Four years ago I started learning about sexuality and gender and their fluidity. I had the freedom and privilege to have conversations and discussions with people about these concepts. I’ve see people discover themselves and flourish. I feel like during this time in my life, I was in a bubble. Gender and sexuality were the topics of almost every conversation and most of the people I talked to had something to contribute.
I was faced with a harsh reality when I started my new classes in my new program. The word “they” to describe someone’s neutrality in the gender sphere was frowned upon and crossed off my papers. “He” and “She” were the only words acceptable.
Not because my instructors didn’t recognize that “they” is a valid pronoun, but because it’s confusing grammatically. They is used to describe a plural noun, so when “they” is applied to a singular person, it’s incorrect.
Grammar might sound like a trivial aspect that affected me, but it didn’t just affect me. It started affecting people close to me when I explained that when I used the “they” pronoun, it would get crossed out and written over with “she or he.” Someone asked me if they were wrong for being the way they are and identifying as they do.
In 2016, gender identity and fluidity is a topic that needs to be discussed. People have the right to feel comfortable in their identity even if it’s outside of the gender binary. People shouldn’t feel like they are wrong—they should feel accepted and loved.
Spur Festival 2016: Gender Fluidity is the event I’m looking forward to the most. I’m excited to be in a safe environment where gender can be discussed honestly and where LGBTQTS community members can explore it. I’m excited to have a panel with different backgrounds discuss this concept. I’m looking forward to expand my knowledge on gender fluidity and to feel empowered to continue the discussion in my every day life.