"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, March 16, 2024

The Gender Spectrum, DNA, And Designer Babies - LGBTQ+ Upfront And Real

There is a lot of talk these days about gender. The old standard of male and female sexuality has been dismissed in a 'who says?' populism, and everything in between has become an option.  Social media sites have lists of nearly 100 points on the gender spectrum, and each week it seems, new ones are added. 

Some are simple as saying the rosary - naming it makes it real - and there is an attractive fungibility built in to gender choice.  That is, if you are not happy with one sexual identity, try another. 

This to many undoes the seriousness of the choice.  If gender selection is as easy as ordering from a Chinese menu it demeans the whole intention.  As it is, the facile sexual self-definition and the whole discussion about pronouns has already deflected attention from the more fundamental issue of human sexuality.  

On the other hand, opting for irreversible sexual identity requires more drastic measures. Surgical sexual reassignment is not for the faint of heart, and what man of a certain age can possibly forget Lorena Bobbitt and her straight razor? So if there were some way of avoiding that eventuality it would be welcomed. 

Enter recombinant DNA and designer babies.  Now that the human genome has finally been deciphered, and the process of relating specific bits of genetic material with human attributes turning up new associations every day, the DIY baby generation has arrived. The futures market is already active, and those attractive personalities who are still alive have already sold rights to their DNA; and the estates of those who have died have cleared legal hurdles for the rights to disinterment and gene harvesting. 


Soon online prospective parents will soon be able to purchase Michael Jordan's incredible athletic ability, Marilyn Monroe's sexual allure, and Albert Einstein's genius. Prices will vary.

It has been long contended that gayness is an inborn, innate, genetic trait.  Although not yet pinpointed on the genome, it is only a matter of time before it is; and if gayness is genetic, then each and every one of its variations must also be hardwired. ABC News has recently published an approved list of 59 sexual options of which the A-C listings are illustrative and suggestive of the varied sexual array possible Agender, Androgyn, Androgynous, Bigender, Cis.  

While some options like two-spirit and neutrois seem unlikely to have a spot on God's genetic palette, most others will; and if so, then future prospective parents - whatever recombination and sexual permutation they may be - will be able to order respective DNA. 

So, in addition to ordering beautiful blonde blue-eyed, seductively attractive, genius-brained, triple-event athletes, parents can have genderqueer ones as well.  Diversity in this soon-to-come world will be beyond a progressive's wildest dream, a cornucopia of sexual choice, a banquet, a feast. 

The only problem with all this is that no one can remain on the fence - once the embryo has been engineered to conform to the specifications on the order sheet, there is no going back.  A queer Marilyn Monroe it is, like it or not.

Of course like any other retail item, there will be a money-back guarantee period.  The embryo can't be tinkered with forever, but within the first two weeks, retraction and re-modification will certainly be possible. 

Some cynics have claimed that the whole idea of sexual diversity will ironically disappear with genetic modification.  When ninety percent of parents want the same birth outcome - the standards of feminine beauty have not changed in millennia, nor have those for intelligence and athletic ability - there is a risk of millions of identical clones, with only some deliberate leaking around the edges - shades of coffee skin tones, eye color, height, and symmetry - but generally all people will be grouped around the norm.

The market, say conservative economists, will sort things out.  There will always be innovators who diverge from the norm and pave the way to new standards and ideals.  While popular culture will always be relatively homogeneous, there will always be deviance from the norm.  

God knows what future generations of human beings will look like.  We can only imagine. More than likely the leather, chains, whips, and harnesses of Folsom Street will be things of the past and bi-sexual sadomasochism undoubtedly passé . 


Yet and still, what happens to the gender variant, intersex man/woman who wants to go retro - back to the Fifties with bowties, crinoline, and oxfords, men and women?  Will the future hold the possibility of DNA retrofitting?  Genetic kitchen remodeling? Surely swishing and sashaying are not genetically determined, so DNA rewiring to turn back the clock to macho-man times should be possible. 

'Brave New World', warn social pessimists - not the dystopic, autocratic world imagined by Huxley and Orwell, but a chaotic nonsense.  An anything goes world, unmoored from any traditional human values, a chaotic mess of sexual promiscuity, superficiality, and fantasy. 

Very likely, given America's proven taste for all the above. However the new world will be no better or no worse than any other, neither the best of all possible worlds nor the worst, but advocates will whoop and holler and cheer the eventuality of a diversity finally embedded in human nature and not just a political ideal.  Conservatives are doubtful, and hew as always to the universal adage, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. 

In any case humanity will be unrecognizable after the DNA revolution.  Human beings recombined in millions of ways will constitute a new race, a highly evolved one.  Even if the standard traits of human nature have been removed - aggression, self-interest, territorialism, etc. - others just as problematic will replace them.  There is no such thing as Utopia, and there never will be.  A nice ride on a carousel is about all we can expect, so enjoy it.

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