Are You A Man Or A Woman? | How To Deal With A Crossdresser
Men wearing panties, men wearing dresses, men confusing people with their gender acrobatics. People who refuse to fit into tidy gender boxes can be problematic, and many men who wear lingerie are guilty of the crime of being hard to define. So how is the rest of the world supposed to deal with it? (Aside from becoming aggressive and violent, the traditional method for resolving cognitive dissonance related to gender issues.)
A pretty damn awesome 20 year old, ZJ, has broadcast a plethora of videos on YouTube. Most of them deal with atheism, religion, science, sexuality and not being a total dork, but it's not the content of the videos which have caused the most concern over the months. You see, when ZJ first began broadcasting himself to the world, he looked like this:
Over the course of 6 months, ZJ started to look a little different. Currently, ZJ looks like this:
Possibly the most interesting aspect of ZJ's videos is the way that he has simply become what he wishes to be without too much explanation or much fanfare. The same cannot be said for occasionally vitriolic and barely comprehensible commenters (this is YouTube, after all, where most people formulate responses simply by mashing the keyboard with their foreheads,) who seem unable to deal with the fact that although he sounds like a man, he looks a bit like a woman too.
In response, ZJ put out a video of how to deal with the horror of not knowing whether or not someone is male or female. I think some of you might find it useful.
The fact that the English language requires a masculine or feminine pronoun to deal with people is a linguistic challenge that we have yet to get around. ZJ makes the case for gender neutral pronouns as used by Greg Egon, Ve, Ver, Vis, Verself - are we ready for such a revolution in the language? Probably not, but the issue is unlikely to disappear.
Learning to deal with the breaking down of gender lines is one of the many challenges of the 'new millenium' (and you thought programming a VCR was hard.) Will men no longer be real men and women no longer real women? No. But people who do not feel compelled to get comfy inside those little pigeonholes are becoming increasingly heard, and not as the punchline in a dark war comedy (thank you, groundbreaking M*A*S*H,) but as real people, viable members of society not to be mocked, marginalised or ignored.
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