Kim Pearson

Jon, Given your title and subject you may be interested in the work we do at TransYouth Family Allies. Please check out this website: www.imatyfa.org we are also on facebook.

Posted by Kim Pearson on January 25, 2009, 11:42 AM
Ginerva86

I think that you pose a very important question. I’m often frustrated with such societal pressures. For instance, watching the new season of The Real World (I’ll admit that I do watch it occasionally…) I couldn’t believe the language that was being used to describe their transgendered roommate. Pronouns were especially confusing to them, but to me, I don’t really understand where the confusion lies… Whatever a person identifies as, that is how they should be addressed. But, then again, why do we address at all? Why do we force our daughters to play with dolls and punish our sons for doing the same? Why can’t they, too, learn to be good fathers? … But I fear I am getting a bit ahead of myself here. A very intriguing and well-written post, Jon! It’s been a pleasure to read, as always.

Posted by Ginerva86 on January 26, 2009, 12:01 AM
abandonedboyjon

thank you, kim, for the link and information. i always welcome that on qp! and G-86, i’m impressed with MTV a bit for making this season so heavy on the LGBT themes, its TIME. so, no, i don’t think your getting ahead of yourself or anything else for that matter! i love what you said about daughters learning to be good fathers, it sounds like a song lyric.

Posted by abandonedboyjon on January 26, 2009, 12:10 PM
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Wow. This is really interesting, I love your outlook and point of veiw on the topic. I am currently studing a topic at school about this issue so I have to thankyou for suppling me with some insight.

Posted by Tiahn on January 31, 2009, 06:21 AM
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I think you come up with a very valid question, and I agree with above that it is very interesting to see your point of view on the topic. I am also studying this topic at the moment, so thank you. :)

Posted by Casey [LoE] on January 31, 2009, 07:01 AM
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I found your post very interesting and must say I really agree with you. I am not Trans myself but have always felt that gender roles imposed upon children were restricting and wrong. If I were to ever have children I would not impose specific gender traits on them. I have always been very interested in Trans issues and have done my best since I was a teen running my school’s Gay/Straight Alliance to educate myself and others on the issues Trans people face in our society. Honestly, my family thinks I am a bit weird cause I am so interested in it. Oh well!

Posted by hercurvestofear on January 31, 2009, 12:43 PM
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I found your post very interesting and must say I really agree with you. I am not Trans myself but have always felt that gender roles imposed upon children were restricting and wrong. If I were to ever have children I would not impose specific gender traits on them. I have always been very interested in Trans issues and have done my best since I was a teen running my school’s Gay/Straight Alliance to educate myself and others on the issues Trans people face in our society. Honestly, my family thinks I am a bit weird cause I am so interested in it. Oh well!

Posted by hercurvestofear on January 31, 2009, 12:44 PM
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Terrific article! I’m so glad to see this sort of thing being brought up in the fandom, because their are so many relevant parts of the books that apply. Yay for discussing the T in LGBT!!!

Posted by SnapeShapedHole on January 31, 2009, 02:26 PM
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I’m glad it’s more than just me seeing things like this. I think it’s certainly human to categorize- by more than just sexuality or gender expression. Color of skin, religion, background, friends, preferences… you name it, people are categorizing. I think it makes some people feel safe. To create groups and categories means that a person will supposedly find their home in one of these groups and come to feel accepted- like they belong. It’s those of us constantly questioning these boundaries that will come to understand that the truth, strength, and meaning of the categories created only goes so far as our minds will allow- those of us that would like remain ambiguous to all categories, I think, are the ones that will come to find out the most about ourselves in the long run. (: Questioning and pushing the envelope is the only way we can constantly move forward. It’s fine to fit several places at once, or to not fit anywhere at all. The greatest form of security is always going to come from being able to accept yourself for who you are, no matter what others say, think, or feel.

Posted by Heather Lynn on January 31, 2009, 10:39 PM
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I have to confess: I hadn’t read your blog until yesterday. But after reading this post I decided to go back and read all the others! This probably sounds really lame, but I just wanted you to know that you’ve opened up a whole new way of thinking about the HP series – I’d never thought too much about homosexuality while reading but now I realise there are hints at things such as the Dr/H relationship. So thank you for this, and I will definitely be following your blog in the future :)

