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Christmas Carols and Gender Identity


What About Grandpa ?

Originally the title was: How Christmas Carols Contributed to my Confusion about Gender Identification and  Biological  Processes. It seemed a little long, but descriptive.

Two phrases come to mind from popular Christmas Carols I heard again this week. I had to smile as I was reminded me of the confusion they caused for a young boy growing up and learning the ways of the world through language.

Silent Night Mother and Child

The first phrase was what I heard, not what was being said and I couldn’t read, but it is what I heard.  Now I know it was round yon virgin mother and child, but to my ears it was round young virgin mother and child.  Meaning you called someone who was about to become a mother, who was (round) a . . .  You got it;  confusion, confusion.  I could tell you stories of ways the confusion was spread by this one little miss understanding of how the “V” word is applied in language and social situations.

I’m not sure when clarity finally came, I think it was one Christmas after singing from the hymnal, while singing about virgins again, the word was yon not young.  I asked mom after church what a yon virgin was and how that was different from a young virgin.  Mom was not a bit taken aback by her young sons question about virgins. She was of good farm stock and talk of biological things was always handled in a matter of fact manner. First step, always to ask what I meant.

I think she was relieved when I answered “It is the song silent night. . .”  That smile and sigh of relief wasn’t to be fully understood on my part for years to come.

Angel’s Prostates Fall

You over hear a lot of things when you are young and growing up that you don’t understand. Grown-ups are counting on that when they talk in front of you about things like prostates.  I didn’t know what or where my grandfather’s prostate was, or what it’s function was, but I knew it had something to do with him having trouble and being in the bathroom for long periods of time.

When something “falls” that is not a good thing.  To fall down, when a cup falls off a table.  When the neighbor comes home with a cast because of a “fall”.

When we sang about angels prostates falling I knew two things.  First angels were males, because when I asked what a prostate was I was told something men have and women don’t.  Angels then must be males, the pictures mostly looked that way and their names Michael and Gabriel seemed to be male. The wings being the only exception, I figured it was an angel thing.

Second, I also realized that angels must have trouble going to the bathroom because they had fallen prostates (at least at Christmas time).  This lead me to wonder about what a bathroom in heaven looked like; was there gold on the seats, if so were they cold.

Eventually this was clarified with age and further refining of my understanding of the English language and the difference between prostrate and prostate.

Christmas Carols; who would have ever thought they could lead to so much confusion about life and ways of the world.

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