This week, I went to my first GenderQueer Chicago meeting. While no group, or meeting, is perfect, it was . . . exactly what I needed. And even more, it was something I hadn’t quite been conscious of needing.
Since coming out as trans, I’ve never been in a room with so many trans/genderqueer/otherwise gender-nonconforming people in my life (I feel fairly safe in saying this, despite the general confidentiality of the meeting, given that it’s stated plainly on their blog that they have meetings). Before I really came out, I attended the annual Trans Health and Wellness Conference in my home state, and that was also a really amazing experience. The conference was really the first time I’d met an adult–someone who wasn’t a current student at an uber-liberal, elite liberal arts college–who identified as genderqueer, and it really brought it home to me that a gendered existence beyond the binary is possible, even after leaving the comforting bubble provided by my college. Continue reading
I presented my thesis today at a gathering that the Gender Studies program put on. In the short biography I wrote to precede my presentation, I specifically switched between “ze” and “they” as my pronouns. Everything in my bio was about gender, including the title of my thesis and that I founded the trans support group at my college. Nevertheless, the woman who planned the event still managed to introduce me using feminine pronouns, even as she read my bio. She was reading from the paper in front of her–a paper on which I was referred to with gender-neutral pronouns–and she still called me “she” and referred to my thesis as “her thesis.” Continue reading
I sing with an a cappella group, which I love. It’s one of my favorite parts of my life at college. Today, we went to the recording studio to begin recording my senior solo. Recording is usually a lot of fun, but today it was really stressful.
To start with, I’m not a really confident singer, and my sense of rhythm is surprising lacking for a singer. So, I’m recording the scratch track (the track the others listen to as they record, so that we can all be together), and it fails. I’m continually off the proper rhythm. It doesn’t help that they keep using feminine pronouns for me, which only magnifies the discomfort I’m feeling regarding my voice and gets me feeling even more frustrated. It’s not really their fault; I haven’t been correcting them about my pronouns lately because I don’t want to distract them, since we’ve been short on time, between our concert two weeks ago and recording now. And I haven’t actually asked the guy we record with to use gender-neutral pronouns for me, so it’s really not his fault. Continue reading
Okay, so, I don’t actually hate pronouns. Hate is an awfully strong emotion for a part of speech. Furthermore, I recognize that pronouns are near and dear to many people’s hearts, and I completely respect people’s rights to whatever pronouns they wish to use. I’ll even admit that pronouns are convenient. After all, I’d rather say or write a simple one-syllable word than repeat a long word over, and over, and over again. Continue reading