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Watched a PBS (Public Broadcasting Service at pbs.org) segment on TV channel 9 tonight about gender and gender identity.
The three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and most Western societies project the gender binary of male and female and enforce conformance to the ideals of masculinity and femininity. This is stifling for those few who’s gender identity is different from their own gender.
Gender refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women, while gender identity is a person’s private sense and subjective experience of their own gender. A child may be assigned the gender of female at birth, only to come to identify as male in early childhood (and vice versa). Please note that both gender and gender identity are not synonymous with and independent of sexual orientation.
The PBS segment informed viewers that gender identity is usually formed by age three and is extremely difficult to change after that. Gender identity is not only affected by influence of others and social interactions, but most likely also by real genetic dispositions.
At that young age, a child’s preference can hardly be construed as voluntary choice and should not be discriminated against – implicitly or explicitly.
True Love Singles encourages its single members to indicate gender or gender identity – if different from gender – when completing their profile and openly discuss issues with potential life partners during courtship.