Right now, it's 1:47 in the morning and I've got school tomorrow. However, I also got done with a conversation with my best friend over Skype.
While it started off as normal as ever, talking about school and classes, we got into a quiz we'd taken in my Government class that asked us if a particular set of questions was a reasonable way to determine whether or not someone was politically aware or not. We came to the consensus that, at best, the questions presented were only good for a baseline evaluation- political activity was largely determined by points of political interest of the person in question. For me, I brought up the case of Caster Semenya. He had no idea who Caster Semenya was. Case in point.
The conversation then got..heated, at best. We talked about several things- the use of hermaphrodite vs. intersex. The addition of transgendered people in the community that is 'LGBT' and how, in his words, it didn't really fit in.
Likewise and perhaps most painfully, there's this:
[1:04:07] Friend: possibly
[1:04:09] Friend: fyi
[1:04:22] Friend: you're taking on issues that are not just your own
[1:04:37] Myself: ..Is that bad? :S
[1:04:57] Friend: homosexuality and transgender are completely differnt topics, and I have no idea why people associate them. That said, I can see why people do it – and it's not right what people do to them
[1:05:21] Friend: but if you take them on as well, then know you're spreading yourself thinner on the gay cause
[1:07:01] Friend: They aren't a part of your GAY community. They are only a part of your efforts if you make them. I'm not saying it's a bad thing
[1:07:15] Friend: (though in doing so – you are having a sort of messiah complex, needing to save everyone)
[1:07:21] Friend: (again – not a bad thing)
[1:07:40] Friend: only because they had nowhere else to go.
[1:07:52] Friend: it's not a sexual orientation
[1:08:00] Myself: It's gender nonconformity, that's my point.
[1:08:06] Friend: no – it's really not
[1:08:19] Friend: TRANSGENDER is entirely biological
Now, don't get me wrong, I love this guy dearly. He's my best friend of several years. But it felt like, for my audacity to seek equality, for EVERYONE- L, G, B or T or anything else out there- I was willingly causing myself pain or making things harder for myself. Considering that right now R-71 is going on in my state, I'm a fair bit more sensitive to his words than I normally would be.
The questions themselves, and elaboration, are below the fold.
1. Hermaphrodite or intersex? Why?
This was touched on in the case of Caster Semenya several times. And personally I have a feeling that hermaphrodite has a pretty heavy connotation to it. To be blunt, and I'm sorry? Chicks with dicks, as my mother told me. That's what most people that hear 'hermaphrodite' are bound to think, but I may be wrong.
My friend pointed out that it's the term that has been used for AGES (especially in medicine and biology) and that if anything, it needs to be 'taken back' to no longer have such a stigma attached to it. He tells me that simply making another term isn't going to change anything.
2. What defines LGBT as a whole?
In this case, my answer to him was that LGBT was a category based on gender nonconformity. This includes same-sex attractions, having genitalia of the opposite sex (intersex), believing yourself to be a different gender than what society ascribes you (transgender? Sorry, I'm still learning!), or having attractions that aren't specifically heterosexual in nature (bisexuality, homosexuality).
3. Where do we all tie in?
Are our goals the same? Do we happen to be in the same boat? Where does the LGB meet the T?
And as a last note, I'm not meaning to step on any toes or offend anyone with anything in this diary. Right now, it's 2:12, so who knows what I may have let slip. Personally, I'm just seeking more understanding, because right now I'm struggling to explain things to this guy. And, considering that he wants me to attend his wedding, possibly as the best man, when I can't even be married myself…let's just say that things on my side are strained right now.
Thanks for all responses. I've never used this thing before!