How to Understand Your Gender by Alex Iantaffi

How to Understand Your Gender by Alex Iantaffi

Author:Alex Iantaffi
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781784505172
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Published: 2017-08-31T04:00:00+00:00


My internal conversation about gender has definitely got kinder over time! Embracing a non-binary gender felt like an important way of saying to myself – and others – that my gender experience was valid, and wishing some kindness back to that kid who got bullied at school. Top surgery was so interesting from this point of view. I expected to feel more comfortable in my body post-surgery, but I hadn’t expected the massive difference it made to my ability to treat myself kindly. Somehow giving myself that gift was a huge message that I was OK.

It’s not all easy. Being non-binary at a point in time when it’s still quite unfamiliar to people definitely leaves me questioning myself at times. And many of the role models out there are pretty young folk, so I can end up looking in the mirror wondering, ‘Is this what a non-binary person can look like?’ It feels exciting, though, to be part of this wave of people who are making sense of their genders in new ways, and I hope moving on the conversation at the levels of relationships, institutions and communities, and wider culture.

Reflection point: Kindness at every level

Picking up on these points about kindness, can you pause for a minute now to reflect kindly on each of the levels represented in our diagram? This time you might find it helpful to start in the centre and move outwards. Can you feel kindly towards the following?

–yourself, doing the best you can in the middle of a pretty complex and ever-changing gender landscape.

–the people in your life who are doing the same, even though they may make mistakes and not do it perfectly.

–the institutions and communities that you’re part of, which may have become quite stuck, and struggle to shift with the times, and the people within them who may also feel stuck and defensive.

–the wider culture, which has come to this particular moment of allowing and enabling some kinds of gender shifts, while backlashing and restricting and restraining gender in other ways; and all of us within it who are finding it tough to make sense of gender in that context.


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