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Xray the Enforcer

LGBTQ+ 6 -- It's a Rainbow of Flavors

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I’ve stumbled across this article when I was researching on how those who have a binary view of sex could explain the intersex. Whenever I’ve broached this concept individually with some types, they simply restate sex is completely binary.

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There is a difference, however, between the statements that there are only two sexes (true) and that everyone can be neatly categorized as either male or female (false). The existence of only two sexes does not mean sex is never ambiguous. But intersex individuals are extremely rare, and they are neither a third sex nor proof that sex is a “spectrum” or a “social construct.” Not everyone needs to be discretely assignable to one or the other sex in order for biological sex to be functionally binary. To assume otherwise—to confuse secondary sexual traits with biological sex itself—is a category error.

This article basically does just that. 

Restate that intersex people could be labeled man or woman  and offers no third alternative despite the possibility an intersex  may have a penis and labia, or A testicle and ovary. It offers no method what to do in such a situation. I fear perhaps it's advocating for surgery to ”correct” a person’s genitalia.

And proceeds to fear-monger about how transgenders are the true threats to women and gay rights. It's quite maddening when people try to pass their transphobia off as just being some ”Progressive.” worry.

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I know this is a little late but:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.metroweekly.com/2020/01/intersex-navy-veteran-asks-10th-circuit-to-uphold-ruling-allowing-them-to-get-gender-neutral-passport/amp/

I just have to wonder if this, or any other case featuring discrimination against an intersex individual gets to the Supreme Court what possible rational could the conservative Justices give for it being permissible. 

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Last night I heard the news that's been spreading through my family, which is that a cousin of mine has come out as transgendered. As far as I can tell, the family's been supportive; although I know she and her parents have years of tension covering all sorts of issues between them that I'm sure exists. This isn't a cousin I'm particularly close to, I think I've only seen her maybe 3 times in the past 10 years, so I don't think there's much I could provide in way of support. But there are some big family milestones coming up in the next couple years that I suspect we'll both be at. So I was wondering, what are some tips for making sure I'm being sensitive when I do see her?

For instance, the name she used to have has a very widely used feminine version, but she didn't choose that as her new name. She chose something else. Is it okay to ask her about that if we're making conversation at a family gathering? Or is that too personal to talk about with a relatively distant cousin? (Although, on this side of the family, I'm her only cousin; we're a small family, but distant) How much should I press about how things are going for her and whether there's anything I could do for her? (We are distant, but she's still family). She's had a pretty rough life the past 5-6 years, and I don't know how much stems from stress related to this, versus other things entirely.

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26 minutes ago, Fez said:

For instance, the name she used to have has a very widely used feminine version, but she didn't choose that as her new name. She chose something else. Is it okay to ask her about that if we're making conversation at a family gathering? Or is that too personal to talk about with a relatively distant cousin? (Although, on this side of the family, I'm her only cousin; we're a small family, but distant) How much should I press about how things are going for her and whether there's anything I could do for her? (We are distant, but she's still family). She's had a pretty rough life the past 5-6 years, and I don't know how much stems from stress related to this, versus other things entirely.

As someone who has asked several transgender persons about the name issue -- I think it would be perfectly fine to ask her why she chose the name she did. But phrase it that way -- that's much better than asking her why she did NOT choose a feminized version of her birth name.

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Yeah if that were me then asking why I didn't stick with the feminine version of my old name would hurt me - delineating a point of difference way well be part of the point and it's nicer when that's just accepted rather than interrogated. 

As for what may be supportive, it might seem small but zero hesitation before using the right pronouns and name are really quite massive. Especially when you first say hello, that's the part I still dread with family I don't see often even 7 years on.

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I would also suggest its something there is no single rulebook on. Some general points like karradin suggests are of course good starting points, but everyone is going to be different, so what is comfortable for your cousin may be the nightmare scenario for others. 

Also, as a small point, and others can correct me if i am talking twaddle - i thought the generally accepted phrasing/terminolgy would be: “... a cousin of mine has come out as transgender..” rather than transgendered?

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@HelenaExMachina you are correct on that, thanks. It's another small thing that doing right can make a difference. If nothing else it acts as a signal that you're trying to be supportive - a lot of well meaning people will still say "transgendered" but I've never seen a transphobe that uses "transgender" properly. So doing it right is a positive signifier, but doing it wrong isn't a negative one.

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