Queer Eye | Issue 06

Queer Eye | Issue 06

Gender is Like a Greasy Turkey

Greetings, pumpkins.

In a previous column I noted that sexuality is slippery. Well, my friends,
gender is more slippery than muscle-bound Turkish men in a grease-wrestling match (look it up)! There are many aspects of gender to explore but this column will focus on gender identity.

Gender identity is the gender that you identify with, regardless of your physical characteristics. Hence why someone can identify as a man even if they were assigned female at birth, due to their physical attributes, and vice versa. This introduces the idea of being transgender, which will be explored in more depth in a later column.
When you start thinking of gender as separate to physical attributes it starts getting interesting very quickly. Letís explore it by arbitrarily asking: what does it mean to be a man? Traditionally people may have answered that manliness is about being strong, non-emotional, and practical. But as educated and enlightened souls, we realise that these stereotypes are bullshit as we can think of many awesome examples of men who donít share these traits and many awesome examples of women who do. This is the same if we think of body language, interests, aesthetics and other areas of human nature that we have previously assumed are gendered.

So if gender isnít necessarily about your skills, the things you are into or the way you act, what is it about? Firstly, it is internal; it is about the way you see yourself. If you identify as a certain gender, which aspects of that gender appeal the most? Secondly, it is external; it is the way you present and show your gender identity to the world. This might be through your clothing, your hair, your make-up, your name, your pronouns, etc.

Finally, it is important to note that you donít need to identify as only either man or woman because gender is non-binary. This means that there are a whole plethora of gender identities, so we must break out of our gendered boxes and be aware of the gender diversity all around us!
This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2014.
Posted 7:01pm Sunday 30th March 2014 by Sir Lloyd Queerington.