We are all brothers, sisters and…

Some countries have made huge strides in recognising people whose sexual identities don’t necessarily align with their bodies.


After Uncle Cyril’s last “family meeting”, I recently had the opportunity to visit an old friend who owns a pub around the corner.

Thanks to the later curfew the place was still open, but rather empty.

I had just ordered my soda when a woman started talking to me. It was clear she was there long before me.

“Let me guess,” she said.

“You’re a typical sad, divorced man, your flat is suffocating you and you came to the pub to look for company,” she slurred.

I tried to tell her she was mistaken, but she held her hand up.

“Don’t mansplain to me.” Of course I know the meaning of the word ‘mansplain’.  The lovely Snapdragon has femsplained it to me far too often.

“Mansplain?”

I asked. “How dare you assume my gender!?”

“You do realise she tried to hit on you?” my friend asked from behind the counter.

“She did?” This time I was the confused one.

As most of us are, often, when it comes to the age-old gender war.

Us men seldom understand the bigger picture. Not that all women do much better in their dealings with men.

Some are downright clueless (here I’m looking at you, Snapdragon).

I read an article on the surprising value of first-print Harry Potter books and my internet research on the subject linked me to JK Rowling’s unfortunate remarks about transgender people.

Further reading had me gasping. Apart from the terrible scourge of gender-based violence, neither of the two traditional genders have much to complain about.

But we need to evolve quite a bit before we can understand the plight of people who don’t find their gender identification as simple as I do.

Some countries have made huge strides in recognising people whose sexual identities don’t necessarily align with their bodies, but I’m afraid we are lagging behind.

I, for one, have no clue which pronouns to use when addressing transgender or intersex people.

My upbringing has not equipped me for dealing with those people.

But today, dear reader, I assure you that I’m going to make work of it. Because we’re not only all part of Uncle Cyril’s
family.

In the family called humanity, we are all brothers and sisters and…

Dirk Lotriet.

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