Queer as transsexual Europe

CafeBabel.com – by Anna Irini Antonakis

Where does man begin and woman end? It’s not an easy one to answer. What determines our sexual identity? Mode of behaviour? Our sexual partner? Or the midwife in the hospital when we are born? If there really are two purely ‘biological’ sexes, then where do we put intersexual people, who possess both male and female sexual characteristics?

Heterosexuality and unambiguous sexual images remain deeply embedded in European societies. People who do not fit in with prevailing ideas, and who are unwilling or unable to squeeze their identity into the tight corset of the two sexes, are still forced to battle prejudice and discrimination in today’s Europe. Prejudice ranges from physical aggression and verbal abuse in public to well-concealed contempt in every day life. ‘Whenever I cross the university campus with my girlfriend we can both feel the irritated glances. I don’t understand why students of our generation seem to still have a problem with it,’ says Alina, a 21-year-old from Munich, with indignation. ‘It’s annoying of course, but I don’t see why we should have to hide our love because of it.’