Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Transgender Basics

Britni had a post the other day (yesterday I think actually) that highlighted some insensitivity regarding transgendered people. I'm not gonna get into the post itself (just follow the link if you're interested), but it did make think about what a tricky subject gender and gender identity is.

Like a lot of people, gender wasn’t something I thought about for most of my life. This is where I am extremely privileged. Coming to the realization that sex and gender are not synonyms was a long process of reading/learning and because of that it’s only realistic that I will make some mistakes or slip ups a long the way. All people do. The point isn’t that we must never inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings or be insensitive, but that when we do make those mistakes we are willing to rectify them. This is our responsibility because we're privileged (in this case I'm talking about gender specifically, but this is true true for all the different ways a person can be privileged.) It's also a good way not to be a shitty person.

Because of that, I wanted to share this video I found over at Feminist Teacher (which I found through Jezebel):



I know the video is a little cheesy, but I think it clearly explains a lot of the terms that fall under the transgendered umbrella. As a cisgendered woman I often feel like I am not the right person to talk about transgendered issues (it can be difficult sometimes to make sure you're not trying to speak for other people), but I thought this video was too good to pass up since it gives people a clear and simple place to start. I'd also recommend checking out this post regarding exactly how cisgendered people are privileged and this post on how to be a good ally (seriously check it out).

Ileana Jiménez also linked to the Equality 101 blog which I think is brilliant. Even though Equality 101 is a group blog for teachers, I still really enjoy it and recommend everyone stop by.

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