Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Thing About Gender Is...

It’s been a while since my last blog (again) as I’ve been concentrating on writing my book and general boring life stuffs. Next month is going to be a pretty cool one though, I’ve been asked to go to a few support groups and charities to give talks to about my experiences as an early transitioner and give my views on lots of different things. One thing that has got me thinking though is the people at Schools Out have asked me to come give my input in a discussion panel.
It got me thinking about how gender stereotypes are reinforced from a very young age in schools, whether it be about uniform, queuing up after lunch break, playing with toys or the whole netball is for girls and football is for boys rubbish. There is so much being ingrained in these young children that I fear that societies acceptance of non-gender binary expression may never improve.
The sooner people figure out that teaching children the fact that it’s ok to express their gender however they feel, the better. Instead of reinforcing the differences between children we should be encouraging their freedom of expression. Teachers should be teaching children the fact that gender is a spectrum and not everyone falls into either the stereotypical male or female role. If we want children to grow up into well rounded, open minded adults then they need to learn how to question everything about their thought processes and the greater world around them and make informed decisions about how they react to things.
Another thing I’ve been doing since my last blog is giving up smoking. I’m at 9 days now, using one of those inhalator things… I never thought I’d have ever even tried to give up but last week I just decided to stop and went to the doctor and all of a sudden I’m a non smoker! Well, when I was out for a drink with a friend on Friday I confess to smoking a couple but they just tasted like shit which I think is the right reaction…
I broke my cars gearbox somehow too over the last couple of weeks so am confined to my flat and only going out on the bus every couple of days but at least it’s concentrating me on writing my book. You didn’t know I was writing a book? Well I am. It’s about my experiences this summer coming out to different people and the journey I went on from day one of living fulltime as female. I’m looking for a publisher if you know anyone who can help? Ideally I’m looking for a publishing house to handle printing as well as promotions as I have no experience in it at all… Contact me on Facebook or Twitter if you think you can help!!


  1. It is a very binary world we live in, but I do think things are ( slowly ) changing, every now and then I hear stuff, like the story of the 2 brothers choosing a video game
    ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-wolfe/dear-customer-who-stuck-u_b_1190690.html ) that reaffirms my faith in people.
    Of course things like Schools Out can only help as well, the more people interact with each other, the more they'll hopefully start relating, empathising and understanding.....

    Also, well done on the quitting smoking thing!

  2. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2011/12/11/led-child-who-simply-knew/SsH1U9Pn9JKArTiumZdxaL/story.html
    might help with the talks to schools - though I should warn you, they both had me in tears...
    One of these days, people will be allowed to be who they are without other people judging them... I can't wait!

  3. I am a female and I did rugby at school, I am also 27 so looks like the school I went to was rather progressive :D I would love to read your book also :)

  4. Good to hear that your quitting cigarette smoking. The first couple of weeks are the most difficult. The craving for a smoke gets so bad you could go out and purchase a box of cigars and smoke them to satisfy the nicotine cravings, LOL. I did the cold turkey method. One day was coughing so violently I thought I would cough up a lung, LOL. I took the pack of cigarettes and threw them against a wall in my kitchen. The pack of cigarettes lay there for two weeks, then I knew they would be stale and taste like smoking a rope, LOL. After the two weeks I had lost the craving for smoking cigarettes. A lot of my co-workers smoked and when they came back from break or lunch I could smell the cigarette smoke on their clothing. I knew that I didn't want to smell like that ever again!

  5. I know only too well where you are all coming from. Slow changes in attitudes is all we can hope for. I am trying to get the message "Support and Understanding of Transpeople Everywhere" across through Planet Maz, which I set up to do the job with. I have found that the biggest problem is people leaving it to everyone else. I have lost count of how many people have said that they love the idea of Planet Maz and would love to help then disappear as if they were never there in the first place! Until more people wake up to what is going on around them and see the inevitable changes that are happening right under their noses, it will be an uphill battle to get them off their backsides and help. Even a click on the 'like' button of a fan page seems to be too much like hard work for a lot of people. It's high time that people started giving a monkey's chuff about their promises and lifted that finger!

  6. I grew up enjoying Star Wars, Doctor Who, Terrahawks, Star Fleet, Action Man toys, Star Trek, basketball, dinosaurs and the majority of "boy toys". I loved getting out on my pushbike, climbing trees and generally doing all the things that girls are not "supposed" to do.

    I grew up really hating the entire attitude of "Girls play with this, boys play with that". I wanted an X-Wing and an Enterprise, not a doll's house!

    At least these days I have Doctor Who collectables galore. I'm just sad that, when I was a young child, girls weren't supposed to like sci-fi!

  7. Hello Sarah,
    It is good to read that you have at last, through years of soul searching found your true self in this tangled unfair world. At last you have secured your place in society. People in general blithely state "live and let live", but the question is, how many mean it, sincerely?

    Writing a book is a very good idea to help others to clear their minds of the doctrine since childhood, It will inform many people in turmoil as to how you and others in the same position are coping with this unfair situation. How on earth can we come to terms with the genes we are given, it is just a lottery after all, a case of " there but for the grace of god go I". We cannot choose, good luck to you with your talks and your book.

    If I can help you find a publisher I will, but it is very difficult to get into this world, but I will try.

    My first thoughts are, find a local writers group or literary society who might be able to help or point you in the right direction.

    Go to your nearest public library and ask for guidance in how to contact a publisher.

    Your Sincerely
    Magdalena Herman