Let’s get clarity about the Q in the LGBTQIA alphabet gender soup
Ample focus is on the L, G, B, T, and even A and I, in the gender acronym. The Q is much ignored. To know about it is vital, especially for outsiders.
To start with a summary, the Q pushes back against overzealousness in the binary department: as if everyone would be happily and truly either/or.
Some people don’t know their sexuality and/or gender (neurobiological sex). You could say, they’ll find out, but maybe they won’t. They may be the happiest when questioning. Most people may have found it painful to ‘be confused’ and relieved to find out which identity fits them best. But some people definitely find it painful that they ‘must know.’ They just want to be respected for who or where they are. That includes not downplaying it as just a passing ‘phase’ in their journey to maturity. Let them be.
Yes, bystanders and loved ones may get nervous about this. But the whole issue is that everyone should discover who they are and for some people that could be Questioning—for some time, or for longer, possibly forever.
Physicians and psychiatrists (Freud) already knew in the nineteenth century that you can adjust what biological sex someone looks like but not what gender they feel to be. Gender identity may be in a transient stage (pun not intended). One may be discovering, accepting, and getting used to one’s true gender. But changing such a notion turns out impossible.
Yet, I find the medical world often much too eager to help someone ‘swap’ their biological sex to adjust it to their trans-gender. Why must everyone be either male or female? Again, that dichotomy doesn’t fit everyone. The pressure to conform to some majority will make some people just very unhappy. People should not be pressured to (not) go through a biological sex change to fit a new norm. Should a man not give birth and breastfeed? Why should a woman not have a penis? Why should Intersex people be mutilated to fit one or the other set of biological sex stereotypes? Why must a woman shave her legs or a man go ‘body-building’? Why must those with a low voice be males and high pitch be females? Let them be.
It seems that sexuality (homo-, hetero-) is largely binary. Though, also here we find asexual, bisexual, pansexual, flexisexual, and no-label-thank-you. But, in the gender compartment, fluidity is the most outspoken. I’m not referring to if someone feels/acts/looks/is stereotyped as more or less effeminate. That could be unconnected to biological sex, mental gender, and sexual preference. I’m talking about if someone feels like/identifies as a man or a woman. Some people identify as bigender, some as agender, and for some, it changes over time. Hormones (puberty, puberty blockers, and transgender hormonal therapy) could have an influence. Let them be.
Some people don’t want to be pigeonholed as either male or female. Or want to choose themselves without others stereotyping them. Or are sick of the whole binary system and are gender anarchists/rebels. Let them be.
The Queers are the real rebels. Wear nail polish and a beard. Try to show so many ‘male’ and ‘female’ conventions on them that you couldn’t tell their biological sex, gender identity, and sexual preference. May one moment or day go like ‘this’ and the next time like ‘that.’ Let them be.
Many Lesbians or Gays don’t play a Straight couple. They need to invent how to divide the gender roles between them. That’s Queer stuff too.
Democracy and Allies
The quality of a democratic society is determined by if it is run following the wishes of the majority while taking into account the needs of minorities. Especially vulnerable minorities.
In a democracy, we don’t eliminate or lock away people who are harmless but make the majority nervous. That we call fascism.
The middle road, making minorities suffer and scared is undemocratic too.
Judaism and Freedom
Judaism promotes clear differences between the sexes. No doubt about it. But that doesn’t include that a girl can’t learn a profession or a boy could not play with dolls.
Normalcy is not a Jewish norm. There is no Commandment to be normal. We are commanded to be authentic. An oppressive, popular, Israeli norm is: ‘Be normal!’ Don’t blame it on the Jews. We had to build a State under fire. There was no place for those returning broken from the extermination camps. They were packed away in ‘mental’ institutions and forgotten. That is painful enough. I think therefore, abnormal became a bad thing in Israeli culture. That’s awful, but let’s blame the Nazis for the Holocaust and the antisemites in Arab countries who tried to kill us. Don’t blame victims.
If G^d had wanted to command an army of robots, He would have created automatons. Rather, He wants humans to serve Him freely. Thus, it’s not the Jewish way to force anyone to follow Jewish Law. Once you plead for coercion or repression, you have left Judaism. No to enforcement! Love, respect, and a smile—those are our tools to promote G^d’s ways.
A century ago, Chief Rabbi Kook pleaded to be less than pleasant to stop trouble for the general public before things would get out of hand. But not so once the genie was out of the bottle! Now, you can no longer fool non-Straight-non-Cisgenders that they are mistaken and should ignore their only road to authenticity and happiness. And certainly, the strong should not oppress the weak to continue their coziness at the expense of others.
It can be unpleasant to reduce your ego, learn how oppressive you’ve been, live with guilt feelings, and learn to give more than to take. But, don’t blame your victims for their needs. Don’t falsely claim that therefore, now you are the new victim. Take your humble place in human history.