Gender fluidity by Rohit Malik

Gender fluidity: my experiences and ideas


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The day I was born everyone around me was happy and in a mood of celebration. In retrospect, I feel they were unduly concerned about certain aspects of my body which I don’t feel should determine how I live my life. Let me make it clear: it is not just my parents or family members who had the question “is it a boy or girl.” This is still the first question people ask while talking about a newborn in our society. I don’t find asking or answering this question a problem by itself, but I feel strange about the emotions and feelings that are commonly associated with this question. The first thing a mother or father asks is “do I have a boy or girl?” Even those parents who proudly say they will be equally happy with a boy or a girl will not readily accept that their child is not identified as either boy or girl at birth. Fortunately or unfortunately, the doctor decided that I was “male”. There was no ambiguity about my biological sex. So, people around me assumed that I would grow up to be a good “man”.

Some people are born with body parts they don’t feel comfortable with, but my concern is a bit different. Right from the earliest days in my life that I am able to remember, I never understood why so many things we are supposed to do in life are based on having or not having certain body parts. While it may be required to record what type of genitalia is present at birth—because it is not the same for every child—I don’t see any reason why a child should be dressed in a certain manner or given only certain types of toys to play with based on that. After all none of the toys meant for a child is not supposed to be operated using those very same body parts. Why then do we even distinguish between boys’ toys and girls’ toys?

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