Let’s consider the emerging knowledge about gender in all its variations, (according to Facebook): Agender, Androgyne, Androgynous, Bigender, Cis, Cisgender, Cis Female, Cis Male, Cis Man, Cis Woman, Cisgender Female, Cisgender Male, Cisgender Man, Cisgender Woman, Female to Male, FTM, Gender Fluid, Gender Nonconforming, Gender Questioning, Gender Variant, Genderqueer, Intersex, Male to Female, MTF, Neither, Neutrois, Non-binary, Other, Pangender, Trans, Trans*, Trans Female, Trans* Female, Trans Male, Trans* Male, Trans Man, Trans* Man, Trans Person, Trans* Person, Trans Woman, Trans* Woman, Transfeminine, Transgender, Transgender Female, Transgender Male, Transgender Man, Transgender Person, Transgender Woman, Transmasculine, Transsexual, Transsexual Female, Transsexual Male, Transsexual Man, Transsexual Person, Transsexual Woman, Two-Spirit.
Still there? Okay, so, as I was saying, one thing about the emerging knowledge about gender in all its variations is the leeway it gives all of us to function with confidence in relation to gender stereotypes.
A recent staff training session on campus at MUM.edu identified four variables of reference for consideration when assessing one’s own gender setup
- Physical sex at birth (not always clear due to some individuals born with a combination of sex organs with which they are gifted)
- the gender with which you internally identify yourself (see list above)
- the gender to which you are physically and emotionally attracted
- the gender that you represent behaviorally
The session also identified the role of “gender police” in terms of friends, family, co-workers, and peers in intimidating people into conformance with just one of two gender options.
The point of this post is to convey that, due to the rise of this rich cornucopia of gender possibilities, and due to the possibility that really exceptional people will someday soon find acceptance in our society, maybe it’s safe for some of us who are just slightly exceptional to peek our heads out of the closet door as well.
So, this is me, coming out of the closet to declare that I am not a normal man, I am a hue-man, a hueman Being.
By hue-man I mean that I am comprised of many colors, many aspects, not just black and white. Yes, I can and have done those tough guy male things – played football, worked in a steel warehouse, laid track on a railroad track crew, but I also really like Barbara Streisand, Broadway Musicals, ballet, modern dance, poetry, and fashion design.
I think that Olivier Rousteing is some kind of miracle.
Just the other night I watched the Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly, alone.
And I would do it again.
I love action flicks, but I also love kid movies and “date” movies.
I have a secret reading habit involving British Nautical fiction, WW2 nonfiction, and Jack Reacher novels, but I can also happily float along in a Chinese bazaar in the subtleties of a Diane Frank poem.
I spent a lot of my early years in fear of the gender police, especially in High School, where they were sharply alert for any deviation from a macho aesthetic, though of course no one would have called it that. But the words fag, homo, fairy, and (more recently in Deadwoood, my gosh!) cocksucker were always lingering in the background, ready for application.
I knew, of course, that there was something wrong with me. I think almost every young man does, to a degree, since a young man is not, by definition, ever fully endowed with power, confidence, decisiveness and testosterone to a degree that fits the masculine ideal. No man is only those things, either, just as no man is an ideal anything. We are always different than the ideal, and usually that is interpreted as less.
However, due to the relaxing of the tight definitions of gender and sexuality, I can sense a new freedom to be who I am, someone who was born as a male, attracted to women, who self-identifies as a man, but who presents themselves to the public in ways that has often left the gender police confused or angry: too much color and fashion interest clothing-wise, too much use of the hands while talking, speech that has too much modulation in it, writing and spouting poetry, for gosh sake, and a list of too-sensitive attitudes and interests that don’t fit in the prescribed box.
Which is fine.
It’s okay that I have poetic insights and write them down.
It’s okay that I like to hug people (with permission). Just let me know if you see me – I have one saved for you.
It’s okay that I am more concerned that you feel loved and supported and nourished and in touch with your inner reality than how much money you are making right now.
It’s okay with me to lose a tennis match rather than lose a friend to win.
It’s okay with me if you are a guy and not feeling perfect, strong, resolute or macho. Your secret is safe with me.
I am a man and have have feelings of love, loss, confusion, insight, beauty, nostalgia and care.
I am a cat person.
I have more colors in my inner world than normal, including
- bromthymol blue
I love and own the rainbow as much as anyone.
I am not normal. But then no one is.
I celebrate my new freedom to be me, unencumbered by labels or expectations, a man of many hues, a hue-man, and one who has the special joy and skill (technique actually, i.e. – The TM program) of bringing more silence into the world, more Being, less doing, in summary, a Hueman Being.
Case in point: The war on beige: