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TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2016
In 2008 Barack Obama was voted president of the United States, Stephanie Meyer sold the most novels with her Twilight series, and the film Milk won numerous awards, including two Oscars.

Succeeding the civil rights, feminist, and queer movements, the next issue to breach the mainstream will be sexual identity. The male-female binary will be challenged by those born as intersexuals and those who live as transsexuals. Early signs of this nascent movement are found in movies like Transamerica, released in 2005, and the rise of minor icons like Amanda Lepore and Jeffree Star, pictured below.

Amanda Lepore

Jeffree Star

Although not as successful as their previous albums, in 2001 Garbage released the single Androgyny for their third album, Beautiful Garbage.

Garbage: Androgyny

The term hermaphrodite -- now considered derogatory by the transsexual community -- is as old as the myth of Hermaphroditus, in which a boy, conceived by Hermes and Aphrodite, becomes both male and female when fused with a water nymph. In other words, the idea that gender-bending is simply a product of modern culture is not accurate; it has been around as long as people have, with several historical figures living as the third sex. What is different now is the level of acceptance transsexuality has achieved.

One aspect of capitalism and democracy is that they aim to give us the freedom to choose how we want to live our lives. Whether one's sexual identity is arrived at through biological, psychological, spiritual, or philosophical means is too big a topic to adequately discuss here. The questions we need to ask are no different than the ones raised by past liberation movements: will the current system crumble if sexual identity is no longer restrained to a binary? Is that a bad thing? If so, how will society change and adjust?

If the belief that white is better than black, man is better than woman, and straight is better than queer is up for debate, perhaps the dichotomous belief that one is either male or female may, too, become a mainstream question.



Androgyny was the song that taught me what the word meant.

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