To Self-Identify

pawnqueen

4/24/2016

 

I am a musician. I have been playing music for about sixteen years now. I have been in several bands, recorded on several album projects, lead worship in many churches, including services in Russia and Romania. When I say I am a musician, it is not that music is a hobby of mine or simply something that I enjoy; it’s a major aspect of my life.

 

Playing as much as I have, I tend to critique every musician I see or hear. This is not necessarily a bad thing, for sometimes, if the musician is better than me, I might can learn something. But, because I am so critical of other musicians, I tend not to go to shows that I’m not playing in anymore for I spend more time dissecting the vocals, the instrumentation, the lyrics, and the song writing ability of originals I hear than I spend actually enjoying the show.

 

As a result, when I hear people make statements that they are a musician, I challenge them. Not arrogantly, as if I am so good and no one can be like me, but because I find there are a lot of people who say they are musicians or artists just to be seen as cool or deep or whatever other mold they are trying to fit into. I like to sift out the real musicians from the posers. And I don’t want to hear a recording where they are at their best and have effects and auto-tune hide what’s really going on; I want them to play live for me.

 

The result? The vast majority of the time they are not really musicians. I may have high standards but I can usually tell when someone is not the musician they say they are. How? Because most of the time any musician (or artist of any kind for that matter) who possesses any amount of proficiency and expertise doesn’t have to advertise that they are good; their art advertises for them. Usually, if someone is talking about how good they are, they likely are not that good.

 

What has that got to do with anything? Everything, actually.

 

We all have an image in our minds of who we are. But just because we think it, doesn’t make it so. Now, I understand that there is a passage in the Bible that says “as a man thinks, so is he,” but it’s not a magic formula where simply thinking you are something makes you whatever it is, else I would simply think I could fly and save a lot of money on gas.

 

A lot of people think they are musicians, but when they pick up the instrument and play, they prove that the standard they use to define themselves is not the same standard reality uses to define them.

 

So, we hear a lot of conversations about people who “self-identify” as something society may disagree with. It is starting to become rather controversial, effecting even public restrooms. But let’s looks at a couple things first.

 

Because I began this post stating that I am a musician, it could be said that I self-identify as a musician. Identifying myself as a musician doesn’t make me a musician. What makes me a musician is the years I‘ve invested into my craft—practicing, improving, and playing.

 

Others can tell me they self-identify as musicians, and even when I tell them to prove it, my opinion of them doesn’t necessarily change how they see themselves. All I can do is demonstrate the standard I use to judge myself or the standard the world uses.

 

Normally what happens is someone tells me they are a guitarist and they attempt to play something for me, then I take the guitar from them and play what they were trying to play, better than they did, hand them back the guitar, and tell them that I don’t even count myself as a guitarist because I’m not good enough on guitar to make that claim.

 

Please understand I am not trying to brag at all; I’m just honestly telling you what I have experienced, time and time again.

 

The entire point is this; you may choose to self-identify however you wish, but that does not mean the world will accept your version of you.

 

So let’s talk about genders and all that jazz. First, how about some definitions (dictionary.com)?

 

male

noun

  1. a person bearing an X and Y chromosome pair in the cell nuclei and normally having a penis, scrotum, and testicles, and developing hair on the face at adolescence; a boy or man.

  2. an organism of the sex or sexual phase that normally produces a sperm cell or male gamete.

 

female

noun

  1. a person bearing two X chromosomes in the cell nuclei and normally having a vagina, a uterus and ovaries, and developing at puberty a relatively rounded body and enlarged breasts, and retaining a beardless face; a girl or woman.

  2. an organism of the sex or sexual phase that normally produces egg cells.

 

Dealing with these two definitions first, we can see that how we define male and female is not necessarily in the presence of a vagina or a penis but rather in the body’s cell nuclei having either an Y and X chromosome or two X chromosomes. The important thing to notice here is the word “normally.” Normally a male possesses a penis, a scrotum, testicles, and has the ability to produce a sperm cell, but that is not what defines someone as male. Likewise, normally a female has a vagina, a uterus, ovaries and has the ability to produce eggs, but that is not necessarily what defines someone as female.

 

This is an important thing to keep in mind before moving forward. Let’s find some more definitions.

 

transgender

adjective

  1. noting or relating to a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex assigned at birth.

  2. noting or relating to a person who does not conform to societal gender norms or roles.

 

hermaphrodite

noun

  1. an individual in which reproductive organs of both sexes are present.

 

pseudohermaphrodite

noun

  1. an organism with the congenital condition of having the organs of reproduction of one sex and the external genitalia, usually malformed, of the opposite sex

 

I attempted to look up the term for a case when someone is born neither male nor female, but I found an article by a scientist that stated such a state was not likely to exist. You can find that article here (http://www.askabiologist.org.uk/answers/viewtopic.php?id=3761).

 

Two of these terms I did list are medical conditions. The other one is defiance. Perhaps there is a situation where someone who is a pseudohermaphrodite would rather be called transgender because it is a more widely known term, but I would imagine that’s still a long shot.

