I currently teach an intro to LGBTQ course at Michigan State University. The discussions we have in nearly every class revolve around gender, what it is, how we know it, how other’s see it, etc. These discussions never get old, simply because there are no clear-cut answers to any of these questions. We know that most of our society sees gender as the sex we are assigned at birth. And from that moment forward, society expects us to act a certain way, talk a certain way, interact with others a certain way. But the really big questions we talk about are how do we change any of this.

And there we have it. The crux of the situation if you will. How do we, as a community, begin to change the perceptions of a society? How do we convince them that gender is something completely unrelated to the male/female binary we currently work under? For some, they are perfectly comfortable performing the gender that matches the sex they were born as. For others, it’s simply not that easy. And it’s not just a matter of someone feeling as if they were born into the wrong body, although that clearly happens as well. What about the person who wants to present/perform more in line with a male one day (still with hints of femininity), and as a completely feminine female the next. What box do we put this person into? What labels do we place on them?

The reality is that the only way to change how our society works is by changing the way people think one person at a time. And yes, that can be fear inducing. Anyone who identifies as something other than what people expect knows the reactions people can have. But only through talking and communicating will anything ever change.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Living in a Non-LGBTQA Society by Dianna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Profile photo of Carrie
    Carrie 9 months ago

    Unfortunately, people have always had a hard time understanding others whose lived experience differs too much from theirs. I agree that more open conversation is an important part of progressing beyond this disconnect.

  2. Profile photo of William
    William 9 months ago

    What is LGBTQ?

    • Profile photo of Dianna Author
      Dianna 9 months ago

      Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Queer

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