While gender is clearly distinguished from sex, there seems to be a state of confusion within gender’s own little bubble. Our society has indeed constructed the roles and expectations to have from a man and a woman – gender binary which has led to the idea of heteronormativity.
The bigger section of the society that we are dwelling in is either unaware about the gender talk (like any other component of sex talk) or ignores conversations surrounding queer people altogether because of the notion of masculinity and femininity to be correct and normal.
That little-confused bubble of gender (binary) needs to be busted to completely unlock the bolt of gender spectrum to liberate the rainbow to where it belongs. This has hardly been acknowledged, even if noticed.
A gender-queer person is as good or normal as the gender of any other person who identifies themselves as cisgender; thus no matter what gender a person is, gender matters.
Nevertheless, with the increasing stigma and discrimination against the queer folks for labelling themselves something other than a woman or a man, it is vividly clear that all other genders do not get the respect and importance they deserve.
This consequently corners these genders to an amplified vulnerable spot furthering away the equal distribution of resources and opportunities from them. The social gap created, in turn, sets high barriers for queer people to firstly, disclose their identities and even if they come out, a lot of adverse effects spurts along the way which becomes very challenging to overcome.
Nonetheless, with the evolving society, there is a slight inclination towards the acceptance of the LGBTQI community, but pressure and glaring scrutiny never leave their side.
It is high time young people should be mobilised to advocate for gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of the queer folks and young key affected population (YKAP) as it is also the queer people who are at more risk than any segment of young people other than young women.
Although gender is a multifaceted phenomenon, when dialogues on gender start, the very first word that strikes most people is “woman”; people have a tendency to recognise gender equality/equity as merely a woman’s right or issue. This is a very common myth that needs an outright deconstruction as it is an omnipresent fact that each has a gender (even a gender is a personal choice to be respected or questionings in the process of coming out) which certainly translates into gender being everyone’s business.
On the other hand, this should not divert the main crux of the story – women and the queer individuals are more prone to facing inequalities and inequities in the society than any average men in the world. This can be in the form of social, economic, education, health, sexual and reproductive rights, and legal regulatory frameworks and many others. We need to be honest enough to admit that all these operates in favour of solely one gender – men – who seem to have risen to the highest authorities and power through the patriarchal system.
Another widespread myth is that vulnerable groups such as women and queer people have to override the men cohort or diminish their rights to break the patriarchal system. The patriarchal system has to break down for all the genders to be able to set foot in the playing field and rejoice in parity as well as equity. It is essential to appreciate that all gender is unique in its own sense and has something special to contribute to the society which is otherwise not felt or seen in the world.
Thus, respecting the gender diversity as a human right is a humane act and a necessary step in achieving gender equality and equity whereby, women and the queer people contribute to the society.
Every one of us needs to learn to accept and celebrate the uniqueness and differences of each gender. Whether we have sex or not, gender is everybody’s business.