Tobias Lawson got married twice and fought for her rights as a woman in the early 1900s. The Stonewall riots gave birth to the unified front of the gays, lesbians and transgenders in 1969. From Chevalier d’Eon in the early 1700s, The Danish Girl Lili Elbe in the 1800s, Christine Jorgensen in the beginning of the last century, to Caitlyn Jenner of today — and many others in between and beyond — these brave ‘wayshowers’ are paving the path for a genderless society.
Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis postponed getting married until same-sex marriage became legal. There’s Lady Gaga, Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt and Anne Hathaway who openly rally for the rights of the LGBTQ community. They are just a few of the many people who stand behind this ‘minority group’ in a quest to change the way we perceive them.
All my life I struggled with the use of the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she.’ This baffled me about myself. How difficult could it be to remember that females are referred to as ‘she’ and males are referred to as ‘he’? Until one day, I realized that it didn’t matter — that those words are just another set of labels used to create separation between us, humans. Suddenly, I felt no longer ashamed by this self-defined ‘disorder.’
I was nine years old when I had my first gay friend; and he was certainly not the last. I’ve had lesbian friends in high school and gay friends in college and at work. Never did I think that they were different from me—someone who is defined by society as a female cisgender.
Since homosexuals were openly accepted in my culture, I thought everyone felt the same way as I did; until the subject of gay marriage came up within my clan, and family members became adamant that marriage — according to the bible — is strictly reserved for a man and a woman. Homosexual marriage is a sin. They were outraged when I insisted that gays, too, are human beings entitled to the same rights as everyone else.
At that moment, I felt very blessed to be living in the country where same-sex marriage was legalized for the first time in the world in 2001. Two dearest couples I’ve had the privilege to call my friends are gay. They came to this country to do what they couldn’t do in their homeland — to ‘officially’ declare their love for each other and make that union legally binding. They were seeking to be recognized as equals in a community of predominantly heterosexual men and women and they found it here. I felt humbled to be a witness to that.
The Williams Institute reports that 4.5% of the U.S. population is LGBT — up from 3.5% in 2012 according to a 2017 Gallup report. In Europe, the percentage is even higher — 4.8% in Italy, 5.4% percent in France, 6.4% in the Netherlands, 6.5% in the U.K., 6.9 in Spain, and 7.4% in Germany. It is hard to deny that these numbers will most likely continue to grow in the years to come.
The labels are expanding when it comes to gender and sexuality — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, pansexual, intersex, gender-fluid, gender neutral. Perhaps it is all an attempt to ‘identify,’ define or differentiate ‘them’ from ‘us.’ But in its most basic, it brings widespread awareness to the changes that are taking place in a world that is dominated by a cisgender population.
In the recent years, more people start to become more open about being gender-fluid. There’s Tilda Swinton, Steve Tyler, Cara Delavingne, Kristen Stewart and Jaden Smith, among others, who blur the lines around gender as we know it.
Miley Cyrus described herself as pansexual — not straight, not gay, not bisexual. “I don’t ever think about someone being a boy or someone being a girl,” she told Variety. In 2017, television personality Kelly Osbourne said to Pride Source, “You can’t put a gender on love. I’m open to loving anybody. It’s about the person. I don’t think it’s about sexuality at all.”
Anne Hathaway is trying to break a myth. “That myth is that gayness orbits around straightness, transgender orbits around cisgender, and that all races orbit around whiteness,” she said as she accepted the National Equality Award at the Human Rights Campaign’s National Dinner. She further commented that “love is a human experience, not a political statement.”
There are — and will be — many more of these brave souls who will break the barriers, push the boundaries and free this world from the limiting beliefs and conditioned programming from which we all suffer. These courageous beings slowly trickled in over the years and now, they are coming in bigger waves so they could stand together strong and continue to build on the foundation laid out by those that came before them, fighting for equality and emancipation so that never again will there be a minority of any kind.
They are the forebears of the future world where there is no more trying to fit into predefined standards that we will never meet. No more judging each other based on age, sexual orientation, the color of the skin, social status, and so on. All those labels that we use, willingly and unwillingly, to describe and separate ourselves from each other will be stripped away leaving nothing but the pure self.
What they’re doing is way beyond fighting for acceptance. What they’re doing is tearing down the walls that create the divide between us and challenging the beliefs that keep us apart. They are leveling the playing field so that all of us may walk on equal grounds. “They” are not only those who suffer the discrimination but also those that choose to open their eyes and embrace these changes that will one day be considered the norm in a genderless, borderless, labelless life.
Do you remember the day when you learned at school that centuries ago, people thought that the world was flat? They also believed that the sun revolved around the earth. The generation of today could not imagine that people before them lived a life without the Internet, smartphone and social media. Years down the line, it’s not unimaginable that the future generations will find it hard to believe that we used to refer to one another as male, female, gay, lesbian, transgender and such.
It’s hard to see it that way now because it is still unfolding right before our very eyes; but further down the line, future generations will look back at history and see these ‘pioneers’ as the heroes of their day for enjoying a world where the word ‘gender’ itself had vanished in time; and where loving someone is not defined by a set of criteria, requirements and preferences, but by soul connection that defies external bias.
Everyone is the same regardless of what sits between their legs. The body is merely a shell that holds a far greater, more powerful, eternally loving being which connects us all together into oneness. This is what makes us all the same. Regardless of how different and unique we are in terms of “packaging,” we are all made of the same core.