During class we discussed the deconstructing binaries of identity; especially queer identities. There are binaries for many subjects, for example: essentialist vs. constructionist, gender vs. sex, and heterosexual vs. homosexual. Many people like to believe that there is one strict line between the two binaries, and, for example gender vs. sex should correspond to one another. Although that may make things easier to assume of people, it is more complex that that. These binaries have spectrums, and are fluid. Just because one was born with male genitalia, they do not necessarily identify as a male. As with hetero vs. homo, this binary poses a problem for people who identify as bisexual, sexuality is fluid.
In everyday life, we identify things as different from the social norm, Ellen Degeneres is not a comedian, she is a lesbian comedian. Caitlyn Jenner is not a female, she is a transgender. Society identifies characteristics that are not in the norm, but characteristics that represent minority groups. There are characteristics that bind themselves to a certain binary, for example: if one identifies as female, wears flannels, never wears makeup, and have masculine physical attributes, they must be a lesbian. Humans are beginning to break down these stereotypes and binaries everyday, lesbians wearing makeup and dresses, gay men doing masculine activities. Crazy, I know.
What can we do to help people to stop stereotyping, and making assumptions about strangers lives? How were we programmed to make these assumptions of correspondence in the first place? Why is the social norm a white, middle-upper class, heterosexual, cis, family of four? Just because Ellen Degeneres is a lesbian, that makes her no less of a comedian, so why do we feel the need to identify her sexuality with her occupation? Why do we identify Caitlyn Jenner as a transgender, it makes her no less of a female.