Steve Sauder is president of Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc. the owners of KVOE-AM 1400, Country 101.7 and Mix 104.9. Steve has been in a leadership position with ERS, Inc., since 1987.
Maybe not a new term, but certainly a term most of us were not that familiar with prior to former Olympic Decathlon Gold Medal winner Bruce Jenner going public with his gender change.
Now we have our president dictating a policy for bathroom usage that isn't needed by many and is creating lots of confusion.
So, using an informative article from the Topeka Capital Journal as my resource let me define some terms that might help all of us better understand this confusing “transgender” situation.
Are the terms gender and sex interchangeable?
My source says "NO."
Sex is a biological status based on attributes like chromosomes and anatomy.
Gender is a social construct relating to behavior and activities society associates with males versus females.
What is transgender?
An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from what society associates with their sex as identified at birth.
Does transgender involve making changes to one's body?
Some people do seek changes through hormones or surgery. Others don't.
Does transgender have anything to do with sexual orientation?
Not at all. Sexual orientation refers to romantic attraction, i.e. whether someone is gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight.
I hope these definitions help. What we learned is: sex and gender are not the same thing; transgender is someone identifying themselves as a sex different from their birth; not all transgender folks change their bodies and transgender people can practice any sexual orientation.
The newspaper story in the Cap Journal is about a high school student born as a female who now does not associate herself with either sex.
The bathroom controversy for transgender individuals is amusing. Evidently the president feels he has a “one size fits” all solution while the common sense people on the Kansas State Board of Education basically said – our policy isn’t broke so we aren’t fixing it.
Hope this helped as we obviously have lots of new stuff to learn!
I’m Steve Sauder