Do you agree with the proposed concept of gender identity? [Gender identity is defined as a persons internal, deeply felt sense of being male or female or something other or in between. A persons gender identity may or may not correspond with their sex (HRC, 2008). Gender identity is subjective and is self-defined.] Yes.
Do you agree with the proposed definitions of related terms? No. If not, please state the definitions you have concerns about, and how you think they could be improved.
I disagree with the definition of sex [the distinction between males and females based on the biological differences in sexual characteristics]. I dont claim to speak for trans people, but I understand that trans women see themselves as female, not male but feminine, and likewise, mutatis mutandis, for trans men. Minds merit more attention than genitals in most contexts. And biological is too broad and vague a term. Since humans are living things, everything about us is in a sense biological.
Are there any other terms you would like to see included in relation to gender identity?
Rather than simply sex I would use the terms anatomical gender, physiological gender or reproductive gender when it is necessary to compile statistics on such things (as it might be for medical purposes). Gender and sex should both, by default, refer to a persons identity.
The background paper provides some examples of the approaches different countries have taken to collect gender identity information. Do any of these approaches stand out to you as being suitable for use in New Zealand?
No. The simplest and least cisnormative way to collect information on gender would be to remove the tick-boxes entirely, and instead provide a text field for a short written answer.
Is there any other information relevant to the concept of gender identity that you feel is missing from the background paper?
I feel there should be a discussion on the inappropriacy of biological essentialism. Genital configuration and the sex chromosomes do correlate with many other features of human anatomy, physiology and psychology, but that does not make either one definitive of a persons essential nature any more than any of those said other features.
If you have any further comments about the concept of gender identity or the information in the paper, please add them here.
Should anyone object to the concept of subjective gender identity on Biblical grounds (Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man...), please draw their attention to I Samuel 16:7 ...man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
A couple of things I would have said but there wasnt space:
- In most contexts I can think of where it is necessary to distinguish behavioral or identity gender (or linguistic gender) from anatomical or physiological gender, one also from time to time wishes to discuss sexual intercourse. If you reserve the word sex for physiological gender, you can then run into ambiguities due to the fact that sex in common parlance means sexual intercourse.
- Obviously I dont think it appropriate for Government departments to incorporate the Bible in their documentation. However Biblical fundamentalism is probably the second-biggest source of opposition to getting past the gender binary, after that weird combination of male entitlement and homophobia that says I should have the right to contemplate having sex with anyone I find attractive, without facing the horrible possibility that she might be in some sense male and thus make me in some sense (oh, the horror, the horror!) gay. So I decided to include a counter-argument that would give those people pause for thought.