Humans often encounter expectations that they behave differently from the people they are. Many left-handed people have trod lightly on this path. When internalized such conflicts can be profoundly disconcerting and must be resolved. Each transgendered person contending with her or his suppressed gender identity exists in a continual state of such conflict. That person is and is not the child, adolescent, and adult she or he has learned to be. Experience and reflection will ultimately prove that essential identity is far different from education and endeavor. Even inevitably recurring brief secret episodes of release merely reconfirm the transgendered person’s implacable obsession rather than providing respites from it. Such a conflict will not, because it cannot, resolve itself.
The focus of The Fallacy of Assignable Gender is gender identity conflict. The work begins with an intimately personal account of a forty-year struggle with that conflict. The condition is examined from the perspectives of medical science, religion, political theory, the arts, and others. Perhaps as compelling as the nature of the condition is society’s reaction to it. Fifteen common mischaracterizations share an apparent determination by those who proffer them to ignore or reject what has been learned at great cost. Each straw man is explored and refuted.
A four-step plan is presented whose goal is elimination of gender identity suppression. Whether the reader’s interest is personal or professional, ending the social and economic scourge of suppressed gender identity will require a broad concerted effort. Its undertaking is long overdue.
Love of music, a career in financial services, and pursuit of a wide range of interests have afforded Brenda Bradford a broad perspective from which to address her subject. She has written about the transgendered condition not merely as an interested observer but as an intimately involved participant in a lengthy conflict with identity suppression. Begun several years after her transition, The Fallacy of Assignable Gender offers unique insight into a rare and still inadequately understood aspect of identity. When not writing or serving the financial needs of her clients, Ms. Bradford spends much of her time pursuing her interest piano.