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By Willow (willowashmaple.xyz)

A nonbinary option: Some thoughts from ChatGPT

April 19, 2023

Something that’s been on my mind lately so I asked ChatGPT:

ME: Explain the potential benefit to society, the economy, and public health of reclassifying all transgender individuals as nonbinary persons

AI: Reclassifying all transgender individuals as nonbinary persons could have potential benefits for society, the economy, and public health.

1. Society: Reclassifying all transgender individuals as nonbinary persons could help promote a more inclusive and accepting society. This can reduce discrimination and violence against transgender individuals, and promote a culture that values diversity and inclusivity.

2. Economy: Diverse representation in the workplace can lead to increased innovation and creativity. By reclassifying all transgender individuals as nonbinary persons, companies may be more likely to value their contributions and perspectives, leading to a more diverse and productive workforce.

3. Public Health: Reclassifying all transgender individuals as nonbinary persons could help address the health disparities and challenges faced by transgender individuals. This can include providing access to healthcare that is respectful and supportive of individuals' gender identities, which could lead to improved mental and physical health outcomes for transgender individuals.

Overall, reclassifying all transgender individuals as nonbinary persons can help promote a more inclusive and accepting society, a more productive economy, and improved health outcomes for transgender individuals.

ME: Explain why it is potentially a good political strategy to reclassify, through legislative and executive actions, all transgender persons as nonbinary persons instead of treating them as though they are members of the opposite sex.

AI: Reclassifying transgender individuals as nonbinary persons through legislative and executive actions could be a good political strategy for a few reasons:

1. Promotes inclusivity: The reclassification would acknowledge that there are more than two genders, which could help promote a culture of inclusivity and respect for diversity. Recognizing nonbinary individuals as their own distinct category, it would also recognize their unique experiences and lessen the marginalization and discrimination they face.

2. Reduces political backlash: Reclassifying transgender individuals as nonbinary persons may be less politically contentious than treating them as members of the opposite sex. Some people may have a difficult time accepting that transgender women are women, for example, but may find it easier to accept that they are nonbinary.

3. Avoids binary assumptions: Treating all transgender individuals as members of the opposite sex can reinforce the binary assumption that there are only two genders. However, reclassifying all transgender individuals as nonbinary persons would acknowledge the existence of more than two genders and facilitate a more nuanced discussion about gender identity.

4. Aligns with current understanding: The medical community recognizes that gender is a complex and diverse spectrum, and treating transgender individuals as nonbinary persons aligns with this understanding. As such, it would promote more accurate and scientifically informed policies.

Overall, reclassifying transgender individuals as nonbinary persons could be a strategic political move that promotes inclusivity, avoids political backlash, and aligns with the scientific consensus.

ME: It has been sometimes said that countries and cultures that provide for a "third gender", such as India and Thailand, are not actually great places for trans folks because the construct of the "third gender" effectively segregates them and denies them equal rights and participation in society, as well as stigmatizing and marginalizing them as "the other." Explain how reclassifying all trans persons as nonbinary persons in the United States could avoid this problem and actually benefit all gender-expansive persons while guaranteeing inclusion and equality.

AI: Reclassifying all transgender individuals as nonbinary persons in the United States could potentially avoid the problem of segregation and marginalization that can come with a "third-gender" construct. Here are some ways this strategy could benefit gender-expansive individuals and promote inclusion and equality:

1. Acknowledgment of diversity: Reclassifying transgender individuals as nonbinary persons would acknowledge the diversity of gender identity and expression, and reduce the binary thinking that often excludes or marginalizes people who do not identify as male or female.

2. Shared identity: By classifying all transgender individuals as nonbinary, it would create a shared identity and sense of community, rather than segregating them into a distinct category that can lead to discrimination and marginalization.

3. Legal protections: Reclassifying transgender individuals as nonbinary could also provide legal protections for all gender-expansive individuals. This would ensure that they are recognized by the law as a distinct group, allowing them to access protection against discrimination and participate fully in society without fear of persecution or exclusion.

4. Education and awareness: Reclassifying transgender individuals as nonbinary would require education and awareness-raising campaigns, which could help to combat the stigmatization and marginalization of gender-expansive individuals. This could help to create a more inclusive society that recognizes and values diversity.

Overall, reclassifying all transgender individuals as nonbinary has the potential to create a more inclusive and equitable society that recognizes and accepts the diversity of gender identity and expression. This strategy could benefit all gender-expansive individuals by providing legal protections, and a sense of community, and helping to combat stigmatization and marginalization.

(Responses were generated by ChatGPT-3.5, and were subsequently edited for grammar by Grammarly. Even the AI seems to make grammatical errors!)

My thoughts on this:

I think it is more liberating for everyone to be nonbinary and gender-expansive, not just for those who currently may identify as nonbinary as well as trans folks. None of these ongoing political debates matter if we as a society did not ascribe special meanings to physiological phenomena -- any more than we don't make such a big deal out of eye colors and construct a whole societal scheme based on them. Most people with gender dysphoria do not require or desire risky and invasive medical procedures -- in fact, because in the past it was the only way for many trans folks to attain needed legal recognition to function in society, the European Union has declared that a government to require sex reassignment surgery as a precondition for gender recognition is a human rights violation. Even the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH, formerly HBIGDA) has historically maintained that such surgery is an absolute last resort when all other treatment options failed to alleviate severe sex dysmorphia. What if being nonbinary humans becomes at least as accepted as same-sex marriages? Sure, prejudice and discrimination may persist in some backward corners of society -- and laws don't necessarily transform culture overnight -- but eventually most people will free themselves from the yokes of sexist gender norms. This would be good news for the vast majority of trans folks as they would no longer be under pressure to pass in order to feel accepted or to survive. Of course, all of this feels overly idealistic and utopian these days, as I know well enough that the endgame of the "Christian" Nationalists and the assorted far-right fascists is not the abolition of gender but a creation of a rigid, binary, sexist, heteronormative society that resembles the Republic of Gilead. Nonetheless, for the large "undecided" middle that can still be swayed, this "nonbinary option" could be a good political bargain that is capable of addressing some of the most commonly voiced concerns around gender identity and expressions.

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