Transgender Awareness Week starts November 13th and includes the Transgender Day of Remembrance recognized on November 20th to honor the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. For more information on how you can honor and show your support, check out GLAAD, The National Center for Transgender Equality, and Transgender Education Network of Texas,
I have often found myself struck by the beauty of gender diversity. We now, really since the feminists in the 1970’s, recognize many gender identifications more than the standard bipolar identification of male and female. In an effort to recognize the many gender identities, we sometimes focus on how we reference gender in our language and culture.
It is lovely to see more people hold space and conversations for gender diversity. There are some who believe we should take on a more gender neutral stance in our language. This might suggest that we all adopt a they/them pronoun use. This is problematic though, as it does not recognize the multiple intersections of oppression that impact any individual as well as setting up a false universalization of gender, when there is anything but.
What can we do? Assert your pronouns, not the ones you wish would make the world safer, more inclusive, but the ones that fit you most, and personally. And make space for the rest of us to assert our gender, so that all of us, each in our own, may express our gender, affirmatively, like a star-spangled rainbow, towards equality.
Saguy, A.C. & Williams, J.A. (2019) ?Why we should all use they/them pronouns.? Scientific American, April 11.
Saguy, A.C., Williams, J. & Rees, M. (2020) ?Reassessing gender neutrality.? Law & Society Review 54: 7-32.
Also see —
Hanna, A., et al. (2019) ?Actually, we should not all use they/them pronouns.? Scientific American, May 3.
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