Gender Fluidity and Children
Once we reach a certain age, we are inclined to berate the younger generation as not being quite up to our standards. Their music is all wrong or their politics are problematic. However, I was reading in the Times today that the younger generation has us beat on. This is in the very important area of gender and sexuality. It is certainly a fact that children accept gay relationships much more easily than people even in the generation above them. The idea of openly gay characters in television shows as I was growing up was certainly controversial. Now, however, there is scarcely a show that does not have at least one gay character or couple.
In the 1970’s there was an expression called “gender bending” which was used to describe some of the popular music artists of the time. I certainly shocked and even enraged certain people. However, today we talk about the fluidity of gender, which basically means that gender is not static and can change over time. For many people of my generation, this too is a difficult concept to get ones head around. However, again the next generation, seem to not only have their heads around it, but have a far healthier way of looking at it and understanding it.
As a practitioner who has seen the damage approaches like reparative therapy have caused to people struggling with their sexual identity, I am greatly heartened that those coming after us, have a far more healthy and accepting view of all gender and sexual identities. I think that is something we can all take a great deal of comfort from.