31 July 2011

Which Box Do You Check?

Today I did something I don't normally do:  I answered a survey.  It was part of another blog, and, I believe, was being used to get a sense of who was reading the blog.  It asked about age, education level and a few other things that seemed like basic market research information.

But the most interesting question is the one that, at one time in my life, would have been the most mundane:  Sex.  No, not the "yes," "no", "four times a week" or "not before 5 pm" variety.  I'm talking about the "M" or "F" variety--or what politically correct types (How could I ever be one of those?) call "gender."

What made it interesting was that in addition to "M" and "F", there was a third category:  "transgender".  Well, at one time in my life, I would have jumped for joy upon seeing that. Today, however, I found myself wishing that it was further broken down into "male to female" and "female to male."  I also found myself wishing there were other categories.  After all, I think there are lots of other forms of gender identity and expression, not to mention sexuality, that haven't yet been identified and named, at least not officially.  

Another dilemma I encountered is that I really don't identify myself as transgender anymore.  As far as the law, official records and most people are concerned, I am a woman.  And that's how I see myself, although I cannot forget my heritage, if you will.

So, while I was tempted to check off "transgender" just to create a presence for trans people, I checked off "F."  But I am glad there was a "transgender" category for those who so identified, even though, as I said, I wish the category had been further broken down.