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Gender identity question engenders conflicting emotions

Gender identity question engenders conflicting emotions
By Dick Yarbrough
Gender identity question engenders conflicting emotions
By Dick Yarbrough

I am so conflicted these days. I haven’t been my usual sharp incisive self. Even the RITNOs (Republicans in Trump’s Name Only) must be wondering why I haven’t jerked their pompous, self-righteous chains recently. Same with the Chardonnaysipping liberal weenies who vigorously defend free speech on college campuses as long as it is pro-Palestinian only.

There is a good reason for my anguish. Nothing has been the same since I signed up for my COVID booster shot. Actually, I didn’t personally sign up. My daughter did it for me because she knows I am about as adept at filling out forms as I am at interpreting Egyptian hieroglyphics. Left to my own devices, I would likely have signed myself up for the Soap Box Derby.

Most of the sign-up details were handled by phone and were relatively easy: Age: Pretty old, but not yet drooling my oatmeal; Height: Ramrod straight; Weight; 185 pounds of solid, rippling muscle (Hey, it’s my forms, okay?); We were rocking along. Current address? Easy. Insurance? No problem. Social Security Number? Ditto. Current medicines. Last COVID shot, etc. Done and done.

Then there was a pause on the line. My daughter informed me there was one last question to ask and suggested I take my time before answering because my reply could have serious ramifications for the whole family and perhaps dredge up some past history best left buried. Question: What gender was I assigned at birth? Say what?

Frankly, I don’t remember this being brought up when I was born because — well — I was busy getting born and that wasn’t the time for stupid questions. I didn’t have the presence of mind at the time to consult my momma and daddy. Today, I tend to hold them responsible for all the confusion. After all, this was their idea.

I thought about asking my brother — or at least I think he’s my brother. He could be my sister if we don’t get this gender thing figured out. Imagine his surprise if he found out that bratty little brother who was always pestering him was actually his bratty little sister or bratty little whatever.

I’m not sure how we have gotten to the point where you have to bring this stuff up just to get a COVID shot. Back in the old days, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It was a known fact when I was growing up that boys were snips, snails and puppy dogs’ tails and that girls were sugar and spice and everything nice. But not any more. Today, some claim they are neither a slightly condescending plate of escargot nor a 5-pound bag of Domino Pure Cane Granulated Sugar.

According to most research I have seen, they comprise 0.5 percent of the population. For those of you who can’t locate your abacus at the moment, that is one-half of one percent. That’s less than the number of Americans who say they eat eggplant daily, but now 99.5 percent of us are having to answer a question we don’t understand just to get a COVID shot that right-wingers say we don’t need anyway. Is this a great country or what?

It used to be you were what the doctor said you were when he slapped you on the back at birth. That is called “sex assigned at birth” and is based on what the doctor saw after he finished slapping you and then took a peek at, um, you know.

People who study this kind of thing say that while what sex you are assigned at birth goes on the birth certificate, gender identity is your own sense of who you are, not what the doctor saw while looking at your private parts.

So, who am I? I am a person who loves my family, my country and the Great State of Georgia. I believe in God and I believe women are just as qualified to be ministers as are men. I have the highest respect for law enforcement and public school teachers and despair at the lack of respect they receive from us. I hate social media rants, our inability to laugh at ourselves, the Woke crowd and broccoli. I love the University of Georgia, Ray Charles Robinson, banana pudding and the privilege of appearing on these pages.

I am also someone who wonders why anyone needs to know all this stuff just so I can get a COVID shot. Next time, I’ll just take two aspirin. That is who I am.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at or at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.

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