What Does Gender Mean to You?

A common topic in the queer community is that gender and sexuality are spectrums rather than one, fixed point.

Everybody expresses gender in their own way, whether that be through how society has constructed gender or your own personal identity. Gender is seen in how people dress, talk, and the actions they take. It is such a strong part of our everyday lives and we don’t even realize it. To society, gender shows our differences from each other. Girls wear skirts, boys wear pants. Girls wear makeup, boys don’t. 

However, have you ever stopped to think about why we do these things? Where do we get these ideas of gender from? Who decided that girls wear pink and boys wear blue? Who decided that girls play with Barbies and boys play with trucks? Why are these such common assumptions? 

 “Doing gender” was not something that I was aware of until recently, and it completely transformed the way that I think about gender and identity. The concept of “doing gender” demonstrates how gender is what society makes it to be. 

A common topic in the queer community is that gender and sexuality are spectrums rather than one, fixed point. People do not fit into one box perfectly. Instead, we all makeup different points on the spectrum. This fits with the idea of “doing gender.” We all have a sense of identification with who we are and how we choose to express ourselves. If one feels “masculine,” they may present themselves in a stereotypically masculine way, and if one feels “feminine,” they may present themselves in a stereotypically feminine way. 

However, not all people fit the same “ideal” mold. Narrowmindedness and outdated beliefs lead people of all genders to feel insecure about themselves and have a false understanding of masculinity or femininity. Wearing pink dresses does not make you a woman any and more than wearing a suit makes you a man. While society has taught us that these things are the same, they are just expressions of the self, and nothing more. 

People seem to be so fixated on the idea of the gender binary that they struggle to look beyond that aspect of people. In reality, everyone is their own individual, with their own personality, opinions, and experiences. No one person is exactly the same, and people need to stop placing these harmful stereotypes on others. 

No matter your gender identity, you can do or be anything that you want. There will always be stereotypes and pressures, but if you accept yourself and have confidence in yourself, you can achieve anything. Don’t let these standards hold you back! Be yourself and live your life as authentically as you can.

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