Discussing gender fluidity benefits us all

I found this recent New York Times article titled “Generation Generation LGBTQIA” fascinating. It documented what many of us have been noticing for years — the trend of gender fluidity. Not gay or straight or bi or trans, but “whatever….”

Here’s the summary paragraph in Michael Schulman’s story, which ran in the Jan. 9 Style section: “If the gay-rights movement today seems to revolve around same-sex marriage, this generation is seeking something more radical: an upending of gender roles beyond the binary of male/female. The core question isn’t whom they love, but who they are — that is, identity as distinct from sexual orientation.”

This movement, wherever it leads, ultimately will help the LGBT community as well. Any time people become more educated about and comfortable with gender issues, we’re all the better for it. But here’s what I wonder, which I haven’t seen addressed anywhere: how much of this can we chalk up to youth? To rebelliousness, experimentation, and open-mindedness – and to the freedom to act and look however they want before the pressures of adulthood settle in? I’m not dismissing gender fluidity as a “phase” or as a fad, but part of the movement is that, I’m guessing. Regardless, any step in a more open direction will make others more tolerant. I’d love to know how many of the people quoted in this story, for instance, will feel, or behave, fluid a decade from now? It’s an interesting question to ponder. Maybe I’ll track them down in 2023. Or maybe by then, we’ll all be, like, “whatever.”

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