From both readings my understanding of third gender is the option to be identified outside of gay and lesbian. Gender roles and the way you present yourself to the world are identified by individual cultures. In Western society, there are freedoms to identify however you feel is right, hence third gender is a perfect subdivision to feel comfortable in your own body. Transvestites and hermaphrodites are recognized outside of gay and lesbian; therefore, third gender has a right to be acknowledged in the queer community as well. Third gender is an approach to classify an individual without the dominant political and social grades influencing what is appropriate. Western culture accepts the change in dynamics amongst the queer umbrella, and gives room for individuals to explore their individuality. Because the Western system originated by men and women gender roles, the new meaning of third gender allows the class to become its own category in the queer community. If we understand the primitive idea of Western culture, there becomes room for innovation. Third gender is an all-inclusive term for queer apart from gay and lesbian. This term restraints individual identity because there are many terms which qualify as third gender but not everybody can identify with more than one classification. Third gender skews the principle and methods of the particular category, which then gives off the wrong perception of what the specific category is. Third gender also gives off the idea of separate categories not having their own practices, then leaving an empty space for making their own customs. If third gender does not grant separate knowledge of categories, what is stopping a society from mistaking what the categories are capable of in contributing to the community? Furthermore, Western society is progressing quickly which now is becoming an endorsement to separate ourselves from other cultures even more. On the other hand, Valentine describes the diverse beliefs of the Meatpacking prostitutes in New York. Valentine does not specifically talk about third gender; however, through his interviews with the works he describes the option of third gender by questioning why they choose to identify as gay or lesbian. Some of the workers do not take hormones but still identify as a gay and lesbian because that is how they feel, and even some of the workers do not know what transgender means. One worker corrects her audience by calling her she, although she does not take hormones. Moreover, some workers educate themselves through the organization they go to for support. Valentine leaves the idea of transgender up the individual he is interviewing by discussing what transgender means and if there is room for than just gay or lesbian in the community. Third gender is significant for trans studies because it entails a variety of categories that are acceptable and recognized inside and outside the queer community.
http://www.housingworks.org/heal/P-H-P/ positive health project