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Saturday, October 1, 2011

We Are Making Progress

Jennifer Conlin writes in the New York Times of "The Freedom to Choose Your Pronoun."

Conlin notes that Google+ allows you to choose "other" for gender.

Though Google created the “other” option for privacy reasons rather than as a transgender choice, young supporters of preferred gender pronouns (or P.G.P.’s as they are called) could not help but rejoice. Katy is one of a growing number of high school and college students who are questioning the gender roles society assigns individuals simply because they have been born male or female.

“You have to understand, this has nothing to do with your sexuality and everything to do with who you feel like inside,” Katy said, explaining that at the start of every LGBTQQA meeting, participants are first asked if they would like to share their P.G.P.’s. “Mine are ‘she,’ ‘her’ and ‘hers’ and sometimes ‘they,’ ‘them’ and ‘theirs.’ ”

P.G.P.’s can change as often as one likes. If the pronouns in the dictionary don’t suffice, there are numerous made-up ones now in use, including “ze,” “hir” and “hirs,” words that connote both genders because, as Katy explained, “Maybe one day you wake up and feel more like a boy.”

The article also notes the adjectives “bi-curious,” “heteroflexible,” “polyamorous” and even “wiggly.” It also talks about a preschool in Sweden and passports in Australia.

In the United States, the transgender movement is beginning to find advocates in high schools. There are now nearly 5,000 Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs, high school organizations offering support to teenagers, registered with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a national organization whose mission is “to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”

It's a great article that shows that things are changing. Let's make sure that sooner rather than later, people can be true to themselves and can freely love the person or persons of their choosing.
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