I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the cis-trans binary and I think it would be helpful to create a scale which expressed gradations of intensity of transgender feelings between the two poles.
When I was a teenager I struggled to reconcile my lemming-like crushes on girls with my furtive desire to wear lipstick and look in the bathroom mirror while I shoved a shampoo bottle up my ass through a pair of frilly panties I found from god knows where. After mixing a pint of booze with a joint and my mom’s ambien to dissociate from it all I have a hard time remembering the details. I also struggled to reconcile my dislike of kissing a boy with the satisfaction of craning my neck and extending my tongue out to lap up the cum that had dribbled out of my mouth onto the ash-covered upholstery of the same boy’s car. I was desperately grasping around for a rope that would lead me out of the quicksand of anxiety lining the bottom of the hetero-homo canyon. Instead of a rope, I found a compass: the Kinsey scale.
My last post “Perceptual Narrowing and Culturally Mandated Emotional Crippling of Children” described how our society stunts our development and domesticates us into docile, obedient subjects by flooding our senses with gender. One of the outcomes of this process is that we can only see two sexes—male and female—when the truth is that we are simply blinded to the broad spectrum of human sexual diversity.
People with XXY chromosomes, androgen insensitivity, ambiguous genitalia, and other visible, physical manifestations of both male and female characteristics demonstrate that humans are not a completely sexually dimoprhic species. These “intersex” people are often treated by the medical community as defective, and frequently subjected to genital mutilation (a.k.a. “surgery”), but there is no evidence that they are not just healthy members of the human tribe. It is only the perceptual narrowing of gender that limits our understanding of them to being between the two “real” sexes. The truth is that they are just one of many sexes which are miserably crushed into obscurity by the collapsing of human sexual diversity into an oppressive binary hierarchy.
During early childhood, our brains are sensitive to a broad array of stimuli and amenable to adopting a wide variety of cognitions and beliefs. As children develop, these perceptual abilities are narrowed through a neurological process called synaptic pruning. Infants’ neurons are all wired together in a redundant manner, but as a child matures many of these connections are abandoned. The initial redundancy in the brain allows the infant to respond to any environment, while the subsequent specificity allows the child to respond best to the particular environment into which it was born. While aiding learning, this process also results in the loss of ability to make certain observations that would have been possible in another environment.