In the second part of my reply to the current UK administration's attack on trans people, through its hijacking of the gender reform process I look at some of the ways the conversation has evolved in queer spaces. Specifically with reference to the I, B, and the T of the familiar "LGBTQIA+" descriptions of "queer" people.
This is a depressing day for me. As a former nurse and physiology undergrad, turned Sociology post grad, the holes in the scientific foundations of the governments position, are very evident. As are the philosophical gymnastics necessary to pull off their plans whilst attempting to avoid appearing overtly trans phobic and (yes) homophobic.
Suggesting that this government is sin any way an ally to LGBTQIA+ lives is a PR spin worthy of Trumps recent claims to similar effect.
Hopefully the following essay, in conjunction with the Part 1, which dealt more specifically with the historical medicalisation of trans people, will set at least some of the record straight.
The Authentic Queer.
Invisible ink: A critical examination of theoretical perspectives surrounding Bisexual, Trans gender and Intersexed lives.
This essay will attempt a case study based critical exploration of national and international discourses that surround the lives of ‘Queer’ people and spaces. Specifically, those under the letters B,T and I of ‘LGBTQIA+’. Bisexual is used throughout this work as an inclusive term for those who identify as either bisexual or pansexual. Intersex, the ‘I’, is an older term that, whilst still used as a socially constructed category of identity, has been superseded in medical language. The World Health Organisation’s 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) lists various forms of the intersex phenomena under “Disorders of sexual development” (DSD) and has for the first time listed some aspects of the transgender experience in this same categorisation. A move that has attracted both praise and criticism from intersex and trans organisations (Isna.org 2008, OII 2018, Devor & Haefele-Thomas 2019:54). When referencing both trans and intersex persons as a collective, the term “atypical sex or gender” (ASoG) will be used throughout this work, since it is possible to group both terms under a single, non-pathological, though still slightly medicalised descriptor (Griffiths 2018:13-14). The comparisons that follow will critically examine the intersecting discourses of queer medicalisation, homophobia, cisnormativity, and heteronormativity across all levels of society, and how they impact both that collective and bisexuality as a non-medicalised, yet still vilified and excluded, orientation.
Homophobia, whether it be individual, such as attacks on Charlie Graham & Melania Geymonat, or systemic legal and cultural process, for example in India & Iran, is still very prevalent in much of the world (Story 2020, Davidson 2020, Yadav 2018, Human rights watch 2010). Unsurprisingly, bisexual people also suffer from it. As Wayne State University Lecturer and author Dr John Corivino succinctly puts it:
“bisexual people are not half kicked out of the house, or half fired, for being half gay”
(Corivino 2013:00:00 -20:00)
Nicola Field goes further in her book, Over the rainbow: Money, Class and Homophobia, highlighting that denial of almost every form of social good has been visited upon bisexual people by way of homophobic and bi-phobic discrimination (Fields 2016:249-251). Yet, a somewhat surprising factor is the direction from which some of this discrimination emanates, namely inside the queer community, from ‘homosexuals’ themselves. Why? Fields illustrates this question via our first case study, the story of ‘Troy’ a feminine presenting individual at first taken to be a woman (Field 2016:249). ‘Sukie’, the narrator of the story and a gay guy, is perturbed by feelings of attraction to this woman. That is until a friend tells him that Troy is in fact ‘all man’. There exists a curious intersection here between identity, presentation, perception, gender, and the socio-medical and philosophical definitions of ‘being a’. It is never explained what Sukie’s friend means by “all man” but the reader is left to infer that Troy probably has a penis, a definition of ‘manhood’ that is in itself somewhat reductive to the ears of those with atypical sex or gender identities (ASoG). Furthermore, in the affirmation that Troy is ‘all man’ Sukie’s friend uses the pronoun “she”.
Leaving this aside for the moment, what is evident is that Sukie’s own ‘identity work’ has been built from a position of exclusive sexual attraction to ‘men’, yet he doesn’t exclude aesthetic attraction to the feminine (Brown 2014, Fields 2016:249). On finding out that Troy is ‘all man’, he exclaims:
“…oh god the relief, the blessed relief!”
