But your gender is not all in your head. It is interactive. It exists within you and outside of you, around you, in the world. After all, if gender could exist comfortably purely as self-knowledge, why would anybody need to transition?
Gender can be felt throughout your entire body. In fact it probably reaches out beyond the boundaries of your body into your wardrobe and the clutter in your room. You leave bits and pieces of your gender everywhere as you move through the world.
And sex is not between the legs. It is never in just one place. It is genitals, it is chromosomes, it is hormones, it is body hair, it is the fucking pitch of your voice. They always tell us that it’s one thing, but then as soon as we get close, they move it. Talk to a cis person about sex and notice that they’ll almost always define your sex in terms of what you don’t have.That surgery you didn’t get, or the fact that you need that surgery in the first place. The stubble you forgot to shave or the beard that you can’t grow yet. What your voice sounds like now or the fact that it used to sound like something else. Chromosomes you haven’t had tested. Structures in your brain that you will never get a look at.
Sex, in other words, is a moving goal post. It is everywhere and nowhere. It is not between your legs. If it is anywhere in your body then it’s that spot in the middle of your back where you can’t quite reach to scratch. They will always try to put it wherever you cannot get it and no place else.
I hate how Greco-Roman mind-body dualism controls our perspective on this. I’m Cantonese Chinese, and I was raised into the folk culture that informally mixes Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. We’re not dualists. The statement of gender inside and sex outside would make no sense to my parents. There is another way, folks…