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September 12, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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I Am Offended Because – A Thousand Tiny Little Moments

Our world is divided into two halves; people with dangly bits and people with insidey bits.

What is with that? The system doesn’t even work in the first place! There are more gender identities than being a man and being a woman! I remember that when I applied to Victoria University, I had to tick a box asking if I was male or female. Mercifully, I haven’t had to wrestle with a university application form in years, but if there are still only two boxes on that form then that is fucked. Victoria University, if you can dig up the Quad surely you can include a tick box that says ‘other’ on your paperwork?

Even though our world likes to think in insidey pink and dangly blue there are people who don’t fit into this tidy little binary. More than you might think. And on the whole, our world likes to shit all over these transgender, intersex and genderqueer people. Even though transgender people are often the target of workplace discrimination, violence and street harassment, gender identity isn’t even protected against discrimination under the Human Rights Act.

I was born with the insidey bits and I love those insidey bits, as regular readers and future employers will know, due to my alacrity for writing about bits on the internet. This ‘identifying with the sex I was born in’ business makes me cisgender, a word which Microsoft Word doesn’t recognise but a word which is helpful in thinking about the privilege that I carry in my daily life. As a cisgender person, my biggest problem with filling in forms is that I have a really long email address. There are toilets for me to use, wherever I go. As a cisgender person, nobody questions my gender identity.

Gender identity is complicated and personal and it’s about the minutiae, kind of like how you would construct your ideal sandwich. It isn’t about colours or whether it’s okay to cry in public or which bits of your body you shave or man yoghurt or what box you tick on a form. It’s about what you feel. My girlhood is about a thousand tiny little moments. It’s owning 41 lipsticks and it’s feeling scared on the steps between Aro Park and Abel Smith Street and it’s my abortion. It’s the conversations I have with female friends and it’s my infatuation with Elizabeth Taylor and my admiration for Anne Frank. It’s about girl culture but mostly,and most importantly, it’s about the fact that I identify as a girl. A transgender woman, who was born into a typically male body, is just as much of a woman as I am. A transgender man might have a vagina but he is every bit as manly as Tom Selleck. What people keep beneath their clothes isn’t any of our business anyway.   It’s about more than the bits in your undies. In the words of Ronnie from Jersey Shore: “You do you and I’mma do me.”

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