So where does his fear of being perceived as bisexual or heterosexual come from? Fields suggests it is born of a ‘defensive’ stance, a legacy of years of systemic persecution, and is evidence of ‘homosexual’ people guarding against infiltration of ‘the other” into their spaces. This view of queer history is corroborated by Ghaziani’s work on the rise of ‘gaybourhoods as places of refuge from “hostilities, hate crimes, discrimination, bigotry and bias” (Fields 2016:250-255, Ghaziani 2014:1-3). Sukie’s story further suggests individual and cultural acceptance of what Foucault called “speciation” and a sharp delineation of boundaries to the concept of “being” homosexual (Foucault 1978). All these concepts would appear to back up Gamson’s 1995 ascertain of a “defiant separatism” within some elements of queer culture.
This “defensive” stance sits in contrast to the ‘moralising’ approach seen in straight, ‘heteronormative’ Bi/homophobia, or the ethically nuanced “metaphysical scepticism” and ‘effemimania’ of the cis - normative & medicalised oppression of trans/intersexed identities (Corivino 2013, Bettcher 2018, Serano 2016:47-52, 126:139). However historically, there have also been instances of the ‘intersex community’ pointedly resisting the inclusion of trans people within its own boundaries, and trans people claiming an intersex diagnosis in order to access treatment, such as Roberta Cowell in 1954 (Griffiths 2018: 8-9, Cowell 1954:5).
When taken as a whole, the above suggests two things. Firstly, that there exists, even within the supposed refuge of LGBTQIA+ spaces, a hierarchy of “cultural capital” that is constructed from differing forms of respectability and/or legitimacy. Or, if you like, perceived authenticity, i.e. being ‘really’ gay, ‘really’ one of us, ‘safe’. ‘not a threat’, really a woman, or really a man, (e.g Troy above) ‘really’ trans or ‘intersex’ etc. Secondly that even in owning its ‘defiant separatism’ and queerness, an identity that relies on non - conformity is itself shackled to the definitions of conformitythat exist in the moment (Bourdieu 2005, Halperin 1995, Callis 2009:214-216).
How each of those variations are reified as legitimisation is itself dependent upon further cultural cues of conformity to a given set of ‘culturally authorised tastes’, or systemically recognised power structures such as medicalization, class, age or ethnicity, (binary) gender, and yes, queerness. A conformity that Bourdieu call “habitus”, the becoming of our own selves through engaging in practices (Huang 2019:48). Hegel similarly refers to this as the epistemic practice of the self-concept or ‘knowing the self’ via the reflective requirement (RR) of accepting the normative as beingnormative within what he termed geistlich communities (Baur 2015:17-20). Hence, in this way we can understand Sukie’s fear of being perceived as either bi or straight as mostly located in a fear of being perceived as not really gay. Not “belonging”.
This heightened symbiotic interplay between self and society obliges meso level queer communities to be inherently reactive, and thus they are unstable when compared to non-queer ones, more vulnerable to the vagaries of the political and cultural change that they often strive to create and are yet created by (Webb Schirato and Danaher 2002, Conrad 1992, 1992a, Conrad & Schieder 1980, Parsons 1951, Zola 1972, Namaste, 1996:221). Jeffery Weeks in his work “The sexual citizen” further alludes to issue of stability and hierarchical legitimacy at the micro level in what he called the “traceable condition of existence” that suggests individual sexuality cannot be understood as exclusively experiential, nor exclusively knowledge based, and exhibits “hegemonic patterns … defined by excluded others” (Field 2016:262, Foucault 1978, Weeks 1985 Weeks 1998).
Definition and exclusion therefore characterise the experiences both bisexual people, and those of atypical sex or gender, within ‘lesbian’ and ‘gay’ queered spaces. Particularly in commercialised, and/or academic ones, where beinglesbian or gay is legitimated as conforming to the geistlich, and consequently attracts the respectability of authenticity.
Unsurprisingly Respectability is of larger concern to those who are ‘not seen to have it’ than those who do (Skegs 1997:1-4). Trans people often report being seen as a fraudulent performance, a threat, or an intruder, by virtue of being denied even the “cissexual privilege” of legitimate existence. Something that can be likened to the mistrust of a bisexual identity and is similarly based in fear of the other (Serano 2016:182-186, Field 2016:253-256, 258).
