Someone recently went to court to demand that on his ID would be written his mental age, not his calendar age. Not because all is relative or subjective, but because the latter can be misleading. He argued that transgenders also change their sex — why could he not change his age?
We don’t need to be oppressive to oppressed groups. The first priority for being good allies is getting some information.
There are so much nonsense and misunderstanding about transgenders while their situation is so simple to understand. This is simpler than perceiving homosexuals well. But the latter are more prevalent so if you think nonsense about them, you’ll find our sooner. Here are the basics.
1. There are people who look like men and some who look like women. This is called one’s sex. (Not to be confused with the word sex which is short for sexuality.)
2. Most people see themselves as men or women. This is called gender. That means, when thinking about (wo)men, one thinks “us” or “them.”
3. Some people identify as male while they have a female body, or the other way around. This is called trans-gender. When there is no difference between your sex and your gender, you are cis-gender.
4. Sex is what you see on the outside, gender sits “between the ears.”
5. Some people feel or act stereotypically more effeminate or more butch or macho. This is called gender/sex role behavior.
6. Most people feel sexually or romantically (mostly) attracted to men or women. This is called sexual orientation. Men attracted to men and women attracted to women are called homosexual and the others are heterosexual. Someone easily attracted to both is called bisexual.
7. There are many people for whom such labels do not fit exactly. Some have more appropriate stickers for themselves and some don’t want a label or try to live lives not defined by these ridged norms. This is called queer.
8. Now we have seen: sex, gender, trans-/cis-gender, gender/sex role behavior and sexual orientation. These are independent of each other.
(Someone may look like a man with some feminine qualities, feel like a man, be rather macho and be bisexual — or any other combination one can think of.)
9. Sex and sex role can change, gender and sexual orientation cannot.
10. Transgenders may adjust (aspects of) their sex, not their gender.
In many countries now, the law follows medical experts, not only allowing sex change but also acknowledging it.
Now, the second subject, briefly.
1. Not everyone feels as old as their ID says — their calendar age. (I’m not discussing spies with falsified IDs.)
2. Physicians learn to treat patients in accordance with their biological age rather than their calendar age. Two people are each 50. One looks like 40 and the other like 60. Treat them for what they look like.
3. Some are rather fit for their age and therefore don’t feel “old.”
4. Many elderly don’t see themselves as elderly. They identify as earlier in life. They may have squeaking bodies, but they are basically the same people as in middle age — except for having more wisdom. They still feel 50, 40, 30, 20, or whatever, but not their calendar age. They are young people trapped in old bodies. The problem comes normally from others who do not recognize the young person they are, fooled as they are by gray hair, wrinkles, wheelchairs, etc. Their mental age is not recognized.
Calendar, Biological, Mental and Legal Ages
The above Dutch judge didn’t buy it. But I think the plaintiff was right. It is just a matter of time before courts will start to recognize biological age and after that, also mental age. Laws, over time, catch up with the times.
Yet, he was mistaken to just claim that transgenders change their sex. Rather, they affirm their fixed gender identity by adjusting their sex.
He too doesn’t want to change his date of birth. He only wants to adjust his legal age to his mental or biological age, which captures more precisely who he truly is. He should take his case to a higher court.
I feel the same as the petitioner, but I’m not starting a court case. I’m transgenerational but in the closet. I enjoy traveling for half the price.