字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント When I was younger, I really could not understand why people made a big deal of gender at all. Why would anyone ever feel the need to point out that they were “A Man,” or “A Woman?” I thought it silly and attention-seeking when anyone would call attention to their gender in any way. Profile names of the form [thing I like]+[gendered identifier] caused an instant dislike to well up in me. I assumed that gender mattered as little to other people as it did to me, and thus if they made a fuss about, for example, being misgendered, it was a purely dramatic show made in bad faith. This made quite a puzzle out of the fact that apparently some people considered their gender to be so strongly a part of their identity that, if it just so happened that they had been assigned the wrong gender at birth, they'd go through all the trouble to transition. I believed that humans are social animals who tend to take the path of least resistance both physically and culturally, so if someone does something that's very difficult, there had to be a good reason for it. And being trans sounded like a lot of effort, hard to justify if gender doesn't really matter after all. And it was too long, not until I was in college, that any actual trans voices made it across my radar, and I realized this was not just a theoretical curiosity from far away, but something people actually do. Real people go through all this trouble, and for what, gender? The only conclusion that fit the facts was that indeed, gender is a thing. Maybe it's culturally created, or maybe it's biological, or maybe it's something else, but it's definitely real. And if it's real when trans folk do it, maybe it's even real when cis folk do it. In understanding that gender identity is a real thing, I also understood that I don't have it. I don't identify as being agender or bigender or any other number of genderqueer identities either, I simply don't identify. I have all the privilege of being fine with keeping the default I was born with, as well as the privilege that when people use the supposedly “wrong” pronoun when they email me or write an article regarding my work, I don't feel misgendered (although I might feel tired of sexist assumptions). I'm fine with other people deciding that I'm a cisgendered female or a genderfree genderqueer or whatever else makes them happy, it all feels like a linguistic game to me. I could jump in and start playing, but that doesn't seem right when I know that for many other people it's not a game at all. I feel like the more I learn about gender the less I understand it, but that's ok because also the more I learn the happier and more thoughtful and hopefully better I become. My condescending teenager attitude came from a false belief that other people are basically like me. I didn't care, therefore others don't really care, therefore if they act like they care then it's just an act for attention, or drama, or because they're bored, because I know that if I were acting like that, it would for those reasons. I was suspicious of people who made statements like "I am a woman," because if I were to say that, it wouldn't be genuine, it would feel weird and false, therefore anyone who says it must have some alternate motive. The same fallacy made me think that since I thought beer tasted terrible (before I lived in Belgium and learned what beer is), everyone thinks beer tastes terrible, therefore if they say they like it they're just pretending to be cool, just like I'd be doing. And if they say they like a piece of music that I think is pretentious, of course they secretly agree it's terrible but are just being pretentious themselves. And if I have a bias that I pretend to be politically correct about, everyone secretly agrees with me but is also just pretending to be politically correct, and why can't we just all admit, as a culture, the truth about these people and their music and their beer? It turns out people are truly different from each other, and thankfully not every human secretly harbors the same inner feelings, same tastes, same resentments, same biases, as my idiot teenage self. I managed to finally realize that when other people say “I am a Woman,” they actually mean something by it, in a way I never will. I wish I grew up knowing any of this were a thing, I probably would have been better to others as well as to myself. So the transgender community taught me a lot, and I am thankful for this, and I hope more trans and genderqueer voices from more different backgrounds will have their voices heard even where people are not looking for them, for their sake as well as for teenagers like who I was, and anyone else trapped in the uncaring meat of their head who is finally being forced to imagine that maybe the world is truly different from the stupid spiteful place they imagined in their own image.