Michelle O’Brien writes a poignant tale of the trans body. “Tracing this body” is her own take on paying for hormones, in 1990’s early 2000’s USA (Stryker & Aizura 2013:56-65). Paying a third of her income for medication and working with her doctor to get visits covered as an “unspecified endocrine disorder” via her health insurance. She points out that:
“Health insurance corporations are defining what medical care they consider appropriate and what they do not. The basic medical needs of trans people are systematically, explicitly and actively excluded from their plans…. Ultimately this lack of coverage fuels widespread institutionalised perception that the bodies and needs of trans people do not matter”
(O’Brien, in Stryker & Aizura 2013:57)
Her words serve as an example of just how important a sense of legitimacy and respectability can be for trans people en masse when their very embodied existence is, as she says, systematically, explicitly and actively denied via cis-normative social structures. Yet even given this, medicalisation and pathologization are themselves cited as grounds for exclusion in the eyes of some within queer circles. Giving no refuge and pitching trans people, and some intersexed ones, into the unenviable position of having to defend their own legitimacy in non-queer society whilst also dis-proving any hegemonic or harmful intent in the queer one. Trans exclusionary thought has found a rich vein of exponents in some quarters of the queer community that have become reliant upon deterministic, essentialist, binarydefinitions of ‘woman’ and ‘man’, with related arguments of attraction and desire (Rich 1980, Raymond 1994, Soh 2018, Taylor 2020).
Our second case study therefore, examines two intertwining theories: ‘cis-normativity’ and ‘hetero-normativity’(Butler 1993 2006, Sigusch 1998, Serano 2016:46-52). Dr Jessica Taylor in her blog “let’s talk about sex: gender ideology” inadvertently highlights a contradictory ‘double jeopardy’ of these intertwined normative concepts via her list of 7 points where, in her view, “gender ideology” fails (Taylor 2020). She lists points 5 and 6 as:
5 “Gender ideology has some repressive and homophobic ideas within it”
6 “Issues around gender present serious dilemmas for safeguarding”
Her first point alludes to ‘trans gender’ being inherently homophobic, and akin to conversion therapy. She directly references Iran, a country that forcibly obliges gay men to face the death penalty, or transition into what she calls‘transwomen’. This appears to bolster her argument that ‘transwomen’ are in fact just gay men (and thus fraudulent). However, in equating systemic enforced ‘transitions’ in Iran to autonomously requested transitions here in the UK, she disingenuously mis-represents medicalised persecution of gay Iranians. It’s a false equivocation since they in all likelihood never were trans and suffer greatly via a form of artificially induced dysphoria (Human Right Watch 2010:19-20, Gaetano 2017). Whilst it is true that the Iranian state uses coerced transition in a homophobic way, it does notfollow from this that all gender transition is inherently homophobic, since not all trans people transition into, or out of, hetero-normative relationships (Alegria 2010, Platt & Bolland 2017). Dr Taylor then posits a fear based “slippery slope” argument (enforced transition occurring in the UK) that relies on the acceptance of both false equivocation (transwomen = gay man) and non sequitur (all transition is homophobic). Her ascertains are directly contradictory to the realities of a trans existence in the UK that is arguably systemically diss-enabled. A phenomena that is both due to and created by its very queerness. (Teezle 2017, Zola 1952, Brah 1993, Coleman 2012, Ozturk & Tatil 2015, Marsh 2019). Her second point alludes to ‘grooming and abuse of young people by trans people, suggesting trauma as a pathological causation for trans-ness and thus infers a predatory safety issue around all children. An argument which has been taken up in regard to bathroom access in the UK and USA (Levin 2019, Turner 2018). Yet the validity of thisthreat relies on transwomen sexualising and targeting women/girls So, which is it?
