Gender & Identity: Looking Back on 2019 and Forward to 2020

Today, a glimmer of hope for the future came from an unlikely place: The U.S. Supreme Court.

Justice Gorsuch and Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberal Justices on the Court to conclude that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ workers.

Gorsuch wrote (opinion, PDF): “The statute’s message for our cases is equally simple and momentous: An individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions. That’s because it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

This opinion makes it clear that Title VII prohibits employers from imposing their beliefs about sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation on their employees.

As it turns out, six members of the U.S. Supreme Court, including two conservative justices, are more open-minded than the author of Harry Potter.

That said, the majority opinion left the question of “bathrooms, locker rooms, or anything else of the kind” for another day. So, the battle continues, but there is no doubt that this opinion is a major victory.

The Misfortune Of Knowing

In Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity, “nonbinary people finally get a chance to define themselves by who they are.”

Society has traditionally categorized people into two sexes, male or female, based on genitalia at birth. But biology isn’t so simple. As the introduction to Nonbinary, by Micah Rajunov and Scott Duane (editors),states:

While in most babies sex is as straightforward as penis or vagina, in as many as 1.7 percent of births this is not the case… If you argue that biological variations in sexual dimorphism are too rare to be of much importance, then consider that roughly one in a hundred people have bodies that differ from the ‘standard’ male or female–a rate that mirrors that of people with red hair. Surely you know someone with red hair.

Indeed, I do! All three of my children are redheads.

“Biological diversity,” according to the Introduction, “is only…

View original post 1,743 more words


  1. That was a great tie in between two posts, Amal. I re-read the re-blogged post to remind myself of the unfounded fears people have. I need to add Nonbinary to my list because while I am not transphobic, I’m not anti-transphobic in the way people are talking about being anti-racist instead of not-racist. I don’t know any trans people, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t do better.

  2. “Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.” The IDIC from Star Trek. I can’t believe we haven’t adopted that yet on a wide scale.

    1. We’d be better off if we did! It’s nice to hear from you. I hope you’re doing as well as possible during these very strange times.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s