A Jewel by Any Other Name

Julia Hope 10

So, my little one is growing up fast… and it’s become evident that Julia actually would have been assigned male at birth.

I’m extremely, achingly aware that for us humans, sex and gender are not the same thing. If we were talking about a person, of course Julia could be a girl that happened to have a penis and testicles. Genitals do not equal gender, and it’s obviously a massive issue how we just assume that the sex that human babies are assigned at birth (male or female) matches up with their gender identity (boy or girl… though there are various other options).

This is a very sensitive topic for me, and although I do not think that other animals experience a sense of gender identity the way that we do, I still feel awkward sometimes about how we automatically assume that “male” animals are boys and “female” animals are girls. (And whenever we don’t know the sex of a random animal, we say “he” and never “she,” but that’s another story…)

I’ve been stewing over this sex vs. gender in regards to animals topic a lot lately, ever since I went to get this darling hamster, and especially recently, after becoming aware of Julia’s anatomy. After a lot of thinking and confusion… I’m still calling my feisty furball of joy “Julia” and using she & her pronouns. I feel like that fits this critter. And sometimes there are no perfect answers.

The important thing is that my baby is happy and healthy and perfectly perfect as is. That’s all that matters.

Julia Hope 11

Julia Hope 12

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