Last week, I found myself educating a schoolfriend on the trans* spectrum (blame the yadas). She'd been following the FtM arc on Hollyoaks and was lovely and just so willing to correct her misconceptions, so that was fun. But as I was earnestly talking to her about cisness and trans*ness** as we walked round a field, she (well-meaningly) turns to me and says, "so are you cis?"
I wasn't really prepared to explain anything to her, nor was it important, so I sorted of shrugged it off with a "I suppose. Haven't really thought about it." Now, this understandably confused her. She 'hadn't thought about it' either, and yet when I told her about the concept of cisness, she was quick to go "Yep, that's me!". And when she voiced this, I felt pressured to think about a little more.
If we go by stereotypes, straight ladies are girly and sweet. They flutter their eyelashes to attract their boyfriends and watch chick flicks. Likewise, straight dudes have 'Lad's Nights' and work out at gyms, blah blah ad infinitum. If we get even further into harmful stereotypes, we have camp gay guys who have little purses falling out of their mouths and who like musicals, and butch gay girls who rode motorbikes and are part of the police force.
So, uh, where does that leave people who are (sexually or romantically) attracted to less or more than one gender? An asexual is sexually attracted to no gender, so where's their stereotype?
I myself am panromantic, so going by this I am even more lacking for a box to fit myself into (woooo). I can't define my gender presentation as a "___ who likes ___" in my form, really? Does this contribute to my yadaness? Eh, I don't know. But I think I've found a (personally) satisfying-yet-simple explanation for the next teenager who comes to me (the schools' ~*~Resident Queer~*~, yay) wanting to know about sexuality or gender after watching Hollyoaks or Skins.
Speaking of which, the fact people have been asking me stuff like this because of these shows is freaking awesome. Yay visibility!
**talking to someone who doesn't know anything about trans* individuals until now except that they previously thought of them as extreme crossdressers who 'wanted to be men/women [for a laugh]' is quite fun. For example, being a true Yada I took it one step further and told her about the binary, fluidity, neutrons people et al. Weirdest lunchtime snippet:
"So, there's actually more than two genders."
"Woah, Woah! What?"
"How many, then?"
*flounders* "A million! Sort of."
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