Gender identity

A very interesting article on gender identity from the New York Times is reproduced in The Floating Library blog.

I do wonder whether our American cousins, even in so-called liberal areas, have more difficulty with this than we do in the UK. A nephew claimed he was gay and we all said, ok that’s fine. Later on he changed his mind and has no trouble picking up girlfriends. A niece came out as gay and likewise we all said, fine, be happy, sympathised when her girlfriend broke up with her and welcomed the girlfriend to family gatherings when the relationship was back on.

Ok, sexual orientation is not the same thing as gender identity. But the same principle applies: you are as God made you, and there’s nothing you can do about that.

We tried to be gender neutral in bringing up our daughters but the oldest always played with Sindies (or was it Barbies – whichever was the least politically incorrect). You can’t fight it, whether you’re liberal or the other way.

You’re children are what they are. You don’t order them à la carte.

Amazon thinks I’m gay

You know how Amazon keeps a lot of information about you? It keeps track of what you look at in order to put more stuff in front of your eyes that you might buy.

Looking on Amazon for a workbench (specifically the Triton SuperJaws) I found an advertisement underneath for My Regelence Rake, a novel whose cover sports two well-built men, one naked to the waist.

My wife asked me to click on the link in view of the aesthetic appeal of the man. Quite honestly he did nothing for me at all, but to please her I did. Behold, it is a Mills and Boon style novel about gay guys. Leaving aside the vexed question of what a Regelence is (did the author mean Regency?), I am left wondering why Amazon thinks I’m gay.

Does looking at a heavy-duty piece of woodworking equipment mean I’m very butch indeed?

Actually I have an alternative hypothesis. I downloaded my friend Harvey Helms’s autobiography, Blush: the unbelievably absurd diary of a gay beauty junkie, for my Kindle (US link here). It’s very funny indeed. I didn’t turn gay reading it, though, so you can buy it safely whatever your sexual orientation.

This has nothing really to do with this blog, except that Harvey’s book does teach us one very important thing, that not only can it be an heroic struggle to be who you truly are, it can also be done with humour and consideration for others, even under the most trying circumstances.