Dragon Comics 109

Seriously, Dragon isn't ever even wearing pants.

Seriously, Dragon isn’t ever even wearing any pants to begin with.

Two things: first of all, it’s problematic when discourse surrounding gender focuses on genitals, because obviously, there is no other situation wherein reasonable people consider it polite to speculate about the appearance of a stranger’s pubic region; and second, it’s dangerous when gender dictates activities, areas of expression, and appearance, because limiting behavior means limiting freedom.

Dragon is more genderqueer than I am, but some of the worst reflections of my childhood come to me when I see kids shoved this way or that, told not to be who they are. My whole life I’ve bristled at the suggestion that my lack of a Y chromosome should mean that I’m meant to be demure, modest, or deferential. I have none of those qualities, and whenever I see a Buzzfeed list with a title like “69 Things All 80s/90s Girls Remember,” I never remember any of those things, despite being, ostensibly, a “girl” in the 80s and 90s. Between the ages of 5 and 15, the suggestion that I put on a dress for any reason would inspire a screaming match between my mother and me. People were constantly telling me to do things I couldn’t do, like lower my voice and act like a lady.

It’s taken a long time to come to a place of comfort with my gender expression and acceptance of my physical body, but I don’t forget how hard it was to get here, and my journey was much easier than others’.

So, however you feel about people being transgendered in any way, try to separate your feelings about it from the feelings of the person living it. Other people should get to do what they like with their bodies. The way you feel about their face, or their hair, or their pubic region has no bearing on their autonomy to live in a way that’s comfortable to them. You don’t get to tell other people how to be themselves.

And seriously, stop judging people’s genitals. Just stop.

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