Identity Drama

This blog has sat on the shelf since June 2017 as I was digesting the sight of an 8-year-old boy who feels that he is a drag queen who should be called, “Lactatia”

Re:  a version of the original story:  Is this child abuse?

Next – my thoughts as they relate to the bigger picture for why clothing and personna are so important for being able to “pass” safely in society based on being who you are by how you choose to represent yourself.  While I’m all for the parent’s being supportive of a child’s stated choices, I also feel that someone 8 years old would not be this well-versed in drag queen mannerisms / his own exhibitionism if it weren’t for early conditioning by his parents.

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Society tells little boys and little girls EXACTLY what it expects from them in terms of gender identity and social personality modeling from the minute they are born. We cheer little girls in Mom’s heels and experimenting with makeup, and we enjoy letting little boys “shave” with Daddy, among some of the most basic intimacy exchanges and shared experiences between parent and child.

The rituals and choices the parents and immediate social settings make regarding a child’s gender displays are a community issue and modeled to children from the moment they are born, with the cut, colors and choices of clothing reinforcing their Society’s expectations of ones gender role, and how the parents dress the child also indicating support or disenchantment with that stereotype.  Whether ones parent(s) is “pro” the larger society preferences, or “anti” the gender-assigned role that Society demands in the form of dress also dictate much of what Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and extended family gift to the child to welcome it into the world.

Kids are going to be who they are, regardless of their age and social conditioning.  As members of various social, economic, race and religious communities, plus the added nuances of their regional differences world wide when comparing the same categories over time and space.  We, “the village”, are going to do our best to use a child’s biological gender to teach them about Society’s expectations of their role in life as a way to keep them safe.

Whether we are hostile or receptive to a parent’s and/or a child’s choices colors a child’s experiences in everything they think or do while their characters and ethics are being molded into the adult versions of what “Society” (their family, culture, economic and social status) will tolerate with the least amount of pushback or challenge to the intelligence behind the physical gender.

Gender identity is both a physical fact (we seek instant identity as a boy or girl / man or woman for determining a person or crowd’s potential threat level as an atavistic, reptilian response in the back of the brain) as well as a social form of currency.

If others can quickly stereotype who a person is, it determines THEIR OWN hostility or threat response for flight or fight reactions in any social situation based on the assessor’s own need for physical safety.

While this is a tough concept for many people to accept, that we care because of our history in terms of caveman mentality and tribal warfare, the reality is that it’s impossible to separate our expectations of others based on their gender cues.  It takes hard work at “deconditioning” ourselves in order to see the person vs. the socially trained potential threat.

Once we understand that we’re not going to want to be able to continue the species with every person we meet, on a 1:1 level for being physically / biologically able to accomplish that goal, and stop expecting that species survival initiative to be our first subconscious priority to “resolve” when meeting others, we can then move on to determining what we choose to prioritize as individuals establishing our own rituals and Social mores.

Once a peaceful Society is able to intellectually accept that war / tribal warfare risk in a peaceful society that considers itself “civilized” means that it should work hard to ensure it’s 2nd subconscious expectation of an immediate answer to protect ourselves when meeting others causes lots of unnecessary violence in the world, we can then step back and realize that every facet of our lives is a mental construct for the social and cultural safety of ourselves and others.

This kid and his or her supportive parents harm no one in how this child is being raised as we, generally, don’t live in a war-like society in the USA.

NOTE:  If we were in a tribal warfare area (say, Afghanistan) where gender identity is critical for determining to continuation of the species, we’d dress much differently than we do in the USA.  Women are in burkhas or other movement-hampering garments (for easier to capture by men), and such so called visually “protective” garments, are immediately singled out by threat assessment cues in their clothing as less likely to fight, so that the men can be the focus of the majority of the genocidal warfare attacks.

When one adds in their relative economic status for determining racial or cultural “freedom” for stepping outside the social “norms” or mainstream for expectations based on gender, it also makes a huge difference in whether or not that child is seen as prey (girls) or defenders / aggressors (boys) if one lives in a generally more tolerant, non-warfare environment.

