Our generation is going through many different changes, one of them being gender identity. I feel it is important for everyone to live their lives to the fullest and just be themselves, without feeling like they have to live life behind a mask. However, this can be difficult when “being yourself” is hard for others to understand. We are seeing it more and more these days; biological females would rather identify as male, and biological males would rather identify as female. An ex-coworker of mine is a sixteen year old girl who is attracted to other females, however, she would rather identify as a male herself, and call himself gay rather than straight. He tries his best to appear as a male, but since he has female-like tendencies and most people know he is actually female, they identify him as a “she” or “her” all the time without thinking about it, which is very offensive to him.
He was completely appalled when an older woman referred to him as “young lady” instead of a young man and was upset for the rest of the night. I can’t imagine what it must be like, especially for very young adults, to finally accept and take pride in who they really are as a person but then receive judgment, misunderstanding, and confusion from others. Teenagers these days are living in a generation that is finally coming to accept the LGBT community, and still have difficulty understanding it sometimes, which means it is even more difficult for older adults from past generations to wrap their minds around it. In my opinion, everyone needs to have a little more compassion and understanding towards one another, no matter what position they are in.
Since gender identity is becoming more and more complex, those who are not transgender should try harder to understand, recognize, and accept others for who they are. At the same time, those who are transgender or would rather identify as the opposite gender need to also understand that not everyone they meet will understand and recognize it right away, especially those of past generations. Instead of taking offense, just remember that you should be proud of being who you are and with time, this will no longer be confusing or misunderstood by anyone.