Biological Sex Matters …. but it isn’t everything.

If we can get that balance right, our gender identity conflicts would solve themselves.

In an effort to create inclusive environments, sometimes we’ve acted as though biological sex isn’t a thing. As though there aren’t key physiological differences between males and females.

I’m not kidding when I say that on many occasions I’ve needed to clarify—in specific terms—that I have not *become* female by being on estrogen and having vaginoplasty.

This does concern me as sex is sometimes relevant. Example: there are important healthcare considerations where sex is very relevant.

But with that said, I also understand why some LGBT allies act as though biological sex isn’t relevant… and that’s because most of the time when the *sexes* of male and female do arise in conversation, what’s being discussed isn’t relevant to biology at all.

Most of the time when we use words like ‘men’ and ‘women’, we are not talking about physiological dimorphism between sexes. We are discussing the sociological rules, customs and norms that we’ve established in our culture and aligned with the biological sexes.

We are discussing our sexed places where we’ve sort ourselves to pee in separate rooms, or kick balls around in separate leagues or study the bible with only those whose primary sex organs look like our own.

… Biology is real. Perhaps biology is not always as relevant as we’ve made it out to be.

In the coming days. I’ll be doing what I’ve long been asked to do and dive into the ‘spaces’ conversation to discuss how we can navigate a world of sexed washrooms and changerooms and sports and prisons in the context of a culture that includes transgender individuals. We need to consider transgender needs and interests in these conversations—we need to consider the needs and interests of others as well.

I’ll be trying hard to strike that balance—considering biological sex where it is relevant but also not just falling back on it as a given because something has historically been ‘sex-separated’ in the past. What I’ll be putting forward is based on thousands of personal conversations with parents, children, politicians, practitioners, and transgender individuals on both sides of these divided discussions.

Tensions remain high in transgender politics because one *side* continues to argue as though there’s no biological difference between me and a biological female—which is false.

And another *side* has taken a deep dive into insisting that a whole bunch of spaces are inherently justified as being separated based on sex, and sometimes this is done on pretty shaky grounds.

I believe that in order to have these conversations well, we first need to have a healthy relationship with our biological reality, both acknowledging that it exists and also that it isn’t determinative of everything about us.

Julia Malott

Julia Malott is a Canadian based transgender individual who advocates for bridging the gap between diverse viewpoints on gender identity and ideology. Julia is the host of Alotta Thoughts Podcast which features bi-weekly long form discussions exploring the complexity of sex and gender.

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Julia Malott

Julia Malott is a Canadian based transgender individual who advocates for bridging the gap between diverse viewpoints on gender identity and ideology. Julia is the host of Alotta Thoughts Podcast which features bi-weekly long form discussions exploring the complexity of sex and gender.