Gender identity and sexuality are two broad terms that sometimes fall under the same label. While the two issues do share some common concerns, it is very important to acknowledge the differences and the challenges people face. This week's Sex Stories We Love will focus on content from the past week that focused on these issues - and what we can learn from it.
Gender Identity and Sexuality Explained
Let's start off by making a very clear differentiation between gender and sexuality. In a changing world with new and different terms, folks still get these two terms confused. People have mixed up sex and gender for a long time. Folks who continually explain and help others work through this difference do a lot of emotional labor for those who aren't coming to grips with the realities of the world. This is especially true as younger people feel empowered to express their gender identity, sometimes long before their sexual identity has formed or is realized. Maybe this will be the difference. When people cannot conflate a gender identity to sexuality because that sexuality isn't yet available, hopefully the confusion will fade away.
We Treat Trans Kids Poorly
Speaking of kids and gender identity, why the fuck are so many adults so damn evil to children? Story after story is coming about grown-ass adults making the lives of children who are trans or gender non-conforming a living nightmare. In one instance, an Ohio judge refused a name change for a trans teen despite the kid and their family having completed a considerable amount of counseling and discussion to affirm their identity. Nope. According to this judge, the child must wait until the age of 18 to make the decision. That's bad enough, but it isn't as frightening as parents openly discussing the idea of "hunting season" on a trans student who attend an Oklahoma middle school. And they did it on Facebook. There is talk that these comments might be deemed a hate crime. Might?! Disgusting.
Do Twins Hold the Key?
Would some kind of scientific evidence help quell the panic about the existence of queer folks? Like, if a bunch of people in lab coats all held up beakers with colored liquids with bubbles coming out and they gave the definitive statement of, "Here is moleculo-scientifico reason why some people desire people of the same sex, would we all nod our heads and agree and then go on living our lives? Would that end the hatred and derision and violence? Not likely, as we've seen how well that contribution helped with global warming. Yet, some brave scientific souls continue to move forward to look for the lost grail of genetic influence on sexuality by studying twins who grew up together and have different sexual identities. Regardless of the outcome, the research should be interesting.
Deadpool in DSM-5?
I am going to state an opinion that may or may not be popular. I am on the fence when it comes to portraying Deadpool as pansexual. Don't get me wrong - more representation is better. Representation of sexual diversity on the scale of Ryan Reynolds' Merc With a Mouth would be phenomenal. However, is this particular character a great flag bearer? For years, LGBTQ+ people have worked to shake the stigma that their sexuality is a mental health issue. Deadpool, by way of his transformation, is a 24/7 mental health crisis. Is this the best path forward? Time will tell with how this situation is handled and presented. I hope for the best. Maybe we just need to see Mr. Reynold's and his naked body with another dude to find out?
Sexuality Workplace Challenges
Whether Deadpool is labelled pansexual is, ultimately, irrelevant. The character will live how he feels and hopefully that sexual identity will not get in the way of doing his job: catching bad guys with significant brutal violence and hilarious hijinks. Unfortunately, in the real world, a person's sexual or gender identity does, far too often, impede their professional lives. A recent study in Australia detailed the barriers queer women face in the workplace. When almost one-third of the women surveyed reported a fear that being open at work impacted their career progression, we know there is still a problem that must be solved.
Finally, have you ever felt more in tune with nature than with people? Maybe you are ecosexual!