Professor Kathleen Stock similarly puts these issues of “grooming and abuse of children” medicalization, and gender identity verse sexuality at the forefront of her argument in the following thought experiment. Margie, a 14-year-old who is female bodied, sexually attracted only to women and identifies as a boy:
‘If, (Stock says) Margie’s self-diagnosis (‘I’m a boy’) is questioned by the therapist, the therapist can be construed as “converting” a trans child to a cis one. If on the other hand Margie’s self-diagnosis is affirmed unquestioningly, the therapist is effectively failing to confirm Margie in a sexual orientation of lesbianism, something which also looks like conversion by omission’ (Stock 2018) Professor Stock, like Dr Raymond, is creating a them and us ‘homosexuality verse trans gender’ narrative here. She attempts a critique of Stonewall UK’s own definition of ‘conversion therapy’, positing the two ways of being as ‘mutually exclusive’, and highlights what she sees as a ‘betrayal of homosexual people’ by stonewalls support of trans rights (Stonewall 2017). However, both hers and Dr Raymond’s, arguments are flawed since philosophically they “beg the question”. That is to say they merely restate the case in other terms rather than proving it. (Corivino 2018a, 2018b)
For Margie to ‘be’ lesbian in Stock’s use of the term, she must already be a girl before any conversion (from lesbian to straight) could have been said to have occurred. Thus Stock, in using the phrase “is effectively failing to confirm Maggie in a sexual orientation.” already presumes an extant gender identity of ‘girl’ in a female bodied person (as does Taylor, in assuming transwomen are gay guys). Further, this also highlights the perception that to “be trans” is to be diagnosed as such, and thus sails very close to conceptions of trans-ness as being a systemically reified choice, and/or orientation dependent. The true conclusion of Stocks argument, given the premises as written, is that we do not know Margie’s gender identity, and thus orientation, therefore the ‘conversion’ argument fails due overreach as a consequence failure to adequately conceptualise the processes within ‘diagnosis’, differential or otherwise. (Zanghellini 2020:3-4, Crombie 1963, Conrad & Schneider 1980, Foucault 1991, Conrad 1992, 1992a, Halfmann 2012, Zucker 2015, Correia 2017 Corivino 2018, GMC-uk.org 2019, Icd.WHO.int 2019)
What both Dr Taylor and Professor Stock are actually doing here is committing a testimonial identity injustice against all people with atypical sex and gender (Fricker 2011:14-29) Both arguments reveal conceptions of a “double threat” supposedly embodied by trans people that rely, amongst other things, on the work of Dr Ray Blanchard, and his theory of pathological “Autogynephilia and effeminate homosexuality” as causative for transition (Blanchard 1985). Blanchard’s work ignored trans men and approached trans women from the viewpoint of naturalistic hetero-normativity, pathologizing both trans-ness and homosexuality (Moser 2010, Mallon 2019). It has been extremely damaging to queer communities, and widely rejected (Karkazis 2008, Moser 2010, Zucker, 2015 Serano, 2010, 2016, 2019). Therefore, Dr Taylor’s and Professor Stock’s arguments evidence a lack of Hegelian RR in their view of ‘the normative’, specifically cis-normative, when considering atypical sex and gender, and consequently they refute any possibility of an ontologically real trans gender identity grounded in non-pathological biological causality. Yet, there exists near two centuries worth of historical evidence to the contrary, and considerable academic acceptance of the non-mutually exclusive nature of a sexed human anatomy, alongside non-reductive Hegelian physicalism of the mind/body (Popper 2010, Fricker 2011, 2014, Baur 2015:19-20, 44-55, Ainsworth 2015, Bettcher 2018, Griffiths 2018).
Their error is compound, as it creates the written basis for further hermeneutical division, othering and erasure of already queered and thus marginalised people of ASoG. Sadly, this is a position that seems to be gaining ground in current UK & USA political & medicalisation discourses. By denying any possibility of authentic mechanisms of a trans existence, systemic legitimacy, and/or respectability are removed, constituting a massively retrograde step for trans rights and, by association, actively harming marginalised lesbian, gay and bisexual discourses (Ozturk and Tatil 2015, Soh 2018a, 2018b, Littman 2018, Gov.uk 2020, Conrad 1992a).
