There may come a point in your journey when you stop to appreciate the multi-coloured sky. You finally find a moment to really look, and you realise that there is more than just the expanse of nothingness that is an endless blue. Yes, there are splashes of blue, but there are also vibrant pinks and fiery oranges from the setting sun. You can even appreciate the greys and whites that stretch and fold their cloudy way across your landscape.
But you have to be careful. If you stop for too long, the Gender Police will emerge, trying to hurry you on from reality. The Gender Police are determined to convince you that there is only a blue sky of daytime and a pink sky of night. Despite seeing evidence to the contrary, it is hard to disagree with the Gender Police. They have the force of 'tradition and history' to back them up, and they tend to insist that 'It is just that way, so don't argue'.
And the Gender Police do not stop there. As you continue through life's journey, they will keep a close watch over you, making sure that you conform to their Gender Expectations. The Gender Police tell you –
If you breach the Gender Expectations, the Gender Police will ensure that you are
The Gender Regime is truly a totalitarian state.
This sounds fantastical, and all a little bit too Clockwork Orange-cum-Handmaid’s Tale. But the Gender Police are alive and well, and ruling your life this very moment.
The American Psychological Association referred to Gender Policing as the punishment of people who are Gender Diverse (people who are transgender, non-binary, gender diverse, gender questioning, or gender queer) because they are seen as ‘transgressing traditional masculine roles and eschewing stereotypes of binary gender categories’ (APA Guidelines 2018).
I work as a gender-affirming psychotherapist, and this means that I respect an individual’s true Gender Identity. No one knows a person’s internal experiences better than that person. So it is that person (not the Gender Police) who is the expert on their own Gender Identity. I support people to find a way to make sense of this, and to help them navigate their experiences in a frequently challenging societal context.
Because of this, the Gender Police don’t like me very much. Their totalitarian regime has decided, without any evidence, that Gender Identity is discoverable and fixed from birth. So they don't get the concept of 'discovering one's true Gender Identity'. I would offer the Gender Police my article Gender Identity Myths, where I set out the evidence to show that Gender Identity is not fixed nor discoverable from birth. But I don't think they would read it.
Unfortunately, as the Gender Regime is totalitarian, the Male Labelled may experience violence during the journey that is their life. If a person has been given the Male Label at birth, but their true Identity is a transgender woman, the Gender Police react violently when a transgender woman uses a public bathroom designated for ‘women-only’.
The Gender Police justify their violence with the mistaken belief that transgender women are in some way more of a threat to cisgender women than other cisgender women may be. There is no scientific basis for this claim. According to an article published by the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences, the debate about bathroom use has been an unhelpful distraction from the fact that ‘it is [in fact] transgender women who are attacked in women’s bathrooms, by cisgender women and men (James et al., 2016)’ (van Anders 2017).
To support this, let’s have a look at the violence experienced by people who are Gender Diverse. It is fair to say that this violence has been created by the myths perpetuated by the totalitarian regime of the Gender Police –
When you next get the opportunity to take a break from life’s journey, really look at the sky above you. Is it all just an expanse of blue, or are there shades as unique as each person’s identity?
Dare to break free of the Gender Police, and go Beyond the Blue of the Male Label.
What are your views on all of this?
Have you witnessed Gender Policing, and if so, what form did it take? I would love to hear your views.
You can get in touch privately by sending me a message via the Contact Page. Or if you would like to engage in a more public debate, add a comment below.
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Therapist, writer, educator, and LGBTQ+ advocate