Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

When the Caitlyn Jenner matter first came to light and in the height of the euphoria Nationwide radio had a discussion on the issue with the present host of the show "Everywoman" Georgette Crawford who in essence made a mess of herself as a sociologist describing Caitlyn's journey and that of another panelist our own trans voice Satiba co-founder of Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica as mad.

Thankfully the previous host of the same "Everywoman" radio show who happens to be a psychologist (maybe NNN needs to reconsider her hosting again) Dr Shelly Ann Weeks (her previous writing: Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Homophobia - What are we afraid of?) has produced another simple but effective explanation of gender identity and sexual orientation which seems to be conflated in the reaction to the Jenner transition. Sadly we are not as highly exposed as let's say Cuba where their national public awareness programs on LGBT matters via the national TV station provide a steady feed of information, discussion and more.

Have a read of Dr. Weeks' piece as published in the Star today.

You would have to be living under a rock that's under the ocean to not have heard about Bruce Jenner's transition into Caitlyn Jenner.

"Call me Caitlyn" was the statement on the most recent cover of Vanity Fair magazine with a very feminine brunette who vaguely looks like Bruce Jenner in drag. This epic announcement has influenced passionate responses and a myriad of questions.

Bruce's transition to Caitlyn is possibly the most public declaration for a transgender person, and many persons seeing it for the first time were shocked. What made it even more traumatic is that Bruce was the ultimate alpha male. He's an Olympic star, father of six children and has been married three different times.

So how could he want to be identified as a woman? 

This is a very confusing idea especially for many persons who are already secure in how they identify themselves, so the thought of being so unhappy with the body a person was born with, is unbelievable. For some, the big question is about the sexuality, now that the transition has been made and Caitlyn will keep her penis. With all the questions, I found it important to make the distinction between gender identity and sexuality.

Gender Identity

Simply put, your identity is how you see yourself, and how you want to be seen by others. Gender can be masculine, feminine, intersex (having both male and female characteristics), or transgender (when a person's biological sex and gender identity don't match up). For some, gender identity is defined simply by the biological gender that they were born with. Culture and tradition also influence gender identity because there are defined gender roles that most persons conform to.


A person's sexuality is defined by the gender of the person that they are attracted to sexually. The spectrum can vary from asexual (no sexual attraction), heterosexual (opposite gender), homosexual (same gender), bisexual (male and female), pansexual (all genders).

It is important to note that while identity and sexuality are important aspects of human behaviour, they are not mutually exclusive.

Gender identity is very personal and though there are a lot of expectations placed on individuals because of their biology and so deviating from that is met with much skepticism. Butch women, for example, have become commonplace in Jamaica as quite a few young women choose not to express their identity in a stereotypically feminine way. While some of these ladies are homosexual, it's not always the case. While we continue to understand each other and persons express their identities, it is important that we are respectful of each other's choices whether we agree with them or not. 

Have fun and stay sexy!


XXtraz here she is originally from her Youtube channel on Buggery and such:

Peace and tolerance



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