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Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Queer and questioning in the LGBTQ cluster, let them be

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.

Questioning

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.

Gender Queer

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.

Queer

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.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. * If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. * His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1
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