(k) Gender identity

Gender identity is not an important issue. However, Coelho is well aware of being a man, which he expresses particularly in his relationship with Hilal and his desire for her as a woman (Coelho, 2011, p. 152). However, at one point he highlights: “I am the woman I have learned to be” (Coelho, 2011, p. 133). This situation happens in Novosibirsk when Coelho goes out with Hilal and Tatiana in search of a nightclub to dance. Coelho puts himself into a gendered mindset, into the mindset of a woman to “read between the lines” and understand Hilal. He refers to the different ways of communication between men and women and the change of perspective that is needed to understand Hilal. He does not explain further why or how he learnt to be a woman; however, he might be referring to his experiences of the feminine side of his soul, which he describes in other books (Coelho, 1990). This statement, however, shows that Coelho naturally applies a “male perspective”, being a man and behaving as one. Coelho again refers to the “feminine side”, which is needed to get into contact with the “unknown” and be open to learning new things (Coelho, 2011, p. 243). He thereby shows that a balanced gender identity is needed to live life to the full and to create holistic wellness in a person.

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