Did you see the programme genderquake on channel four this week?
Genderquake highlights the big differences within the LGBTQ community, and shows that even though they are brough together by an acronym, each letter represents a completely different set of experiences, challenges, and attitudes.
I’m 41 and through my life my views on gender have changed so much over the years. I was a strict Christian as a teen and sure homosexuality was outside of God’s plan for people. I don’t think I even considered the gender debate. Maybe in 90’s Yorkshire it was not so prevalent.
Fast forward 20 years and post breakdown I am re evaluating all I think is important. I think the gender discussion has been more mainstream with social media allowing more people to have their voice heard.
But Genderquake is, on the whole, an interesting chance to observe real interactions within a community that is often shouted down or spoken over in the mainstream media
The house had a lot of tension as people figured each other out.The honesty about their own personal struggles on the journey was a real privillage to hear. I’m sure it was not for the sympathy vote at all but it made me realise with my gender I am lucky to have a fairly straightforward ride.
As the show unfolds the housemates come to understand each other and their own thoughts and prejudices. The biggest message is that people are individuals and each can have a different understanding of their gender.
If you have seen social media you will know the debate decended into name calling. I think the conversation on gender is far too big to be settled in a single debate. In my opinion labels can be both helpful and devisive. A label can mean you “know” a lot about a person without even talking to them which I think is dangerous.
My main understanding for this is that a person’s gender is a personal thing, some are really open and love to talk about it others are more private. It comes down to respecting people as individuals and taking time to get to know them rather than labelling them.
My favourite part of the time in the house was the conversation as they got ready to leave. Brooke said, for the first time in her life she felt accepted for who she is. It brought tears to my eyes.
Gender dysphoria can lead to some really severe mental health issues, with life expectancy in this group being lower than the general population. I find this so sad, a conflict between who you are and how others see you is painful. Acceptance is the key. We are all so different but that difference is not a problem, if we can accept ourselves and accept each other as we are whatever gender we are or are not the world would be a much happier place.
As this blog started with LGBTQ you see gender and sexuality is so closely linked the lines between it are blurry. I admitted to being bi sexual a few months ago, to me it is part of who i am, who I have always been but it is a small part of my life. I do not shout it from the rooftops. For others their sexuality and gender defines how they see themselves and wish the world to see them. Both viewpoints are perfectly valid and should be respected.