Share this story:
When I was in the third grade, my favorite color was blue. One day in class, a boy told me that my favorite color should be pink because pink is a girl color and blue is a boy color. I was highly offended because I never liked pink.
Actually, my younger brothers favorite color was always pink. From that point on I’ve always been aware of societies norms for what’s considered feminine and masculine and how they confine people into specific gender roles. The role of a woman for thousands of years has been to be meek and subordinate, soft and feminine. The role of men has been to be powerful and dominant. If you don’t fit in to the role that is given to you then you are socially unaccepted. Many people don’t know that gender is a social concept unlike sex, which is biological.
Biologically, we were classified as male or female depending on our sexual organs. But socially, we are classified as men or women depending on how we present ourselves. People who break these rules of society, for example people who identify as transgender, are said to have something called gender identity disorder. Calling this a disorder is an ignorant way of thinking. Basically this says that anyone who feels like they don’t fit in to the gender roles expected of them are mentally or genetically abnormal.
I think what causes depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems in people who experience a struggle with their gender identity is the fact that it is not socially accepted or understood. If people were more open minded to the idea that not everyone can fit into societies boxes, people who are different wouldn’t be considered abnormal and would not be discriminated against for things they cant control. Sex does not define gender.
This commentary originally aired on Youth Radio’s Core Show.