A little more than six years ago I wrote about my yellow-naped amazon parrot Groucho. In passing, I mentioned that after more than 30 years of thinking Groucho a boy, it turned out that he was a girl. I explained that this species was sexually monomorphic to human eyes, but not to those of parrots who can see into the ultraviolet range. With such vision a boy parrot looks different from a girl parrot. I also mentioned that Groucho had thus far refused to accept his, or rather her, gender reassignment. Over the ensuing six years he has continued to insist that she is a he. Not only that, he claims to be a bad boy. You can listen to him proclaim both his badness and his maleness – I’m a bad boy Groucho
Our awareness of the distinction between biological and perceived gender has evolved in the ensuing eight years since Groucho was DNA sexed. We are reexamining his refusal to accept the news that her gender identification differs from what biology tells their. If you’re uncertain about what pronoun to use for Groucho, imagine how we feel. We’re trying to be wakened, or not sleeping, or decerebrate, or whatever is the enlightened state of conscious at this precise moment. We can’t fathom what precisely we are dealing with. Does Groucho’s opinion count? How can we deny it? What letter or symbol should we assign to him (?). LGBTQ#6WZ@#~. We are genuinely confused, a state that Groucho doesn’t seem to share.
Gender dysphoria used to called gender identity disorder. But the psychiatrists changed it to the current euphemism in the latest joke book edition (5) so as to avoid the stigma associated with the term disorder. I guess Herrick will have to posthumously change the name of his poem to Delight in Dysphoria. I explained to Groucho that he should not be upset as he only had a dysphoria rather than a disorder, but he didn’t seem appeased and went into a rant proclaiming for a half an hour that he was ‘green’. I finally gave up and told him that as far as we were concerned that he was a boy. This produced 15 minutes of him asking me if I wanted a cup of coffee.
Then we were presented with the need to tell our family and friends, all of whom know Groucho very well, that while his biological sex had changed, his gender identification had not. That our companion of 38 years would tolerate no name change and would answer only to Groucho. Most of them took it well. One first cousin twice removed was unconvinced and told me that there were only boy parrots and girl parrots and that there was no interchangeability. But he, maybe it was she, was a lone holdout to Groucho’s gender fluidity.
On a recent trip with him in his travel cage, he went into a screaming fit when my wife took him to the ladies room. He would not even tolerate the unisex bathroom. Only the men’s room would keep him unagitated. Groucho has no need for transition therapy – he’s there.
The word of Groucho’s proud defiance of gender stereotypes seems to have been disseminated. He’s gotten several speaking invitations. Among those organizations that have asked him to speak are the Endocrine Society, Gay Pride Waukegan, and Bloomsday 2020 as everything Groucho says sounds like James Joyce.
Why is Groucho important? Because green lives matter. The poor guy spends almost all his time in a cage, sleeps standing up, and eats a diet composed almost entirely of pellets. He’s not going to take it anymore; he’s chosen his gender and he’s proud of it.
Groucho has just announced that he’s not going to take any money from China. He’s also not going to endorse any shoes as he’s yet to wear one, much less two. He also stated that he will always stand for the National Anthem because, as I’ve already mentioned, he stands for everything. He’s paid a heavy price for supporting Daisy in the last presidential election. Nevertheless, he’s going to support her again in next year’s contest. Impeachment, of anyone, is not one his plate. While he love apples and corn, he hates peaches.
So it’s abundantly clear that Groucho is his own guy and is not swayed by conventional opinion, passing fancy, or the vogue de jour. Pellets for all!