From Red flags to Rainbow flags: Understanding gender

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Facebook had a custom list of gender variations to pick from which caught my eye. 58 genders? I wondered. What can they be? Since childhood, we had always known about three. Male, Female and Others. When we grew up, we somewhat knew that the ‘other’ category can also be called “Trans”. Why not actually dive deep into this socially made protocol to get a deeper insight and think about it with a clearer mind.

A revolution is not a one day process. It requires time, patience and proper knowledge. It starts with inducing something into a little kid’s brain who grows up to become what we are now – adults. During pride month, we see social media handles, pages, magazines and editorials being flooded with sugar-coated love messages and empathetic writings, but do we actually preach it? Or practice it? Do you accept someone who doesn’t categorize into a specific gender in your family or among your friends? That person is busy figuring out pronouns and fighting with emotions on a different level. 

What about the ones who travel in trains to earn something? People often put their heads down in transphobia. It is not elite. It is not about pages, articles or selling points. There is a bigger picture to it and if we don’t address that, it’ll just become a fancy art of rainbow flags. Gender is different from sexuality. Transgender doesn’t mean gay or lesbian. They are totally separate victims of social construction. 

Intersectionality is the connection between the systems victimized by socially created discrimination and oppression based on race, disability, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation and a few more. Do I sound repetitive? Yes, I do. I should. If it is still not clear then intersectionality, for example, is a Black, bisexual, blind or a poor person who doesn’t fit in the higher category of social norms, whose suffering is way more difficult than the ones addressed as ‘normal’. What makes them abnormal? Why can’t it be accepted and normalized? These will remain questions forever if we don’t change our expression soon. To have a greater insight into the gender part here, here is a list of 58 genders described in a positive and satirical approach. I wish if somewhere, someone is reading this and has been facing difficulty in figuring out their gender or is afraid that it might expose him or her, they should get the idea that there are some people somewhere who actually consider them normal and will always be happy to accept them. Because they are normal and not entitled to society. 

The following are some explanations which can help one understand the definitions of the many terms in use today.

Agender – Grew up figuring out what is the flavor of that bubblegum and you still care about people who can’t burst their bubbles of delusion. 

Androgyne – You are not obliged to society for fitting into a particular format of dressing or a haircut. You could always excel in anything you love to do.

Androgynous/ Neutrois – Not the same as androgyne. You may or may not be an androgyne but your personality can’t be gendered. 

Bigender – Two genders may co-exist in your body. But isn’t everything binary coexisting like good- evil, day-night, white-black. 

Cis – The privileged prefix of ‘Cisgender’.

Cisgender – Congratulations to you and your organs that are on the same page according to heteronormative society. Why celebrate yourself selfishly rather than celebrating together?

Cis Female / Cis Woman – It must be tough to pluck out the facial hair as the society disapproves of facial hair, hairy legs or chest. It’s not the hormones! Might start considering your fault as well.

Cis Male / Cis Man – You refrain yourself so hard that you can’t even cry your heart out in public due to social constraints and protocols regarding a male behavior. What if society soon starts refusing sensitive men too?

Female to male / Male to Female –  You are up for a bold transition. You fought too long for what needed to be done. But your smile is the one thing that needs no change. 

Gender Fluid – Appreciate your flexibility and warmth towards the constant shift in the spectrum of genders, no matter how difficult it has been for you.

Gender Nonconformity – From simple things as men crying and women conducting complex surgeries. Nonconformity is everywhere from mild, moderate to extreme. You have the right to it as long as it is not causing harm or damage to anyone.

Gender Questioning – Looped inside the fear of getting the exact answers or the reality check. The struggle of knowing something that has been real mentally or emotionally. The person that could answer these questions of gender affirmation is only you. And our role in this should be of a positive catalyst and a good listener with open minds rather than overthinking and reacting to certain confusions. You should only focus on finding peace.

Gender variant – Same as nonconformity, you have a way of living that should not infuriate people around because it affects no one. 

Gender queer – The injustice out there is harsh and real but your voice matters for the bigger change, a social shift in normalizing any gender-based identifications. 

Intersex – It is not a choice or an overnight decision as may many people think. You are not obligated to explain variations in chromosomes, gonads or sexual characteristics to the society which has not educated itself enough on this.

Neither / Other – From professionals documents, government data, social media account information, re-assignment in birth certificates to OMR sheets. You saw it all. Ticking one gender out of three. Acknowledging you for being there in the world of ‘he’ and ‘she’.

Non-binary – Composition of gender alignment is different than a social construct like a rainbow of various colors. 

Trans – An oppressed prefix of ‘transgender’ in society. 

Pangender / Transgender / Trans / Trans Female / Trans Male / Trans Man / Trans Person / Trans Woman / Transfeminine / Transgender / Transgender Female / Transgender Male / Transgender Man / Transgender Person / Transgender Woman / Transmasculine / Transsexual / Transsexual Female / Transsexual Male / Transsexual Man / Transsexual Person / Transsexual Woman – Different denotations for different gender roles depicting same definitions. 

Hope this helps, and we get a broader picture of this. Just treat each other well and things will start falling back to place. Normal and abnormal are just perspectives like good and evil, day and night, white and black. It is all in our heads. We could change it anytime and start calling black as ‘white’ and vice versa. It couldn’t matter less.

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