‘There are not only two genders’
Get educated, straight people: It turns out that heterosexuality isn’t just a matter of being attracted to the opposite sex.
The Gender Equity Resource Center at the University of California, Berkeley, offers students a list of LGBTQ-related terminology, and several of them re-define what it means to be straight.
The guide defines “straight” as a “person who is attracted to a gender other than their own.” But the definition contains an important caveat: The term is “commonly thought of as ‘attraction to the opposite gender,’ but since there are not only two genders…this definition is inaccurate.”
As if to drive the point home, the guide also defines “heterosexuality” as “sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attraction to a gender other than your own.” That description repeats the caveat from the first definition.
It is unclear how exactly the guide is using the term “gender.” Elsewhere it defines “gender” as “a socially constructed system of classification that ascribes qualities of masculinity and femininity to people,” implying that gender itself does not actually exist apart from social conventions.
The guide does define “gender identity” as “an individual’s internal sense of their own gender,” but since that definition simply refers to the term “gender,” both terms are ultimately unclear.
The guide further underscores its argument about multiple genders with its definition of “bisexual,” which it states is “a person who is attracted to two sexes or two genders…This used to be defined as a person who is attracted to both genders or both sexes, but since there are not only two sexes…and there are not only two genders…this definition is inaccurate.”
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