Curiously, this philosophical questioning brings us back to the ‘Troy story’. Sukie’s friend had commented, that ‘she’ was ‘all man’. An affirmation that seems a little odd, given the positions of Stock and Taylor outlined above? Arguably the queer (homosexual) community has developed something of an existentialist geistlich to ‘being’ and ‘performativity’ (Butler 2006, Leone 2014, Rodrigues 2014). One that very probably stems from a historicity of poor medicalisation and pathologization of same sex attraction, including heinous injustices during the HIV/AID pandemics of the late 20th century, with searches for “the gay gene” and the “gay cure” etc (Gander 2017, O’Riordan 2012, Lambert 2019). Ironically these are the very same power structures that have both enabled/oppressed trans people and intersex people since the early 20th century (Serano 2016, Griffiths 2018). However, this ‘cultural existentialism’ within the homosexual geistlich provides fertile soil for a wholesale rejection of, and distain for, arguments of first cause, which are perceived as deterministic and essentialist modes of being. The result is distrust of those for whom a legitimated identity rests on modification of that historic existentialist geistlich. After all, the UK’s Wolfenden report is just 63 past, and homosexuality was itself “de medicalised” a mere 30 years ago, via its removal from ICD-10th ed. Cis-women have also long been at pains to point out, though intersectional liberation feminism, that whilst they can own their physicality they do not have to be defined, or limited by it, nor masculinities views of it (Icd.WHO.int 2019a, 2019b, Ansah 2019, Avtar Brah 1993, Crenshaw 1991)
Perhaps then, in light of these early systemic injustices, and resultant geistlich, we might apply a principle of charity to the arguments of Stock et al. We might suggest that they are evidencing a kind of lingering ‘reverse racism’ toward those systemic institutions that created the first oppressions of “queerness”. That they are not, in fact, fighting “us” i.e. trans people, and by extension intersex and to some lesser degree bisexual people. But rather that they are erroneously taking aim at us through a misconstrued and misdirected resistance to perceived threats from systemic power and control.
The point here is aptly summed up by Tim Minchin, in a quote from his a 2013 UWA address:
“Be hard on your opinions…. most of societies arguments are kept alive by a failure to acknowledge nuance, we tend to generate false dichotomies and then try and argue one point using two, entirely different, sets of assumptions. Like two tennis players trying to win a match by hitting beautifully executed shots from either end of separate tennis courts”
And yet, however well-meaning a misguided attack might be, whatever the intended target, in truth there is always collateral damage, and someone, somewhere, gets hurt, usually those with least protection (Benson 2014, Cover 2016). Are we therefore seeing yesterday’s rebels becoming todays resistance? If so how? Plus, resistance to what exactly?
From Rebel to Resistance
Resistance develops in those who are the target of oppression, a point encapsulated by the master and slave dialecticof Hegelian thought (Baur 2015:17-30). The oppressed are made aware of their oppression through a characterisation of perceived fixed traits, in our case conceptions of gender and sexuality (Gill and De fronzo 2019: 212). This correlates with what Bell 1990 refers to via the Sartrian term of ‘being’ an “over determined” characteristic. A singular and therefore all-encompassing aspect of identity that (in the minds of the oppressive viewer) precludes the oppressed from ‘being’ or ‘knowing’ themselves in any other way. Thus Sukie, could not conceive of himself in any way other than being exclusively ‘homosexual’, and having conformed to ‘speciation’, he has thus internalised his own characterisation as a form of self-oppression, further compounded by his friend’s geistlich characterisation of Troy as “All man” (Field 2016:252, Foucault 1978, Taylor 2009)
Given the existentialist characterisation, it is perhaps surprising that bisexuality is not more openly accepted in queer spaces, and bodily autonomy for people of ASoG not more widely championed. So why are they not? We have already posited fear as one reason, however we might also suggest that this ‘existential armour”, whilst useful at the micro level, enabling Troy to be simultaneously ‘all man’ and a performative ‘she’, begins to collapse at the meso and macro levels of trans people’s identity work, due to its reliance on prescriptive queering, yet passive acceptance of, a cisnormativity that itself underpins Butler’s heteronormative matrix.
Gill and DeFronzo suggested this kind of scenario can have far reaching impact:
“exposure to concepts of freedom and liberation that were intended for the benefit of other groups … have direct implications for the members of other subordinated group” (2009:212)
Identifying this incongruence of meso level identity work is helpful. However, knowledge alone is not sufficient to effect change. It merely creates the condition where a need may become recognised. Knowledge must in some way be allied with what Smelser (1962) called the multifactor value-added theory. Factors including structural conduciveness, strain, ideology, dramatic one-time events, the ability to mobilize, social power and cultural capital all have an impact on the individual’s ability to affect change (Brown 2014, Taylor 2009, Collin 2016, Morrison 2006:152-154). In other words, recognising the need for change is not the same as being able to access the power required to affect it.
