GodsDesign Sampler FULLSAMPLER-compressed - Page 139



M ale O R F emale ? ( or O ther ? )
AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS?
In the past, and in some settings
Here’s a small sample of the complicated and
today, some struggled with the
debated language about sex and gender:
match between their sexual
Transgender is the most common term for
anatomy and their feelings
someone whose sexual anatomy is clearly male
or female, but who feels that their sense of
and perceptions, but it was a
gender does not line up with their anatomy.
private, hidden struggle. More
They may have a penis but feel more like a girl,
people today believe that our
or like a mixture of both, or neither.
bodies don’t matter so much
Transsexuals are a specific type of transgender
and that our feelings and s­elf- person whose sexual anatomy is clearly male
or female, but who feels that their sense of
­perceptions—­what we might
gender closely matches the other sex. One
call our internal e­ xperiences— example would be a biological male who
intensely identifies as a woman (and who per­
­are the real authority. Further,
haps ­self-­describes as “a woman trapped in a
some young people are drawn
man’s body”). Some reserve this term for those
to the community and shared
who take the additional step of seeking medi­
cal treatments to change their bodies.
identity of others like themselves. Some people are changSome object to the assumption that there are
only two options for gender, male or female;
ing the way they live their lives
they argue there are any number of identities
as they embrace this way of
between or beyond male or female. Male and
thinking.
female are not the only two ( binary) choices;
these people argue that gender nonbinary is
For some, this involves
a better label.
pushing back against the
Many transgender persons and those sup­
customs and expectations of
porting them resist using the word normal
parents, church, society, or
for those whose sexual anatomy and subjec­
tive sense of themselves match comfortably
whatever (together, what are
(for example, a kid with a penis who feels
called “gender stereotypes
completely like a boy). They use the term
and norms”). Some young
cisgendered to refer to such persons; “cis” is
Latin for “on this side” and is the opposite of
men and women adopt dress,
“trans,” which means “on the other side.”
manner­
isms, hairstyles, and
other outward characteristics
not typical for their sex. Others take it further and completely reject
their identity as a boy or girl, choosing instead to live as if they were
161

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