Along with expanding our emotional experience, queer people have made our full humanity more possible in many, many ways. Here’s another example in terms of gender, being gender expansive, or in my case, agender. For most of my life there was no real category for someone like me. I simply don’t experience gender. I have wanted to and tried to and thought a lot about it, but that is just something I don’t have – a feeling about, an internal experience of my gender. I never felt like the gender I was assigned at birth, female, nor have I felt male or any other gender experience on that beautiful continuum. Queer social movements have given me a term (agender) and a sense of normalness. It’s okay to have the experience I have.Allow me to offer one more instance, that is aging. None of us fit the binary gender frame perfectly and for those who identify as women, aging means having one’s value in the world drop radically. Billions of dollars are spent trying to reverse this natural process. Even if for some moments, some days, even months of one’s life, someone “fits” well as a woman – that means for example being young and thin - at some point she will age and in that aging begin to fit less and less well. If we’re lucky, we all age. The alternative is to die before we begin to grow old. Yet for women, aging is often considered ugly, something to hide. Queerness loosens the grip of binary culture on how our bodies “should be,” much as it opens range of the gender possibilities we might each experience.
The privilege to be fully human is a birthright for us all
Yet in spite of many, many of the queer movements life-giving changes, heterosexual and cisgender folks continue to benefit from the privilege that they are born into, in homophobic and transphobic parts of our society (obviously some places and states are worse than others). There is nothing wrong with privilege as long as everyone has equal access to it. Sexual and gender privilege should be a birthright for all of us.Psychotherapy and healingI believe queerness is intrinsically healing in that it opens up the possibility of a fuller range of being human – of emotions and bodies and life stages - for everyone. Yet, realizing that possibility can take work and commitment to healing. In the face of prejudice, as a queer person my healing has often happened in psychotherapy. Please feel free to make an appointment at Expansive Therapy where we can support you on this journey to healing and to a more equitable world.