As the superior most being on the face of planet Earth, human beings have advanced unimaginably. We unearthed the science of gravity and electricity and we invented inventions that blew our minds, from the wheel to the computer. And how did we go about this? We dug and dug to the bottom until we understood the functioning of atoms and molecules because we had to explain the most basic unit. Our hunger for understanding and classification has led us right into the future. We put two and two together, and we built on it.

Now, onto the flip side of that. We superior beings put things into boxes and categories to understand, define, learn, condense and generalise, failing to realise that there are so many things that flow, so many things that aren’t meant for boxes, so many different existences that spread over so many different categories. And yet, we fail to realise how often we take one big mixed beautiful thing and call it one generalised name. We generalise at our convenience and accept the diversity of anything else. At the risk of sounding silly, we accept at least 10 divisions in various (most) religion, we accept more than 10 shades of one colour just a little different from the other, we welcome 100 divisions in the same field of study, which brings me to my question, why do we reject more than 2 identities of gender. Why as humans, do we so inherently find the need to excommunicate those that aren’t either one of the two identities. In my opinion, it is simply because we are not ‘used to’ learning, seeing or talking about anything more than heterosexuality. Anything that isn’t black and white, yes or no, and not a comfortable conversation, is unwelcome.

Here’s where we can pitch in. Pitch in to make our circles more welcoming, more understanding and make them safe spaces. It begins with children, the conversations we have at home, in establishing that majority may not always be the norm, in saying that masculine and feminine are two ends of a spectrum and there is a whole in between that exists. While it is easier for children to imbibe this, the task for us, as the generation is to give the right information. It is not necessary for us to list out every last one of them, but rather to say, heteronormative ideals are not inclusive of many, many identities that exist today. As children grow, teaching them that gender is fluid, that some people may discover a new aspect of themselves and that they may change how they identify.

We’re only in the first quarter of this century and we’ve seen so much, from advancement in technology to the most massive movements. And despite being the most modern version of homo sapiens, we still have to fight for rights, we fight for acceptance and battle societal constructs of right and wrong. All this can be slowly but easily inducted into everyday conversation, just like you’d talk about anything else.
The best way to understand something as broad as gender, would be to pull it out of a box. What I mean is, why categorise it? Why make something so fluid, a bound concept? And the best way to learn is to speak to those who are an active part of the LGBTQ+ community, speak to active allies, watch documentaries, read scientific research and most importantly, be open to learning. If at some point, the human race decided they know everything, that would be the end of us. So, as individuals that make the choice of growth, let us consciously remember to keep open minds and to listen.

Coming back to boxes, it is not the easiest thing to feel challenged about something that you’ve known your whole life. I was never sat down and taught about gender, I was given the freedom to figure it out and that freedom I came to realise, is not a privilege most people have. We have values, cultural norms and societal norms bombarding us since we could understand what they meant, and more often than not, they left out the integral part of being oneself. They expected us to put ourselves into these boxes. Boxes that were constructed by society and confined by gender, age, religion, profession, race, language and so many more things and by the sunset of our teenage years, we were what these boxes wanted us to be.

For all those of us trying to make a difference in the way we can, we must begin to understand that like most things in life, change is constant. We must normalise an opinion change if we are presented with new information. And let’s begin with slowly stepping out of these boxes. By defining ourselves as more than our gender, profession and race. By accepting that the norm is not always in the right. That as humans, we were born to flow through what we call life. We could be both doctor and artist, chef and scientist, and be could be just about anything that we want to be.

Let us begin with telling our children that there is a big rainbow coloured spectrum with the most incredible possibilities of existence and the only time you ever fit in a box, should be when you have passed on. Let us tell our parents to step out of the boxes they have known their whole life, to educate, debate and encourage conversation on things that make you feel uncomfortable.

Since it is pride month, let us do our bit in making the world a better place for all those asking to just be themselves.

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    Comments to: The Human Need – Boxes
    • June 22, 2020

      Well written. This is food for thought for both the young and the old.

    • September 15, 2020

      […] issues compared to others? Although most of the research around mental health does not include LGBTQ communities, few studies do signify that these individuals are more prone to developing mental […]

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