You’re either XX or XY

Are you, though?  I mean, are you really?

I’ve had two different people say this exact thing to me over the last week, using middle school biology to try to justify their transphobia.

So I, armed with the power of Google, decided to somewhat-condescendingly (condescendingly? Who, me?) explain why they’re wrong.

And I figured I’d explain it here, too.

M’kay, so in humans, you can be female because you have an X and Y chromosome, but are insensitive to androgens, so you have a male body.

You can be female because you have an X and a Y chromosome, but your Y chromosome is missing the SRY gene, so you have a female body.

You can be male because you have two X chromosomes, but one of them has an SRY gene, so you have a male body.

You can be male because you were born female, but have a 5-alphareductase deficiency so you grew a penis at puberty.

“Okay but that’s still XX or XY.”

Funny that you mention that.

You can be male because you have two X chromosomes and a Y.

You can be female because you only have one X chromosome at all.

So before we try to claim that there are only two genders, we should probably acknowledge that there are more than two physical and biological sexes.

And then we should acknowledge that the human brain is something we still only have a limited understanding of.  We are learning that the brain does not function in terms of absolutes, but that everything is perceived on a spectrum.

You’re not gay, straight, or bi.  Your brain doesn’t work by fitting into neat little boxes.  Your sexuality falls on a spectrum.  Maybe its position is fixed.  Maybe it slides around.

Your gender is on a spectrum, too.  You are not either masculine or feminine.  Literally no one is.

The most macho, masculine, in-your-face manly guy out there will at some point exhibit a behavior or mindset or form of expression deemed by current societal trends to be feminine.

It is literally impossible for a sane, functioning human brain to fit an entire identity into one box.  Because psychology, m’kay.

So that machismo guy who insists that he’s never done anything feminine is either lying to you, lying to himself, or literally brain-damaged.

You cannot be all masculine or all feminine.  It’s impossible.  The brain simply doesn’t work that way.

And what happens when you’re forced into a mode of expression that doesn’t fit with your identity?  What happens when a liberal is placed in a room full of conservatives, and must try to fit in?  What happens when you hang with a crowd 30 years younger or older than you are, and must try to fit in?

It makes you uncomfortable as fuck, that’s what happens.

And it’s the same with gender identity.  Because with all facets of one identity, the brain treats it as if it’s precious.  Our identity is the most important thing to our brains, and anything that challenges that identity causes extreme stress.

I mean, just try asking a devout conservative Christian (which is an oxymoron, by the way.  Conservatives are literally the single greatest threat to modern Christianity) how he feels about the fact that science has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that homosexuality is genetic.

Their “Christian” beliefs (although, funny enough, that particular belief is about as anti-Christian as you can get.  Don’t take my word for it.  That’s according to fucking Christ, Himself, m’kay) are such an integral part of their identity, anything that challenges it is met with immediate and irrational defensiveness.

Gender identity is the same way.  Our brains want to protect it.  And forcing it to fit into one of two boxes is just as painful as it is for a 45-year-old to have to fit in with a group of 15-year-olds.

Do you want to spend the next few years surrounded by 15-year-olds who you must cater and adapt to?  Do you want to spend the next few years being forced to submit to who they think you should be?  No?

Then why would you force that same discomfort on someone else, simply because it’s outside your current understanding of psychology and the human brain?

Education is literally a ten-second Google search away, y’all.