Anyone who says, "There are two kinds of people in this world" should be shot. And when I say shot, I mean shot with those little paper hornets fashioned by middle school boys. There is of course, not just two kinds of people in the world, and neither is there static existence on a continuum.
Challenging the Binary
A dynamic continuum might be a good way to define our kind. We live as a color-wheel of sorts. Each color fades imperceptibly into another, a continuous sequence in which adjacent colors are not noticeably different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct. Yellow and blue find their distinct positions on the continuum yet progressively become into one another as green in the space between them.
How we identify ourselves on the wheel is a mixture of genetic chemistry and cultural construction. Entrenched social forces cut deep ruts in the politics of distinctions that push us to identify by contrast. You are either this or that. Identifying as this often means working to disassociate and deny that. This self-identification can be a difficult and painful process that often goes unrecognized even in those of us who have conformed to the traditional cultural pathways. Traditional constructions of maleness often mean disavowing and denigrating femaleness, pushing away what is feminine in order to construct machismo. The ultimate insult for a young boy is to be feminized. Our middle and high schools are often the most dangerous places for our kind to explore the dynamic continuum of our identity.
I am proud of my daughter who works with groups like GLSEN www.glsen.org to transform the culture of schools and provide safe spaces for students to find their place on the color wheel. I applaud my city for it's work to provide healthcare and support for the trans-gender community (The first transgender wellness center in Ohio www.mozaicohio.org).
Non-conforming, non-binary, transgendered persons simply recognize and seek to live out the reality of our dynamic continuum. The spaces between the ruts are valid, honorable spaces that need our cultural support especially in divided times.
The is not only two kinds of people.