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Today, my culture encourages me to see my biological sex as fundamental to my identity to a great extent. My culture “incites” others to talk about/define/examine my sexuality.
Speaking of sexuality, I recently know a gay guy Andrew. Some of his life experience particularly in terms of relational and sexual matter differ from mine. His relationship with his mother once turned bad when Andrew came out of the closet to his mum, who still believes her son would marry a girl and give birth to a few kids. In my relational matter with my parents, we mainly argue about financial problem and housework. So the reasons why we argue with our parents are different. Apart from the relational matter, his sexual matter is also different from mine. He has learned that he may be gay in secondary education, leaving him wonder if he should come out. However, I am still finding my sexual orientation. I may be straight, lesbian, asexual or pansexual. There are still many varieties for me to take. So Andrew is so lucky to realise he is gay so that he can try to make friends with many gay and fall in love with them. But I don’t mind mine is like being fluid.
On the other hand, it is similar as we both have been concerned about our sexual orientation. It is common for a teenager to wonder their sexuality. More and more teens question their gender identity and their sexuality. Some may even refer them as being fluid. As adolescents are curious about the world and the society, it is not rare to be puzzled about who they hope to be and who they desire to love. Furthermore, I actually once revealed to my dad that I may be a lesbian and had an angry argument as he could not accept it. To me, I haven’t known who I will love since I tend to grab more possibilities. As a result, I agree that Andrew and his mother should not have been angry with each other’s opinion. Not many facts not matching social and gender norms. There are some ways I can do to help young kids understand the various possibilities of sexuality.
I think one of the reasons why people make a big deal out of gender nonconformity is a disorder. Many transgender people suffered from dysphoria3- a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned sex and the gender with which one identifies. However, gender nonconformity is not the same as gender dysphoria. It is how one behaves does not match gender stereotypes. In other words, gender nonconformity is similar to gender dysphoria. So gender-nonconforming people may find they have diseases.
Secondly, a lack of support also causes gender-nonconforming people problems. Studies show support from others and supportive care make gender-nonconforming people’s less depressed and less likely to commit suicide. Undoubtedly, people would like to be supported by others, especially their beloved ones. When they are even blocked from those they love and care, they would feel insecure and thus lose themselves.
Thirdly, insufficient training of pediatricians and doctors leads them to misunderstand and embarrass the gender-nonconforming kids by, for example, calling them in wrong pronouns or just simply treating those kids suffering from “a phrase”. Therefore, it is tough for the gender-nonconforming people to seek for professional medical help. They do not even know how to encounter problems when the reality is different from their ideal life. Research found the number of children and adolescents who have seeked help related to gneder-nonconforming rised from 113 to 464 during 2010-2014 while more doctors were found unprepared to care for their needs. (Jenco, 2018)7. It urges medical providers should be trained particularly to meet the need of gender-nonconforming people. Meanwhile, I would feel nervous at first if I happen to also experience a nonconcordance between my mind and body. It is because behaving as opposite sex is a taboo and is seemed inappropriate socially. Besides, out of the hatred of my body, my mind may start to hate everything I had done so far. This contradictory makes me puzzled about how to change. Though understanding we do not have to care about others’ thoughts, the idea of medically transition with sex-change surgeries and/or hormone therapies takes time to achieve. But at last, I would feel I can change my body into what my mind wants through make-ups, dressing and etc. Regardless of experiencing a non-concordance between my mind and body, I am delighted to do whatever I am pleased by not caring about others’ despise.
For understanding further more about transgender, we were able to listen to a guest speaker Kaspar. My thought about him is that he is just a normal person who only underwent a few surgeries. I see nothing different between him and us, or maybe yes, considering his experience. The things he has shared with us are quite sarcastically interesting. He mentioned that he couldn’t get money back from his insurance because of the sex in the form, which is male instead of female in the HKID card. While it may be correct gender matters in insurance, a transgender person may feel disrespected and find difficult in admitting they have those specific body parts limiting them to be identified as the assigned sex. Another incident is he was asked to take pictures a few times when he went abroad from Hong Kong. Despite it is allowed to choose gender “X” to tell others the sex identity is not the assigned sex, there is still an “F” for his HKID card. Therefore, he guessed sex “X” is invalid in the system and hence couldn’t leave. At that time, Hong Kong was not so advanced in laws about transgender so it should be improved to catch up the process of the world. Fortunately, his family has been so supportive about his transgender and transition. When his father passed away in 2014, he and his mum went to apply for an authorization. However, they were confused about what relationship should be filled-daughter/son and mother.
First, Kaspar wrote “son”. Second, he added transgender. Finally, he added “still ‘F’ on the HKID card” to specify his identity. In this example, I feel it can be quite annoying for transgender people to choose what sex they are, and as well as for others to believe what sex transgender people are. At least in Hong Kong, the sex recognition system is yet outdated. However, I confess one thing – the biological sex can somehow block transgender people. Kaspar gave us two case studies. One is according to his sex on HKID card, when he missed, it would be reported to miss a girl. Another one is even if he could get the gender recognition in Hong Kong as a male, once he was chopped off, his body would be only viewed as a female. It is the biggest problem in transgender in my opinion. No matter we can change our hormones, we can’t, sadly, alternate our genes.
To be honest, even when I accept transgender, I don’t know how to identify a person in terms of genes. But it is not a big deal as long as we can view a person only by what they aspire to be. He at last shared a comic, which treats “I want to be a girl/boy” the same as “I want to be intelligent/smart/fit”. It is how we should think about transgender people – what they want is just a normal dream.
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