Recently I met an old friend back in Sweden, Claes Schmidt/Sara Lund. Yes, he has a male name and a female name because he is a transvestite. Why? Because from time to time he wants to ‘get out of a man’s gender role’ or put differently, stretch the gender role of a man, which he considers too narrow.
My friend said: Imagine that you are running a race against olympic medal winning athletes. You would like to win, although against your competitors you know you won’t have a chance. Yet, people around are cheering you on, saying ‘you can win, just run faster and you’ll make it’. This is the reality of many people experience discrimination.
I just read a fascinating book, telling the story of parents in Afghanistan raising their daughters up until puberty disguised as boys, in a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ manner. At first glance this is about how families with only daughters can gain the societal status and pride that comes with having sons. A closer look it is more to it.