Your sense of self is as real as your body

Jack Molay
2 min readAug 2, 2021

Many “gender critical” TERFs and right wing extremists transphobes out there keep repeating that science says that gender can be reduced to genitals and chromosomes.

It is important to keep the following in mind: No one is denying that penises and vaginas are real or that biological sex exists.

Our bodies are most definitely real. Indeed, one major problem facing many trans people is the mismatch between that biological reality and the reality of one’s experienced gender. The body is real. The identity is real.

Reducing the one (the identity) to the other (biological sex) is not a scientific observation. It is an ideological statement reflecting a cultural belief about what ought to be real.

Science respects the reality of both biological sex and experienced gender identity, as does most sensible people. It is only those who want to use the biological divide to police other people’s behavior that need this dogma, and no one else.

And as we have seen, the dogma requires a strict binary, without ambiguity. Well, science shows that there is no such strict divide: Not in the realm of biology. Not in culture. And not in the mind.

The only ones who get hurt by admitting these facts are the ones who would like to force others into living up to their narrow, false and stifling interpretation of reality.

See Are There More Than Two Biological Sexes? for more on the complexity of biological sex.

Originally published at



Jack Molay

Writer and news curator looking at everything transgender, nonbinary and queer.