Smelser’s multi factor theory applies here, within hetero-normativity and cis-normativity discourse. Du Beauvoir described the epistemological element in ‘The ethics of ambiguity’. Where she suggests that up until the point of recognition the oppressed are explicitly kept in a childlike state, one carefully circumscribed to prevent any awareness which would constitute a precondition of existential freedom (Du Beauvoir 1964:35-38, Bell 1990). Today we might recognise de Beauvoir’s words in more modern terms as alluding to “epistemic or identity injustice”, as one facet of a systemic social injustice that runs contrary to the liberal “non-domination” principles of J.S. Mill, espoused in his treatise “on liberty”. An injustice based in censorship of knowledge by a presiding ‘power’ - whether systemic or individual - that wishes to supress the unruly to perpetuate the status quo ( DeFronzo 2015; Fullerton 2006. Fricker 2011, 2014 Sheth 2009, Mill 1990). De Beauvoir also recognised that at the point of knowing, some of the oppressed will, as Lucretia Mott put it, “hug their chains” and become angry at those who would free them. Rejecting the new knowledge in favour of the perceived safety of the known normal. They have become, “hopelessly dependent on the system”, even within the context of either its, or their own subversion, and will thus retreat into it, defending both it and their place within it (Wachowski & Wachowski 1999).
Although the trans rights movement could not have arisen in its current form without the preceding intersectional feminist and queer discourses, some of those same discourses now form the resistance to change. Proponents of them, like Professor Stock, and Dr Taylor could be said to be “hugging their [cisnormative] chains”, whilst wielding social jurisdiction over medialisation of ‘badness’ (Conrad 1992a). This seems unfortunate, as those historical discourses once lead the way in breaking similar socially derived and deterministically justified chains of past power structures. Structures that hitherto had bound a heterogeneous group of women to their subservient places in society and which crucially, through voices like those of the freed slave and abolition activist, Sojourner Truth, in her 1851 speech “aint I a woman” forced those same women to recognise their own intersectional identities, and their own implicit internal biases (Crary 2001: 371 -395).
But what of bi-sexuality? Yet again throughout this work it has been characterised by silent omission. Callis 2009 suggests this is in part due to it having no “medical, scientific or reverse discourses, and no resistance from which a claim to identity could be constructed”. (Macalister 2003) called it the “Snuffaluffagus of sexualities” since like trans-ness, its very existence is debated. It is a pity that bisexuality is somewhat invisible in queer theory, and April Callis herself concludes that both Foucault and Butler have weakened their arguments by not directly addressing it. As she say’s:
“Bisexual identity, by its very existence plays with categories of sex and gender…its politics holds an important place in the discussion of sexual identity and should not be glossed over”
Nicola Field would seem to agree:
“Only in the process of struggling for a society free of sexual oppression can we dispel lesbians and gay men’s fears of bisexuality”
And yet, perhaps the clue to why people of ASoG, and those who own a bisexual identity sometimes find themselves at odds with extant discourses of ‘authentic queerness’ is to be found in the next sentence that follows from Nicola Field:
“this struggle will make redundant the survival strategy of creating a “gay community” and of controlling that community with the ideology of lesbian and gay sexual orthodoxy”.
Or in other words, as sexual diversity becomes more mainstream, and global acceptance grows, older conceptions of a systemically located queerness loose cultural capital, and with that loss goes the power to define the lives of those who were once thought too queer, or not queer enough. As Jeffery Weeks concludes, what lies before us then is the task of “Learning to live with diversity at the same time as building our common humanity.” (Bourdieu 2005, Fricker 2011:13, Weeks 1998:49).
Yet to do so requires removing the existential armour and legitimising yesterdays ‘excluded other’ as todays authentic queer. For bi, trans, and intersexed people, existence as an act of resistance is a worthy, but tough task, since lingering post-colonial homophobia, allied with cisnormative and heteronormative attitudes really have created the fear of a queer planet.
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 ‘Atypical sex or gender’ is used here in the context of a phrase that is inclusive of trans and intersex people, and acknowledges the intersecting nature of these two categories (Griffiths 2018: 13-14)  Geistlich: A term that refers to a community animated by a set of shared intellectual and ethical commitments, and thus has its own “normative” ways of ‘being’, ‘doing’ and ‘knowing’.  Cis-normativity: The presumption that the sex one is assigned at birth is our “true sex”, that it can be narrowly defined via mutually exclusive prescriptive categorisation of male or female and that it is thus normal for humans to conform to innate societal roles.  Hetero-normativity: The presumption that it is normal and thus desirable for humans to be attracted to opposite sexed/gendered people.