 

With all these definitions, we see that being male or female is a matter of fact at birth, having nothing to do self-identification or tendencies toward one gender role or another. Although there is a legitimate concern regarding individuals who are hermaphrodites or pseudohermaphrodites, I doubt this is the focal point of the majority of those pursuing “justice.”

 

There is a community referred to as the LGBT, which stands for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender. A big controversy before this current one happen to be about gay rights. The popular belief is that homosexuality is not a choice but a matter of birth and as such should not be discriminated against for something that was not chosen.

 

But what is a homosexual? Is it not someone who practices homosexuality? Is it not a label or title associated with a person based on an action? You wouldn’t call someone a thief until they have stolen something, right? So how can someone be born homosexual before committing the act that defines them? Someone may have thoughts or feelings or desires or tendencies toward someone of the same sex, but it is the action that defines a homosexual.

 

Of course, that is the big debate. If someone is being persecuted from something they have no control over, that is wrong. I do agree. But the difference here is whether or not people are born gay. I do not believe sexual orientation is predetermined at or before birth; it is a choice a person makes.

 

But that’s not the issue we are talking about currently. We are talking about self-identification and people who are transgender. With the homosexual marriage argument, it was based on the belief that homosexuals were born gay and therefore shouldn’t be discriminated against for something they have no control over. But with those who are transgender, that is not the case. Here, there are people who just decided they want to be different than what their biology would suggest. It is a choice. And yet we, the rest of America, are supposed to accept these people’s self-identification and completely change our culture and gender roles for them?

 

And people say going door to door talking about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is audacious…

 

From a numbers standpoint, there are less than 4% of the population of the United States that identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, with only 0.3% of the population identifying as transgender. How is it that such a small number of the population demands special treatment when it is not even a matter of birth, but a matter of personal choice? Why should we as a nation be forced to change our concept of gender roles and cultural social norms regarding gender and public restrooms for the sakes of a very small group of people’s “self-identity?”

 

On the other hand, why are people just now getting bend out of shape over public restrooms? If it is inappropriate for women to be in men’s restrooms and men to be in women’s restrooms, then why are gay men allowed in men’s restrooms and lesbians allowed in women’s restrooms? And if that is to be changed, does that mean gay men have to use women’s restrooms now?

 

Or maybe we should have restrooms for every possible scenario; a straight men’s restroom, a gay men’s restroom, a bisexual men’s room, a female self-identifying as a male’s restroom, a straight women’s restroom, a lesbian women’s restroom, a bisexual women’s restroom, a male self-identifying as a female’s restroom, a pseudohermaphrodite men’s restroom, a pseudohermaphrodite women’s restroom, and a hermaphrodite restroom.

 

Did I cover them all?

Is it ridiculous yet?

 

I’m not asking that question because I’m trying to start a new trend for people to get butt-hurt over, but to prove a point that if someone is upset about one issue, they should be upset about all of it.

 

I’m not saying I am completely against the concept of gender neutral restrooms; there are places where is actually makes sense. An example would be a store that only has two restrooms and they are one-person restrooms. That actually makes sense and is more efficient. But realistically speaking, there are still instances where gender neutrality wouldn’t work, such as locker rooms like at a gym, or the showers at a truck stop. Then the question raises, if you can’t do it there, why change anything at all? Acceptance isn’t acceptance unless it’s 100%, right?

 

The major point here is that we, as a nation, shouldn’t be expected to just drop how we understand and accept the way public restrooms operate for the sake of the minorities’ self-identification. Have we even considered the implementations of such a change?

 

In closing, self-identifying as a man does not make you a man, just as thinking you are a good musician doesn’t make you one. And a male self-identifying as a female shouldn’t be allowed access into the women’s restroom. The world should not have to be forced to conform to anyone’s self-image.

 

I saw something posted the other day that said something along the lines of; “I’d rather pee next to someone of the opposite sex than to be called a bigot.” I couldn’t disagree more; I’d rather be called a bigot (not that I want to be called a bigot or think that I am one) than bend to the will of the minority for the sake of people’s “feelings.” I don’t believe I should have to prove how much of a bigot I am not by accepting what I believe to be ludicrous, juvenile, and rebellious.

 

There is a verse that says; “Where there is no vision, the people cast off all restraint.” Some restraints exist for our own wellbeing. The desire to cast the restraint off stems from a lack of vision. I believe the defiance of the self-identification of the transgender is rooted in a lack of vision, not of themselves, but of how they fit harmoniously into our society.

 

I’m not saying that because I have something personal against people who are transgender; Jesus loves them and died for them too. I have no ill will toward people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, for the record. Even if I disagree with their lifestyle. This should not be and “us vs. them” situation. I just think that we, the American people, should no longer be bullied, having to accept what is obviously still not the “social norm” out of fear of being called a bigot if we don’t. Especially based on someone’s choice. I mean, I could self-identify as the president of the United States, but that doesn’t mean you are forced to accept me as your president.

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