By Mihika Kapoor
Historically, we use the words gender and sex, mistaking them for sharing a common meaning. However, in today’s delicate and ever-changing social norms knowing the difference between the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ is crucial, in order to navigate topics such as, ‘sexualities’ and ‘gender identity.’
What do the words sex and gender mean? Sex is the binary and anatomical differences between the two genders. However, gender disposition lies on a scale, where the person can have characteristics and roles in society traditionally belonging to ‘males’ and ‘females.’ Members of the third gender have male anatomy however they chose to identify themselves as ‘female,’ playing with the traditional idea of what is perceived as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine.’ This new liberty and acceptance from society have encouraged people to express themselves and identify themselves as an androgynous male/female lying on a scale between the two genders.
Sex is the binary and anatomical differences between the two genders.
But with the increasing popularity of support for women empowerment and support for the LGBTQ+, traditional gender roles and distinction may not be applied anymore, as they are very fluid. This acceptance is slowly coming to India as major changes like the amazing amendment in Section 377 and the addition of the option to change your gender identity as a part of the 3rd gender on your passport since Nov 4, 2017. A member of Gujarat’s royal family, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, was disowned by his family because he came out, but now he has taken the initiative to open his ancestral home to other members of the LGBTQ+ on March 2018 in order to provide social and emotional empowerment to the community. The public support has increased towards this community and awareness. Perhaps one day we can live in a society where we support each other, where being part of the LGBTQ+ community is ok and gender identification may not be a relevant term of distinction anymore.