Briefly: Identification

Briefly: Identification October 25, 2013

I used to be a boy. Was a boy for the majority of my life, until this year when whatever makes gender do what gender does switched and tumbled and turned toward ‘girl’. Which was weird and disconcerting and terrifying, honestly.

My expression of myself – lace, ruffles, obnoxious colors, dresses – all stayed the same. Which was off-putting to plenty of people but wonderful to me.

When I first felt myself sliding into girlhood, I resisted. Partially because I knew what being a boy was and enjoyed that. Partially because I didn’t want to be called a fakey faker of fakeness.

I stopped caring about the latter reason.

After all, I was a boy, now I was a girl, that was that, gender was weird.

But, self-identification is insufficient, so I guess I wasn’t really a boy after all. (And am I really a girl? I just don’t know! I can’t identify myself! Help, help, help!)

This whole mess of ‘identity politics’ seems to be brewing all over again. And that’s all it is – a mess.

My identity isn’t actually politics. It’s who I am. If someone can fathom the individuality of gods but not the individuality of humans, there may be a problem.

We can argue and suss out religion and religious boundaries. We can’t go back and change decades of history. And we shouldn’t ignore the human component of religion and religious identification. If we do, we’re failing to understand a huge part of religion. Religion doesn’t exist in an untouched-by-human-hands vacuum.

I’m not interested in theoreticals that have no place in daily life, or ideals that ignore the human factor. I live in the real world, where everything, everything is messier than it looks on paper – including identity.

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