I’ve noticed at that lot of fellow libertarians are on the fence or adverse to gender-fluidity and transgenderism. As I’ve noted before, this exists in the mind of the beholder and is entirely outside of libertarianism. A “thin” libertarianism remains value-neutral on the matter and has nothing to say about it what so ever. A “thick” libertarianism coupled with conservative values (which is a very confused but somewhat common mix, as I’ve also explained previously) may have an adverse opinion, but this is usually just grafting on personal prejudices, pseudo-science, and religious strictures. A “thick” left libertarianism, while still holding all genders and identities as equally value-neutral, understands it’s context as evolving from enlightenment ideals of independence and self-determination.

Once libertarianism is understood through that context of origin it seems like libertarians really should be amongst the LGBTQQI community’s most avid supporters. In many ways they are, having always advocated for gay marriage for instance and performing some of the first radical and feminist marriages in which a woman was not owned by a man in the 19th century.

But there is a key concept here that we are dancing around and have not named. I recalled it from an earlier article I wrote for a 4th wave feminist zine. That concept is Gender Liberty.

All people have the right to determine how they would like to identify and be identified, regardless of bio-logical birth sex (chromosomes, etc.). But why? Well, who exactly would be entitled and qualified to say otherwise? Should it be the State? The Church perhaps? No, governmental and religious bodies determining the details of our bodies and identities wouldn’t do. But why?

The why is critical though. The key and most basic tenet libertarianism is that people everywhere have the right to self organize, self determine, and act in what ever way they should see fit in-so-far-as that does not interfere with someone else’s ability to do the same. Don’t hurt people, don’t take their stuff (or their native lands!)

But there is one of those just mentioned that can be over-looked, especially when libertarianism is boiled down into bare-bones brutalist precepts: self-determination.

You have the right to work as you want in what ever type of job you can, you have the right to wear what ever you want (in some places, nothing), you have the right to consentually love, make love to, marry or not marry, whomever you want, you have the right to eat what you want whether it’s healthy or not, as long as you do so peacefully you have the right to travel where you want as long as you have the consent of the people of the place you travel to (don’t occupy native lands!), you have the right to smoke what you want or smoke nothing at all. There are a near infinite variety of possibilities to add to this list because it is not all-inclusive.

One other worth mentioning though is that you have the right TO BE whom-ever and what-ever you want. What ever you dream, as long as it is possible, can be so. Because you are the master of your own Kingdom, the arbiter of your own fate, and the master of your destiny, who of the earthly (or any) plane would have a right to force you TO BE someone or something that you to do not wish to be?

Any who say otherwise are trying to bluff you into giving up your individual rights. Don’t do it.

A blogger or podcast-hoster with hundreds, thousands, or even millions of viewers could say your identity or choices are ridiculous. Even if this subjective valuation were true in some determined sense, it would not matter. It does not matter in the slightest bit what others think of your choices and identity if your actions do not cause harm.

Suppose a religious authority releases something like the Nashville Statement (my home city has disowned this for what it’s worth) claiming knowledge that the Creator Of The Universe made just two Genders and all else is abomination.

Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

A quick Google search can reveal religious doctrines that directly contradict this, so this cannot be relied upon in any kind of scientific sense. This also infringes on your Gender Liberty if this doctrine is forced on you.

Suppose your identity and choices undermine an ancient order of institutions that Society has relied upon for a long, long, time and that the Church and State must place reasonable (as they always are said to be) limits on your choices for these reasons. Any institution that exists at the expense of your individual rights must be adapted or abolished. New institutions can be built when old ones crumble into the sea.

Suppose scientists have developed instruments that are claimed to be able to determine the ideal gender for you based on genetics, hormone balance, personality, and other factors and that the results are state-enforced. This is of course sci-fi hyperbole, but stranger things like eugenics happened during the 19th and 20th century so if this came to pass it would definitely infringe on your personal Gender Liberty.

It does not matter if anyone or any imposed artificial authority claims otherwise, you have a right to self-determination and self-identification.

Through stating this, I am of course NOT suggesting that things like straightness, bi-ness, gayness, or whether a person is transgender, etc. is a personal choice that can be opted out of (i.e. “pray the gay away”), but rather that the process of the discovery of, realization of, and expression of these factors is an entirely personal set of decisions that others have no right to dictate.

I personally identify as straight, male, and cis-gendered, but no one has the right to dictate to me that I am otherwise. The same works in reverse or any order in fact.

In any case, whatever the circumstances, your Gender Liberty and right to self-determination can not be violated and to attempt to do so violates the deepest axioms that liberalism of all stripes and libertarianism is built upon. Do so at your own ethical and ontological peril.