4 thoughts on “Identity Drama

  1. wow. Eight years old? I haven’t read the article you cite (yet) because it’s 9:30 pm here and I’m whacked and just catching up on what I should have been doing (reading) at 9:30 AM, but my lazy butt was in bed with the dog and we slept in. I’ve seen some things recently (in the past year or two) about gender identity in children under the age of puberty (12 or 13) and how some transgendered persons claim they knew they were ‘wrong’ from a very young age..they were uncomfortable in the gender stereotypes their parents and society said they must adopt. And some more comfortable with letting people be who they are type parents went along with the child’s gender wishes, while others forced the child to live as they were biologically born. And some experts say a child under the age of puberty doesn’t know enough to make the kind of decisions transgendered or even tranvestites (male or female) or drag queen/kings make. And are these children influenced by media making a lot of people like Bruce (I never remember his/her feminine name – pardon me) Jenner. It’s attention seeking pure and simple. I’m very glad I never had to face those sorts of questions about myself, but I wouldn’t presume to judge another who has them. I have had friends who were gay and lesbian. I continue to know a lot of different folks on-line, including one transgender male who came from Utah. Her journey was amazing. Your article is share worthy. Would you mind if I pointed others to come and read it? It’s very interesting indeed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Share away. I’m still thinking about this issue, and feel that the point of the article still hasn’t gelled well, but maybe others thoughts on this topic may help to make my point for me.

    As a side note, I’ve always been pretty much asexual / bisexual. I’m not happy being a woman (a girly girl I am not), but I’m not unhappy enough with my female plumbing and societal role to claim that I’m a guy… even though many, many, many people have said that I’m the least feminine woman they have ever met. I truly believe you are attracted to the person vs. just the body, and that I shouldn’t have to identify my bed partners in order to be accepted in society as either a male or a female or some other hybrid.

    I’ve known from a young age that I was “wrong”, but my wrongness consisted of being 5’10”, lithe and blonde, with wonder woman’s warrior strength and the ideals to back it up. And, in my case, the “wrongness” could be tied into all my surgery and repair work, too. At this point, it’s hard to figure out one from the other as to cause and effect.

    Bruce / Caitlyn has really added challenges to this conversation for having a black and white definition of things because of his insistence that who he appears to be (a man first, and now a woman), whether or not his transformation includes actual hormonal therapy and surgical changes to align his body closer to that of a born female. That’s a lot for anyone to wrap their heads around, and makes me feel that he’s somewhere more in the drag queen / cross-dresser category.

    Anyway, I have no answers about the fluidity of gender or sexuality. Absolutely still wearing training wheels about those things, even if I’m insatiably curious.

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    1. I don’t advertise it, not here certainly, but I am also in the gender isn’t important if you want to be physically close to a potential bed mate category. Most folks here would be horrified if they thought I had the least bit of interest in girls. These days I’m celibate by choice and will remain so until I die. It’s more a personal spiritual thing (and conked out hormones I’m sure). I’ve never had any doubt I was meant to be a girl, I don’t identify with males most of the time at all. BUT. Like you I’m not terribly feminine and I’ve been mistaken for a man time to time. I keep my hair really short and I wear casual clothes almost all the time. I would be some up here think I’m gay. I don’t give a fig. I know the truth of the matter and that’s good enough. I am also of the opinion that it would be difficult for anyone who doesn’t have gender identity issues to understand fully what those individuals face, just like someone who isn’t gay can’t totally grasp what that means. But information and open mindedness is the best way to start learning.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I hear you about not advertising any of your private choices as it’s nobody’s business but yours and your lovers. People are always going to feel your sexual choices / activities matter to them and their relationship with you – even if they aren’t in your bed and bumping uglies. We are so crazy that way, it’s ludicrous.

    But, as I get closer to my end of life phase, I find myself caring less and less about what anyone thinks. I’m too tired for sex anymore, and don’t have the stamina even if I have an occasional libido flash.

    I try and keep it honest and clean to not shock any family members who might come across this blog some day, but I am done being silent on topics that interest me just to spare their sensitivities.

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