Posted by MuggleQueen on February 01, 2009, 06:30 AM
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I will never ever pretend or voice any knowledge of how it is to walk in your shoes, but I do know about labelling. By being handicapped physically I too experience some kind of labelling. For instance it’s really to laugh (or else I would get aggressive) when some people bend over my chair and shouts! An electrical wheelchair (sporty scooter model) appearently have a very bad influence on the ability to hear! o.0 eh? And it’s absolutely up to me to prove, that physical inabilities don’t interphere with my intelligence – not that I always bother!!!
So I was moved about your blog, because – I’m associating to the comment I just left in the blog about boys and learningabilities – I would love to have us all one day treated like individuals and not sorted into groups! I’m not sure tho’ that I need to think much about preparing the party – ‘cause the day sure seems far away, doesn’t it? ~t

Posted by The-T-Dane ღRôARღ on February 02, 2009, 05:47 PM
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good post! i have recommendations:

first of all, there’s this awesome book online called “lockpick pornography” that deals with a lot of lgbt issues because the main character is basically a gay terrorist. (it’s kind of an “angry young man” book, but more “angry young gay man who believes that gender is a construct and kidnaps people” than most in that genre.)

second of all, you might find the blog “gender 3.0” interesting. i like it a lot, even though i’m (gasp) sometimes more moderate in my views than the writer of the blog.

of course, i might be being presumptuous and you’ve already heard of these.

on to commenting about the post! i like your plans regarding children of your own. i would definitely discuss gender with my child starting when they were fairly young. at the very least, i want them to be a thinking person. and gender roles (“sorting”) affects EVERYBODY, not just intersex or transgendered or gender-nonconforming people. so they would need to know that even if they were a boy (and, you know, cisgendered) they don’t have to grow up to be macho, musclebound, and aggressive. and if they were a girl, they would need to know that being “pretty” is not a requirement for awesomeness (and being “feminine” is not a requirement for prettiness) and that they should always respect themselves, and require respect from others. i’m not raising any battered wives or emotionally stunted men if i can help it. plus, if they do turn out to be trans, they’ll have known for a long time that they would have my full support, and i think that means a lot, if you know ahead of time that your parent is going to be behind you on something like that—something that perhaps society won’t support you on.

additionally: yeah, we should stop making such a deal out of what gender people are and start seeing them as people, rather than men and women. we also need to recognize that there’s a lot bigger variety of personality types within the genders than are shown in movies and on tv. women onscreen so often seem one-dimensional, or just bland, or, while they may be complex, they fit into one of the three “types” of women that we usually see in the media. we’ve explored the diversity within the male gender in fiction a lot more than the diversity of women, i feel. and that’s probably because a huge majority of main characters are men. people don’t notice this enough. (although i would also say that men are restricted more by the standards of their gender roles than women are by theirs.) and there should DEFINITELY be more trans characters. i don’t think shows should do it just to be pc though. i struggle with that kind of thing when i write my own stories: i want to be politically conscious, but i also want my characters to be organic and real, not just poster children of whatever minority group (asian immigrants, lesbians, interracial couples, etc). nonetheless, i am working on a vampire story where the main character is trans. the fact that he’s trans adds to the other themes, though, so it’s not just a superficial nod.

Posted by dead_not_sleeping on February 03, 2009, 07:52 PM
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Very interesting. I was introduced to this topic when I had to read a book called “She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders” and the author came to my college to speak. If you haven’t read it, it’s a great, intelligent view on the topic. I think it’s a very difficult situation that unfortunately we’re not very close to truly dealing with yet. Though it’s good to know that we are making progress in other areas, such as homosexuality, so more may follow down the line.

On a different note, Jon, I believe I had the pleasure of speaking to you awhile ago about possibly collaborating on some wizard rock. You should get back to that… I think you had some awesome songs.

Posted by The Silver Doe on February 03, 2009, 11:19 PM
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Really interesting thoughts! I agree the society does put labels upon people, but I don’t know if it’s avoidable. Stereotyping is, of course, wrong, but people naturally try to sort somebody just to know how to act with them; we sort somebody into a position of authority and call them sir/ma’am, or, maybe in the case of a child, automatically treat them as less mature. This even happens in the animal kingdom: other animals are labeled as dangerous or prey or harmless, and it’s how an animal would survive. That same quirk is in homo sapiens. If we can eventually stop automatically labelling people, that would be great, but I think it’s too embedded in nature.

Posted by TheCrogePodge on February 05, 2009, 01:39 AM
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To change the subject, I don’t think Snape was damned by being sorted into Slytherin. Pre-Hogwarts, Snape was a damaged kid from a bad home who was teased mercilessly and driven to the dark arts. (Gosh that’s a long sentence.)

Posted by Garden State Geek on February 05, 2009, 07:35 PM
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