“I am deaf and wear two hearing aids. “Should I feel bad about that, or depressed?”
Well, my husband wears two hearing aids also. He doesn’t feel bad about it, and is decidedly not depressed. :-). So, I’d say “No.”
You and he are part of human biodiversity. The issue here is not human biodiversity; the issue is people who use certain conditions which are part of human biodiversity as an excuse to discriminate, either by thought or deed, against others.
“Now add onto it that I am a transgender woman. Now I’m really not normal, right?”
Same comment as above.
I would add here because you may not know this: I am a practicing Muslim. Both the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam (which is most of us), by 1992, had rendered fatwas (legal opinions) that transgenderism is part of the aforementioned biodiversity (although I’m not sure how the exact translation comes across, as I speak neither Arabic nor Farsi) and should be accepted and/or treated as medical professionals see fit. I have read anecdotally that there are more SRS surgeries performed in Iran than any other country.
(I don’t want to overstate the above; I believe the fatwas extend only to people who want SRS; I doubt those rulings provide cover for people with related conditions.)
Is it that I am not normal, or is it that we need to collectively stop putting people in a box and start looking at people as unique individuals who bring their own skills, abilities, and talents to the table in order to contribute to our culture?
You offer a false choice.
“Putting people in boxes” is necessary to both govern the nation and to advance science. Political Science, Human Biology, Medicine, Psychology, Sociology……all of them function by putting people in boxes and figuring out what you need to do for (or to) them. The big fat elephant in the room will come around in 2020, when the US Census will take you and me and slice us up and put us in more boxes than we can count.
You are absolutely correct that ever individual is unique and fabulous and we have the responsibility, when we deal with people one on one, to interact with them individually, without preconception. However, if I’m not dealing with people one on one, and/or I’m thinking in terms of math, science of political policy, there aren’t enough hours in the day to work with individuals; we have to resort back to demographics. And that means “boxes”.
I am fairly certain that when the NIH says “X percent of Americans have near-total hearing loss, while 15% have some hearing loss, while the other 80% have normal hearing” you don’t take that as an insult.
Am I correct?