them because they have a woman’s body and a soul that feels like both.
    No, there is not.
    And for your information bi-gender people tend to choose the gender neutral bathrooms. They don’t intentionally offend cis-gendered (people who identify with their birth gender) individuals.
    Thank You

    • markhal says:

      Is this where I say something about transgendered people not having a sense of humor?

      • Kaseytrue says:

        I’m sorry that may have been a tad of an over reaction, but can you really blame me? I have been labeled as a lesbian since the first grade and I didn’t even know what that meant. I was never a lesbian I just wasn’t cisgendered.
        I don’t identify as transgender I am bi-gender or gender fluid I’m not sure which yet. So far I don’t even where men’s clothes. Regardless I was offended by your ending, though my response was overboard. For that I apologize.

      • markhal says:

        no problem. as with all my posts, just going for some laughs.

      • markhal says:

        If I may get serious for a moment, though… I wrote that post awhile ago and I just remembered the point I was making. I was in no way making fun of yours or anybody’s identity or sense of self. It was all the labeling and definitions that I was finding a bit ridiculous. You are what you are, not what you’re called. I don’t pretend to know what you’re going through, but it does seem just from your note that maybe you’re more concerned with the title than you need to be. All the best. Mark

      • Kaseytrue says:

        Thank you.
        And maybe I am a bit too into the label but I want to be accepted by my family and if I can’t label myself they won’t believe me.

      • markhal says:

        This quick true story may help: a friend of my daughter’s was about 16 I think when he decided to come out to his parents. He went into the living room where they were watching TV and said, “Mom, dad, can I talk to you?” One of his parents replied, “Can it wait until a commercial?” (This was before DVRs.) And he said, “No, not really.” So they muted the TV and he made his announcement: “Mom, dad, I’m gay.” His parents replied in unison, “Yeah, that could have waited for a commercial.”

        While your situation sounds a lot more complicated, the moral of the story still applies: parents can sometimes surprise you with what they already know, or at least are vaguely aware of. And they can also sometimes surprise you with their reactions.

      • Kaseytrue says:

        My problem is that I may have already used up my acceptance with a lie. I told my family I was gay because they reacted so badly about the speech I wrote about transgender. And they have nothing but scathing remarks to say about anything bi.

  2. markhal says:

    Well, you’re now officially well beyond any advice this 60-year-old straight guy can give you. You sound like a decent, intelligent person, though. Maybe your parents are, too. Best of luck.

  3. Pingback: Entry 393: Have You Declared a Gender? | The Upsizers

  4. Pingback: Entry 543: Who Do They Think They Is? | The Upsizers

  5. Pingback: Entry 571: But Which Bathroom Should They Use? | The Upsizers

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