This is really important! Please reblog this post if you are a non-binary trans person.
Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn’t the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn’t know the position of anywhere else.
stop-gap measures are not a bad thing, but i think there are more effective stop-gap measures than creating new legal genders
i say this as someone for whom, even if it were safe for me to put “non-binary” on all my documentation (which it… would not be, realistically), it’s extremely unlikely such a gender option would even be accessible bc of my position within the medical/psychiatric system. i can imagine similar barriers for other people: (un)documented status, class, race, transmisogyny, gatekeeping around acceptable notions of non-binariness, etc. i want people to interrogate who such a measure would actually help
legal gender markers are and always have been a means of control. they allow heteropatriarchy to operate smoothly through the strict categorization of a population. they allow the state to surveil populations, control populations, collect information on populations, (mis)allocate resources throughout populations. this is quite literally legal gender’s only purpose. it serves no function except as a tool of state control over women, over trans people, over queer people.
i understand and sympathize with the scramble for legitimacy under the law. but the law itself is rotten, and the law hates me, and i have no interest in vying for its recognition.
i propose that instead of playing by the rules of legal gender - and, in doing so, admitting its legitimacy and according it more power within our lives, allowing the categorization of sex and gender to pass for something not wholly evil and destructive to our well-being, for something that should be assimilated into rather than rejected altogether - a better allocation of time, resources and rage would be towards the end of reducing the scope of legal gender. petition to shrink the arenas in which legal gender is allowed to be relevant. petition to reduce access by other people to information about legal gender. petition to eliminate the observation and recording and policing of legal gender as a requirement for fucking everything. petition to expose legal gender for the invasion that it is.
i don’t fault people for wanting to be recognized as real but i do not relate at all to the activism of Being Better Observed By The State
Not sure how I feel about this, especially since a lot of the third gender activism in the UK is being done by intersex folks as part of their efforts to stop non consensual surgeries on intersex infants.
I guess the same argument could be made, that legal gender is still an impediment. I can’t see many situations where having the option to opt out of legal gender wouldn’t be better? And I vaguely remember hearing word that in Germany the intersex community was unhappy with the third gender option, that parents were being given the option of assigning their child as Other or letting doctors do gender conforming surgeries on them. But it still feels appropriative for trans folks to be arguing against third gender stuff because it’s not great for us when it wasn’t really our thing to begin with?
I think the OP makes a very valid point, that there is always more flexibility with the notion of gender if you stop pinning it down in writing and legal systems as being only F and M. What is the necessity of those legal categories? In many cases there isn’t a good one, and the question of what your gender is on forms could simply be abolished in those cases.
I don’t think it’s necessarily impossible to fight both those fights at the same time though.
There’s a lot more that could be said here on the topic of intersex issues, but I’m not sure it’s necessary. The OP has a good point that a lot of people should consider, but I don’t think it’s necessary to give up looking for the legal recognition while also seeking to have the scope of when legal gender is required to be given reduced.
The OP is not asking people to say no or vote no or anything like that to an expansion of legal gender to include more options, they’re simply saying they don’t see that as a fight they can identify with. And I understand that, although for me a third gender option is something I want. But I see a lot of posts on activism on my dash that I really just can’t engage with, even if I can sympathise, because I see something else as more important.