I’m not sure what most people discuss at bedtime but I’m reasonably sure it’s not what we talk about.
Jeremy stomped into my bedroom yesterday evening. “I’m mad at some celebrities,” they announced as they flopped onto my bed.
I put my book down beside me and waited. As far as I knew, celebrities hadn’t done anything to us.
“There are trans celebrities who won’t tell people if they’ve had surgery on their genitals or not,” Jeremy continued. “People are going to continue to be scared of surgery unless they know of people who had it done and say it’s easy and safe.”
I’ve talked to people and watched videos before; easy wasn’t a word that came to my mind when affirmation surgery was mentioned. But I could see their point.
“Besides, celebrities need to let normal people know it’s okay for them to have surgery. That way they won’t worry about having it themselves and once it becomes normal, it’ll be easier to get.”
I ignored the whole ‘celebrities are weird’ insinuation. “Except trans people already get too many pointed questions about their genitals,” I pointed out. “Everyone, even celebrities, need to be seen as more than just their private parts. Cis people aren’t asked about their privates.”
“Except everyone already knows that someone like you has a vagina and they know I have a penis. What people need is information and celebrities can give that,” they said as they Blackie’s tummy. She started purring.
“I think most people get their information from their peers,” I pointed out. “There’s all sorts of groups out there.” And Jeremy wasn’t in any of them. Were their questions just general thought or was this of specific interest to them?
“If you ever need any information you can always come to me,” I added.
Jeremy stopped petting the cat. “I have that information,” they blurted indignantly. “You signed me up for sex ed classes through our church.”
The Unitarian Universalist church has a very liberal and comprehensive program. It does not, however, delve into gender affirmation surgery. I pointed that out and Jeremy snorted.
“You’ve explained that to me too. The penis gets cut in half and turned inside out to make a vagina.” They demonstrated with their hands.
It was a little more detailed than that but they had the gist.
“Has your thoughts about your gender changed at all?” I asked hesitantly.
They shook their head. “I still think gender isn’t real, well society’s version of gender. I still believe in science’s version. People start out with basic bodies of male or female.”
“Well that’s not really science,” I pointed out. “That’s society’s version. Science is a lot more complex-”
“But people are born with either a penis or vagina,” they interrupted.
“Not exactly,” I replied. “People are born anywhere from female to male or in between. Doctors look between a baby’s legs and if what’s there is under an inch, it’s a girl with a clitoris. If it’s over three inches it’s a boy with a penis. And if it’s in between then the baby is intersex and the doctors try to guess what the baby is. They either decide it’s a really small penis or a large clitoris and, if it’s a clitoris, they’ll cut it down to size.”
Three inches sounded big for a newborn. Maybe it was two inches? How would I google something like that?
Jeremy winced. “That’s not fair. They need to let the baby decide when they’re older.”
“I agree and they’re starting to do that now.”
“But what about the chromosomes?” Jeremy asked. “Those say if they’re male or female.”
“Usually,” I replied. “But there’s more than just XX or XY. There’s single X and XXX and XYY.” Or wait, that last one might just be an airport.
“I think people need to stop giving out genders to babies,” they said emphatically. “People can decide when they’re twenty years old what their gender is.”
“Most people know their gender by the time they’re two years old,” I said as tactfully as I could, fully aware that Jeremy’s still questioning at nineteen.
They nodded, “People need to be allowed to transition as needed and they can change their mind if they want to.”
Music started playing from the other room. “Oh, my show’s back on,” they announced. “Talk to you later.” And they left, abandoning Blackie and I.
I wonder what today’s topic is going to be.