Pondering: The Museum of Transology

February 26, 2017 in uncategorised

( http://www.fashionspacegallery.com/exhibition/museum-transology/)

The Museum of Transology exhibition in the Fashion Space Gallery is intense.  The exhibition is disturbing (you are greeted by a double mastectomy in jars), inspiring (the many testimonies of children and adults that have ‘happy endings’), illuminating (the bureaucracy, prejudices, violence faced by the transgender community) and an incredible resource to use in the everyday (videos, weblinks, books).

Reflecting on my visit, I’ve learnt a whole new language with the glossary (on show) and my vocabulary and understanding is expanding.  I have always thought that as a ‘species’ human beings are still evolving and finding out more about ourselves as the millennia pass. I now believe that we are even more complex beings – but for some reason – we define our selves in very simplistic (and limiting) terms.  This “Museum” has changed that for me.

In one of the many talking heads videos within the ‘Museum’- one of the interviewees (“JN”) talks about gender as ‘being beyond binary’ and encourages us to think about gender as more of a ‘constellation’, where we are free to choose how to express ourselves in multiple or various ways that go beyond male and female.

This fluidity incorporates a wide spectrum of gender identities and  I was reminded that there are more than 70 categories for gender identities on Facebook – arguably making Facebook the most progressive organization in the world.

So – now I am thinking about (the often contentious field of) genetics and how genes influence us. Scientific research is showing us that whilst genes do influence whether we are male or female they do not define whether we are either, both or more. There is more going on and more freedom to classify and define ourselves.

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