According to Gwendolyn Smith (2010), lesbians, gays, transgender, transsexual, cross-dressers, sissies, drags king and queens, have someone they view as freak. Smith considers this to be a human phenomenon, especially among marginalized groups. Smith expresses that those that consider themselves as gender normative finds comfort in identifying the “real” freaks, in order for them to seem closer to normal. Smith attempts to tear down the wall of gender normality as it is socially constructed as simply male and female. According to Smith (2010), “we are all someone’s freak” (p. 29). Smith asserts that there may be some type of fear in facing the self’s gender truth, “maybe I was afraid I would see things in my own being I was not ready to face, or was afraid of challenging my own assumptions” (p. 29).
Smith’s, chapter (2010) was provoking for me in that it moved me to challenge my Christian beliefs and values, “I am glad to see other people out there challenging the assumptions (p. 30). Her comments validated what I had been feeling for quite some time and confirmed what I believe I have been commissioned and mandated to do: to just love all people by providing them a space to come as they are regardless of gender and sex. Actually, if I look at people in the spirit, neither exists....
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...l currency” afforded to a group recognized as possessing a desired social characteristic (p. 268). White privilege is afforded to being white and cis-gender to those who claim cis-gender identity, those not in opposition to the dominant ideologies of gender. Both forms of privilege are oppressive and hinder services from being rendered to marginalized groups of people.
The rich descriptive and diverse voices of the narratives in Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation provides the reader with a bird’s eye view of everyday gender struggles through created, “spaces where those who have become silenced can speak” (Whitley 2010, 37). In addition, this book through the lived experiences of the writers has the potential to promote social change by opening up dialogue about the dangerous and abusive conditions experienced by gender outlaws. I know that’s what it did for me.
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