So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he created them
I think I should make it clear that I did not tamper with the text of this bit of the advert for tomorrow’s service in any way. It is just as it left the printer.
However, in our Humpty Dumpty world it is sometimes difficult to work out which word to use in any given situation. If you are likely to be travelling around in New York any time soon I would advise you to keep your mouth firmly shut. Sit next to a bearded man on the metro and refer to him as ‘he’ and you risk a hefty fine because he thinks of himself as ‘she.’
However, for those of you who get confused beyond L and G let me explain.
B is Bi-sexual, but can also stand for Bi-gender. (Not to be confused with Defoe’s Big enders in Gulliver’s Travels)
T, here, is transgender, but it can also stand for trans sexual and Two Spirited. Two spirited is used by some indigenous North Americans to describe people who seem to have both male and female spirits within them. Perhaps the Bishop of Grantham could be one of those.
Q here means Questioning. It’s a personal description and seems to mean puzzled; it doesn’t apply to people who can’t work out if they are sitting next to a man or a woman. Q can also mean Queer and is now an OK word. For people of my generation it was a pejorative description for homosexuals, and it fell out of use many years ago, to be replaced by “gay.” Apparently, it is a rude word no longer.
I’m not sure if Intersex is a medical term but it describes those relatively few individuals who are born without clearly defined genitalia.
Asexual means you couldn’t give a damn one way or the other. You are thus spared an awful lot of angst and frustration suffered by those who are either/or or both/and. What I don’t understand is why, if you are well out of all this confusion, you would want to label yourself among them.
There are more categories that probably you should be aware of lest, through ignorance, you give offence. Pansexual is the exact opposite of Asexual. Then we come to Agender. (This word is not to be confused with Agenda, though many of the LGBT brigade certainly have one of those.) They also call themselves genderless, genderfree, non-gendered or un-gendered. The OK2BME website, which provided me with this information, explains that “This category includes a very broad range of indentities which do not conform to traditional gender norms,” so I’m not surprised I’m having difficulty getting my head round it. There is also Gender Queer which is another ‘umbrella’ term for “those who are thus outside of the gender binary and cisnormativity.”
At this point in my research I ran out of steam, rather as I did when faced with all the explanations about unlocking my potential through 2020 Vision. There again you need a codebook to enable you to make sense of all this Humpty Dumpty speak. For those who still have the energy, you have the website and there are three more categories—Bigender, Gender Variant and Pangender—to wrestle with. There is also a School Colouring Contest, whatever that means.