Tonight’s featured image is from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Good evening Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike! If you’d like to read the last article of this series, click here: Deep Thoughts: Apophenia and Pareidolia. Tonight I figured I’d take it easy and touch on something that there is little to no conflict about, Gender.
So let me talk a little bit about myself, I’m 34 years old, married to the most wonderful woman on earth and I couldn’t possibly be happier. However that wasn’t always the case. I used to be a fairly hateful and bigoted person, or let’s be clear, my religion taught me to be hateful and bigoted, so that’s how I acted outwardly. I’m pretty ashamed about this part of my life because it is the complete other end of the spectrum that I find myself in now.
One of the big issues of the day is how we view gender and sexuality. When I was a minister I taught that homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgendered people were sinful and rebelling against god. The bible is actually pretty clear on the subject of homosexuality and being a fundamentalist we followed it closely. No, I wasn’t as bad as the Westboro Baptist church but I definitely held bigoted views towards members of LGBTQ community.
Now, let’s delve a bit deeper. I am not the stereotypical manly person…
- I hate loud engines
- I cannot stand working on my vehicle.
- I didn’t spend my teenage years in the endless search to get laid.
- I have no handyman skills.
- I like musicals.
- My wife routinely has to open pickle jars for me and I don’t even feel bad about it.
Now, over the years I’ve had numerous people accuse me of being gay. So much so that at one point in my life I really did question my own sexuality. It was a rough period of my life and not a time that I think of fondly, I was incredibly depressed and my life sucked in most respects. So I questioned my sexuality. The conclusion that I came to is that I’m straight and do you know how I came to that conclusion? I’m not sexually attracted to dicks….dicks are in no way attractive to me…
I realized, sexuality is all about attraction, that might seem strange but for someone who was called gay all the time growing up it was a pretty astounding realization. However, understanding my sexuality doesn’t really describe my gender very well. Biologically I’m a male, I have a penis. Mentally I do not enjoy almost anything that any other male around me enjoys. For the most part, the things that “manly men” enjoy I find incredibly asinine and entirely not enjoyable.
When I was diagnosed with Autism and it was explained to me what the spectrum was and how two people can be on the spectrum but display entirely different symptoms something clicked. I realized and understood not only the autism spectrum but the gender spectrum as well. Two people can be born with the same sexual organs but be on entirely different ends of the spectrum when it comes to gender.
I want to give credit to Anti-Ordinary from YouTube for providing the following graphic on one of her videos.
The following is how I understand these things to mean. Please don’t take this as an authoritative take, this is simply my understanding of the subject at this point. If I am wrong, I have no problem admitting it.
Biological sex is fairly simple to understand, it’s what’s between your legs. Though some are born without a clear biological sex, most of us can be said to be biologically a boy or biologically a girl. I don’t think I need to touch on this very much, it seems pretty simple to me.
I am biologically a male.
This is what people identify as – male, female, or androgynous. This has to do with how you view yourself. Some people born biologically male, identify as female. Some people born biologically female, identify as male. Still others who are born with either sex might not really identify as male or female. Note, this does not have anything to do with who you are attracted to, that might be a bit hard to understand but we’ll get to that later.
I identify as male but mostly androgynous.
Expression is how someone portrays them self to the world. A biological male can express them self as a female, in the way they dress, talk, or act. A biological female can express them self as a male in the way they dress talk or act. Once again both biological sexes can portray them self as androgynous portraying neither male or female characteristics to the world.
I express myself as male.
Sexual Attraction is of course who you are attracted towards sexually. This is who you want to fuck. Remember back when I said that identity had nothing to do with attraction, well this is where we are going to explain that. A biological male who identifies and expresses them self as a female could still be completely attracted to only females. Some people are not attracted to the biological gender and might not be attracted to anyone. Many, but definitely not all, autistic people find themselves as nonsexual and have no attraction towards either sex or sex in general.
I am sexually attracted to females.
Romantic Attraction is who you want to find yourself romantically entangled with. usually your romantic attraction and sexual attraction are fairly similar though this is not always the case. Someone might have a sexual attraction for both men and women but only want to be romantically with a woman. Other people may be romantically attracted to intelligence and can only see them self in a relationship with someone intelligent but they might not have a problem with a sexual encounter with someone of sub par intelligence.
I am romantically attracted to a brilliant woman who happens to be my wife.
So below I give you the same graphic with black dots where I find myself.
Now I’d like to talk a little bit about how my views have changed. Once I took god out of the equation and began to look at people outside the lens of my own particular doctrine, I found that I could no longer hate people of different orientations than my own. It no longer made sense for me to continue with the same mindset when I no longer believed in the faith that had forced me into that mental state to begin with. Remove the faith and you remove the hate, I don’t say this from just my own perspective, I’ve known hundreds of people who have expressed these exact same sentiments.
Lastly, I feel a deep sense of regret. I regret that I promoted an ideology of hatred for nearly a decade. I regret every sermon that I ever gave on the subject of sexuality and gender. I have personally sought forgiveness from people who I know that I hurt when I used to express these views. I’ve not always been a good person. I realize that and I try my best to no longer be anything like the person I once was.
What has been wonderful is the amount of understanding that I have received from those I once looked upon with disdain. I can’t think of a single person who has refused to accept my apology or who hasn’t understood the deep indoctrination that I had been through. I have gained a lot of friends who at one time I never would have had because my faith was preventing me from seeing them as human beings like myself. This is the disgusting nature of religious faith, it is fed to children from the moment they are born that it’s god’s way or the highway to hell. That type of mindset does not allow growth, it doesn’t allow anything to challenge its assumptions, and it breeds even deeper hatred the longer you are a part of the faith.
Religion poisoned my view of other human beings and for that I agree with Hitchens when he said, “Religion poisons everything.”