Over the past few years I've had a few friends begin to date someone of their same gender. These are friends who, up until that point, had always dated people of the opposite gender. I heard a similar thing from them, that it's not about the gender, it's about the *person*; and they are falling in love with the person, and not the gender. A friend just told me this again on Friday evening, so it has become fresh in my mind.
This sort of makes sense to me, but it sort of doesn't, so I'd love to hear some thoughts about it so I can try to understand what this means to people. Now, putting aside issues of whether homosexuality is a sin (I know I have readers on both sides of the issue, and I don't want this post to become about that in the comments section), I just want to look at this idea of falling in love with the person and not the gender...because it's difficult for me to wrap my head around.
The issue for me is, how can you separate a person from their gender? Is that what this idea is trying to say--that gender is meaningless, and that someone's "personhood" doesn't have a gender at all?
It's really tricky for me to see what this is all about--because on one hand, as someone who has seen definitions and delineations of gender used oppressively and wrongly, I can kind of jive with the idea that a person's gender alone does not tell you anything about their character, personality, or anything like that. But on the other hand, it's also not just incidental. I am a woman, and whether or not I conform to someone else's definition of what that means in terms of my character, I don't feel that my gender is just happenstance. And I guess I feel that if someone was to fall in love with me, I would want my gender to be part of that, not just kind of an incidental side-issue. Like, it would feel weird to me if someone was like, "I am totally in love with you, and the fact that you are a woman is just incidental. If you were still you
but a man, I would be in love with that man." I guess the issue of whether I could still be me and a man is also up for debate.
Anyway, I am just trying to make sense of this idea; especially since it has been repeated to me by 3 different people (all women, incidentally). What does it mean to fall in love with the person and not the gender?
Labels: gender, love