This is an important read, especially for cis allies. The “Genderbread approach” to trans issues has long irritated me. Yes, it is simple and easy, but it fails in that its simplicity can actually enforce binary understandings of both sex and gender! The authors argument that understandings of “sex” is sovially constructed as well might feel out of place, however it is often a tool still to locate trans people within their assigned gender.
As you read the title, you may be overcome with indignation that this article is going to be a gender-essentialist rant. You’ll be relieved to know that it’s quite the opposite. My intent in writing this is to point out some serious misconceptions perpetuated in ‘trans 101’ and cisgender allyship resources, which end up doing much more harm than good for transgender people.
Anyone with an entry-level understanding of trans issues is probably familiar with the phrase “gender and sex are different things.”
While the idea of treating sex and gender as unrelated factors may result from an attempt to validate and support transgender identities, it actually perpetuates harmful cultural beliefs about the validity of sex assignment and the static nature of biological sex, which remove agency from trans and intersex people to define their own bodies and experiences. This way of thinking does nothing to combat (and in fact…
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