What Andrej Pejic and a little girl in Maine have in common

Two excellent examples today to remind us that our notions of gender are not nearly as fixed as many people would like to pretend.

The first is an amazing profile of a Maine family in the Boston Globe, “Led by the child who simply knew.” Crying-at-work alert: You might do it. It’s the story of a little boy who, at age 4, asked “when do I get to be a girl?” Wyatt (now Nicole)* has embarked on the hormone suppressing treatments that are just now being offered to transgender children. The story is doubly fascinating because Nicole is a twin, offering doctors a never before seen direct comparison of the effects of the treatment.

The second is the news that famously androgynous male model Andrej Pejic has been hired as a push-up bra model by Dutch brand Hema.

He's pretty hot, right?

He’s the one, if you recall, who made headlines when his shirtless Dossier cover shot was blacked-out by Barnes and Noble, despite the fact that every other shirtless male model (on the cover of Men’s Health, etc.) was left unobscured. Why? Because he looked like this:

People like Pejic infuriate folks who want gender to be black and white (or male and female, as the case may be), because his clear comfort in gray area only highlights how extensive and accessible that gray area can become.

*See comment below. Great point. Had no intention of offending. Let’s keep in mind that many cis people have best intentions and are still learning the ropes on the most respectful language. 

Related Post: Guest piece by Sarah B: “I will never have to come out.”

Related Post: Do you hope your child will be straight?

1 Comment

Filed under Body Image, Gender

One response to “What Andrej Pejic and a little girl in Maine have in common

  1. I posted this most excellent write-up on facebook, and a trans woman friend of mine left this comment: “for god’s sake, it is not necessary to refer to a trans person’s birth name every time you write a story about them! Nor is it appropriate to call them “a boy.” She’s a girl who has a chosen name and the only reason you’d mention the rest is so you can appeal to cis writers and make the transition “more real.” But it just reinforces the idea that trans people owe cis people their birth names and the right to identify them as what was assigned to them, not as they identify. It’s misgendering them all over again.”

    I’m certain it wasn’t your intent to misgender, but you may want to adjust your wording slightly.

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