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My Gender Perspective

The other day, in a discussion, a member of the group I was with commented, "We're so lucky to have Jo here, she can give us the male perspective." Sigh.

This is, I'm afraid, a likely common perception that, as a consequence of birth assignment, I now have deep insight into a world in which I never belonged. This is the thing, my brain was never wired to make those connections, I simply emulated what I oberved around me and then lived in fear that I would slip up. Make no mistake, I slipped up. Several people in my past outright asked me if I was trans because of things I said or did. Even being a bit too good at it, on Halloween, raised more than a few eyebrows.

There's this notion of gender socialization out there that asserts that how you were socialized will deeply influence your behavioural patterns. This has been debunked. You cannot socialize someone out of their gender, we know this. The famous case of David Reimer demonstrates this quite clearly and quite tragically. Therein lies the simple response from me: I have no understanding of the male perspective, sorry, I was just good at faking it.

That is what I shared with the group. I needed to correct, quickly, the notion that I had a duality that could be shared outside of surface physical sensations and how I may have been treated as a consequence of the perceptions of others. 

I've commented a couple of times that HRT had an effect on my mental switches very quickly. This was how we knew, within weeks, that this was very right for me. My internal biology was now making sense to me and that is a form of congruence that is hard to explain to someone who hasn't had that experience.

Now, do I have all of the shared experiences of other women? Of course not and some experiences I can never have. However, no women has them all either, we all have our unique journeys that shape us into who we are as women and that is all that matters. So, suffice to say, my gender has always been female and, as a result, that is the perspective I bring. 

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