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Gender

  • We are nearly all composed of such a complex mixture of human qualities that in each one of us reside both masculine and feminine principles: what man is without any female attribute and what woman never demonstrates any masculine characteristics?

    • Natalie Clifford Barney,
    • 1963, in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney ()
  • Different though the sexes are, they intermix. In every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place, and often it is only the clothes that keep the male or female likeness.

  • You can really learn from Donahue. I didn't know you could be a woman in a man's body. You go out and you can't parallel park.

    • Roseanne Barr,
    • in Geraldine Barr with Ted Schwarz, My Sister Roseanne ()
  • No, I have never wanted to be a man. I have often wanted to be more effective as a woman, but I have never felt that trousers would do the trick!

  • As a concept [androgyny] raise[s] anxiety levels by conjuring up a conformist, unisex vision, the very opposite of the individuality and uniqueness that feminism actually has in mind.

  • Abnormal — perverted — against nature — he could hear the epithets that would be hurled against him, and that he would deserve. Yes, but what had nature been about, in giving him the soul of a woman in the body of a man?

  • ... perhaps these men who stand mid-way between the extremes of the two sexes are the advance-guard of a more enlightened civilization. They're despised and rejected of their fellow-men to-day. What they suffer in a world not yet ready to admit their right to existence, their right to love, no normal person can realize; but I believe that the time is not so far distant when we shall recognize in the best of our intermediate types the leaders and masters of the race.

  • I will be neither man nor woman, / I will be just a human.

    • Anna Wickham,
    • "The Revolt of Wives," The Contemplative Quarry ()
  • The seduction emanating from a person of uncertain or dissimulated sex is powerful.

  • As to sex, the original pleasure, I cannot recommend too highly the advantages of androgyny.

  • ... I believe the transsexual urge, at least as I have experienced it, to be far more than a social compulsion, but biological, imaginative, and essentially spiritual, too.

  • I had reached the conclusion myself that sex was not a division but a continuum, that almost nobody was altogether of one sex or another, and that the infinite subtlety of the shading from one extreme to the other was one of the most beautiful of nature's phenomena.

  • I was born with the wrong body, being feminine by gender but male by sex, and I could achieve completeness only when the one was adjusted to the other.

  • To me gender is not physical at all, but is altogether insubstantial. It is soul, perhaps, it is talent, it is taste, it is environment, it is how one feels, it is light and shade, it is inner music ... It is the essentialness of oneself ...

  • The union of feminine and masculine energies within the individual is the basis of all creation.

  • What transsexuality emphatically is not is a 'lifestyle,' any more than being male or female is a lifestyle. Gender is many things, but one thing it is surely not is a hobby. What it is, more than anything else, is a fact.

  • Androgyne, you're a funny valentine.

  • Sex differences may be 'natural,' but gender differences have their source in culture.

  • On the whole, Western society is organized around the assumption that the differences between the sexes are more important than any qualities they have in common.

  • Neither the biologically determined categories 'male' and 'female' nor the socially produced categories 'masculine' and 'feminine' are absolute — entirely consistent, even monolithic, within themselves. Each inhabits and is inhabited by its opposite.

  • Androgyny suggests a spirit of reconciliation between the sexes ...

  • ... the term 'androgyny' ... defines a condition under which the characteristics of the sexes, and the human impulses expressed by men and women, are not rigidly assigned. Androgyny seeks to liberate the individual from the confines of the appropriate.

  • The Pope runs all over the world condemning homosexuality dressed in high drag. Now I ask you!

    • Robin Tyler,
    • speech at the march on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights ()
  • The word [androgyny] is misbegotten — conveying something like 'John Travolta and Farrah Fawcett-Majors scotch-taped together.'

  • ... within any society men and women develop differently and have, each, a subculture of their own that is overbalanced in the importance it places on particular jobs, attitudes, amount of aggressiveness, roles it plays, amounts of expressed physicality and tenderness, and that has different understandings of children, of the universe, of the sciences or different access to parts of the economy, the healing arts, transportation services, and on on. One of the major homosexual/shamanic functions in any society is to cross over between these two essentially different worlds and reveal them to each other.

  • 'Blessed' by our creator with male genitalia and a female brain I struggled to relate to a society that saw me as male until age 40 when I transitioned to live as a woman. It was an authentic mid-life transition to integrate my mind and body that many who knew me supported and even called courageous, inspiring and ethical. But this uniquely personal act through the eyes of the 99.5 percent of people who are blessed to have their gender and sex match has been seen as a political act, a psychological disorder, a character flaw, a weakness, a perversion and a sin.

  • As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag.

    • Patti Smith,
    • 1975, in Jan Clausen, Beyond Gay or Straight ()
  • Being queer is like being on a lifetime assignment as a secret agent in some foreign country.

  • We have all of us the two natures — the brother and the sister! Not one of us is quite woman — not one of us is all man!

  • Most of us are so dominated by the idea of a vertical dividing line between masculine and feminine characteristics that we do not notice the discrepancy between the pattern and reality.

  • Most of the time it is much more important to a cat to recognize that another animal is a cat, not a dog, than it is to recognize that the other animal is a male cat or a female cat. I think it is more important to recognize that another human being is a human being, than to recognize male and female. Most of our activities have no more to do with sex than they have to do with ancestors. From one point of view, you can truthfully say that my grandfathers have everything to do with all my thoughts, emotions, and actions. But I do not see that it follows that everyone I meet should fix his attention upon my family tree.

    • Rose Wilder Lane,
    • 1929, in William Holtz, ed., Dorothy Thompson and Rose Wilder Lane: Forty Years of Friendship ()
  • [Lillie Devereux] Blake insists that people share a common nature, but are trained in gender roles — in other words, that gender is socially constructed and historically contingent.