Monday, June 16, 2014
“How do you explain human sexuality or sexual identification to gang members, skinheads and Mexican Mafia members?” I can tell you from first hand experience that it is not as difficult as you might think.
If you are one of the millions of people binge watching the Netflix show ‘Orange is the New Black’ then you should be familiar with an actress by the name of Laverne Cox. She was interviewed by Katie Couric this past Friday and so began a conversation I never thought would happen.
The guys in my dormitory began asking me if she was in fact a man and what did I know about her. It was as if because I was a gay man, that I should automatically know everything about her. I asked them if they thought the LGTB community had a secret society in which we all know one another. They laughed and responded that, no, they did not think that. Still though, they pressed on.
I did my best to explain to them that Laverne Cox would not have ever identified herself as a gay man. They were incredibly confused. I digressed and began a human sexual identity psychology class.
I painted the image that if they were born, just as they were, but inside believed that they were supposed to be a girl – that it would be like being trapped in a body that wasn’t theirs. I asked them how they would feel if people told them that they had to be with other men and that being with a woman was wrong. It was clearly a light bulb moment for them. All of a sudden they began to understand that Laverne Cox would not be a gay man or simply gay because inside she always identified herself as female. I explained that it is not about genitalia, or even the physicality if it, but rather, the mind and the soul of the person.
A few of the guys commented on how pretty Laverne Cox was ‘for a man’. I corrected them and said that she is beautiful for a woman. They were silent for a moment and then began referring to Laverne Cox as “her” and “she”. I couldn’t help but to smile inside.
- Lesson Complete