How Bodies Relate To Sexuality Essay

2171 words - 9 pages

When thinking of sexuality, hetero- and homosexuality are the first concepts that come to mind. Rather than considering the number of emotional and physical attachments that are also involved, it is a common belief that one's sexuality consists only of their sexual desires. Because society has put the homosexual umbrella over any individual who does not claim to be heterosexual, many people are unaware of the diverse lifestyles that are a part of a melting pot culture. As a result, it is oftentimes a subconscious act to make assumptions about these sub-sexualities. Rather than judging every individual by their personal actions, assumptions are often made on the basis of physical appearance and the collective actions of those belonging to a similar sexuality category. Trans- people, individuals with disabilities, and pregnant women are often at the center of this discrimination solely because their bodies are noticeably different from the “normal” physical male/female body.
According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term transgender refers to an individual who “identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth.” As Sheila Koenig explains in her article, "Walk Like a Man: Enactments and Embodiments of Masculinity and the Potential for Multiple Genders," the gender embodied by any individual is a "performance, designed to reinforce the categories of ‘man’ and 'woman' as dictated by heteronormative, patriarchal culture." Because the dominant group, namely Caucasian males, has assigned certain individuals to the “normal” group, the remaining people are forced to act out their minor roles with the hope of someday landing a role with the real actors. One must understand, however, that everyone who acts according to socially designed gender roles is putting on a performance. It is only because this mainstream, patriarchal culture views the two sexes as “original and thus natural" and all other variations as monsters, that all minor sexualities are meshed together under the homosexual umbrella (Koenig 193).
Simply because of who and what they are, trans- individuals defy these boundaries. To mock the gender war, some individuals "perform[ing] gender with the specific intention to fail...[which] is a practice of resistance" (Koenig 193). These individuals participate in what are called drag performances. By dressing and acting as the gender that corresponds with the opposite sex, transvestites rebel against the cultural mentality set by the white male. In doing so, drag queens and kings are more deeply immersed in the concept of gender. Based on appearance, a drag queen or king appears to be someone who wishes they were a member of the opposite sex. For women, this is understandable as they feel the need to escape their inferior status. For males, however, "enacting womanhood is enacting a desire for a lower status, and thus directly challenges norms...

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