Sunday, April 21, 2002

Never Enough Surgical Bluntness Department

My, this article is a refreshing change. I've always hated the notion of having my gender invalidated because of genitalia. And while I have found a surgeon I like, I still detest the notion that I can't be taken seriously as female unless I have a "sex change". Especially given that, as this article points out, courts are starting to use chromosomes as a "true" test of legal sex, and never mind that almost nobody has their sex chromosomes determined anyhow.

(And also never mind that claiming this legal distinction creates FIVE de facto sexes--XX, XY, XXY, XYY, and X0--going from frying pan to fire faster than you can say "scientifically ignorant legal system"!)

Here in the relatively trans-friendly state of Washington, I cannot claim an "F" on my ID without a letter stating that I have completed my genital reassignment surgery and can fool a gynecologist. This strikes me as very odd. Does this mean that every government official has a legal right to know what's between my legs? And why is it so important to know what's between my legs anyhow? Why advertise to the world, "Hey, I have a penis!" or "Behold, my mighty vagina!" in the first place? Are we truly so hung up over genitalia that we cannot have a discourse on gender--a social construct--without checking body parts to know where we all stand?

I have no answers. I wish I did. But I can keep questioning, hoping that others join in the questioning until we get some answers to these dilemmas set up by the uneasy alliance of science and superstition.

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