H.P. Blavatsky had quite an original (partly based on Plato I think) view of the origin and future of humanity. She envisioned a past in which we were hermaphrodite. And before that sex didn’t even come into it. The sexes split yet in the future, in a more enlightened age (a long time into the future), we would merge once again.
The sexless race reincarnated in the bisexual (potentially); the latter in the Androgynes; these again in the sexual, the later third Race; [Note that bisexual here does not refer to sexual preference, but to a human species who were male and female at the same time, at least potentially. The Androgynes or Hermaphrodytes were the same except they had male and female actualized, instead of merely potentially.] [From the Secret Doctrine]
Biological hermaphrodites do occur even today. Biology doesn’t see this as a remnant of the past, but as an anomaly.
For my present purposes it is also significant that in the 20th century awareness of what it means to be male or female has changed enormously. The term transgender sums up not just androgyn people, but also cross dressers and gays and people who feel they were born the wrong sex. [I can never quite keep the terminology straight, so here’s a link to a glossary of transgender terminology.]
From a theosophical perspective the main question is of course: is it true that we started out hermaphrodite ages ago? There is no biological evidence to support that thesis. The only way to combine the two is by saying that those early races Blavatsky speaks about were not physical and therefor left no traces in the fossil record. Since Blavatsky actually does say all that as well, this explanation works within this context.
People often draw conclusions based on biology. Like: what can the biological function of transgender be? Since there isn’t any – it’s unnatural – people should not act like that… Yet, as I noted on Wednesday, biology isn’t everything. People differ enormously amongst themselves. There is no reason to believe that just because not everybody can hear as well as professional musicians do, they should therefor conform to the majority and stop playing music.
Transgender people often feel quite strongly that the sex they aren’t biologically a part of, is part of their identity. Perhaps they express a deeper truth: that all of humanity is ONE, and that division based on sex is ultimately not helpful.