Have you ever been journeying somewhere and suddenly, sometimes out of nowhere, springs this amazing rainbow?
Something I’ve done since I was a child has been to watch a rainbow until I could no longer see it. I love the way the light of a rainbow always seems to play. The way the colours and the shapes of a rainbow seem to change from where ever and when ever you look at them.
Rainbows are such a miracle, don’t you think?
I certainly do. However, it wasn’t until I read the above quote and the rest of the article that I realised how much of a miracle they really are, but, more significantly, how hard they are to grasp or define.
Rainbows are constantly changing. Rainbows aren’t fixed. Even when an artist tries to portray them in a photograph or something similar it is only one moment in time they are capturing, not the full journey of a rainbow.
It was this particular imagery which really hit home with me, because I realised how very little I know about intergender and intersexuality and how much I wanted to talk about this issue on my blog.
You see, and as I said in my previous post, one of my biggest regrets about the current situation in the m/m romance community was the part I played in ‘perpetuating an over-simplistic or binary view of gender/s and sexuality/ies’.
I have to admit I didn’t always think like this.
Picture me sitting in front of my computer with my ‘The Trevor Project’ shirt on, reading a few comments people had sent me links to, and getting more and more upset because ‘HOW VERY DARE THEY?! I’M NOT TRANSPHOBIC!’
Yeah, talk about being a self-righteous douchecopter.
Maybe I wasn’t necessarily transphobic, but, geezus kerrist, I was as ignorant as fuck.
It wasn’t until I saw a Twitter mate expressing hir frustration at the ‘binary mind-set’ of those participating in the, erm, discussions that I began to sit up and think to myself ‘Kris, there is so much more to this than you realise and maybe you need to actually find out about it before opening your big, fat mouth… again…’.
So I started asking questions.
Lots and lots of questions… and those of you who were on the cemetery tour with me in NOLA know first hand how nosy I can be… oh, yeah.
I was – and am still – extraordinarily lucky to have found two people, who have very generously shared their thoughts and experiences with me about being gender fluid *crossing my fingers that a certain someone won’t kick my arse too badly for using that label* and answering my, no doubt potentially offensive, queries.
It is because of their willingness to share their stories that my so-called understanding about what transgender meant has been unbelievably challenged over the past week.
I came to realise, despite my vehement disavowal of choice being anything to do with whether you were gay or lesbian or transsexual or transgender, I was continuing to think in narrow terms whenever transsexual or transgender identities were discussed. I still thought within the boundaries of a binary system where people had to choose their gender or sexuality. It was one or the other. Black or white.
However, it is not that simple, but then again, as one person pointed out to me, why does it have to be? Why can’t gender and sexuality be more fluid?
It made me think. I hope it encourages others to think too.
For this binary mind-set is one which needs to be challenged. No, more than that. It MUST be challenged.
Not only in the broader community, but in spaces like the m/m romance community where people should feel safe to freely be themselves.
Whoever ‘they’ might be at that particular moment and whoever ‘they’ might be in different moments in the future.
Those who dared:
Kris on maybe it’s me, but… kaetrin on maybe it’s me, but… Kris on maybe it’s me, but… kaetrin on maybe it’s me, but… Kris on maybe it’s me, but…