Mods: could you publsih this as anonymous, please? thanks.
I teach a first year composition class at a university in a very conservative state. We’re required to use a syllabus made by our supervisor, and discouraged from changing the syllabus, but I asked our boss if I could include a civility policy that included language along the lines of “no homophobic, transphobic, fatphobic, ableist etc etc etc language will be tolerated.” It’s a long policy but I sent it to my supervisor and asked if I could add it to make sure all my students feel safe in my classroom, and he responded saying not only should I add it, but he should’ve been the one to think of it, and it will now be part of the syllabus everyone has to use. Yay!
Since the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has become popular, there’s been a lot of speculation about the orientation of one character on the show, Rainbow Dash. This post on a Pony fansite addresses how this fits into the usual bullying that LGBTQ people face and links to the It Gets Better Project.
The social coordinator at women’s choir rehearsal was joking that “if any of you have husbands or boyfriends who work at bars and can get us cheap drinks, let us know!” The musical director corrected her: “Or wives, or girlfriends, or whatever,” and the social coordinator immediately amended her statement to include those.
I posted on my blog a picture of a pair of shoes I designed for my boyfriend for his birthday. (I’m an artist.) One person wrote in the comments, “You’re a great girl/boyfriend!”
I was pleasantly surprised that the commenter did not automatically assume my gender based on the fact that I have a boyfriend.
In a graduate level introductory counseling course, my professor passed around forms for us to fill out so he could get to know us. It included a field to name and describe our “significant others.” Not only was I struck by how great it was that this was gender neutral and multiple relationship inclusive, I instantly considered the possibility of me, in the future, being in a non-monogamous relationship and having a counselor who would understand as such. I also think of this as a great way for the professor to ask about kids or other significant people in our lives in a non-intrusive way. Such a simple thing made me happy and feel hopeful that even complete strangers could be open to all of me, not just pieces that are socially acceptable.
Met someone for the first time today. I used ‘them’ and ‘they’ as pronouns for my partner, and instead of presuming anything, she used the same pronouns back. Yay for her understanding of closettedness and/or non-binary people.
On the 8 o’clock national news, there was an item on there being a shortage of foster parents to care for kids who have to be taken away from their parents. The couple of potential foster parents chosen for a more indepth interview about their opinions on the foster program and how they were preparing for fostering their first child, were gay men. Not one word was said about this in the entire interview. The Netherlands, back in 2010.
My Grandma came home from a new church the other week, and raved about how great she thought it was. I was going to roll my eyes, since she usually goes to Pentecostal churches, but she surprised me. Just the week before she spoke about homosexuals as “deceived” and using other churchy terms that made me shrug my shoulders, knowing I could never talk to her about my bisexuality as I was hoping to this summer. But that Sunday? She was excited about how they were teaching people to love, in a new way.
"They told us to think of something or someone that made us feel uncomfortable." She said. "So I thought of gay people. Then the pastor asked us to imagine us putting our arms around the person or personified idea, and looking into its very human eyes. He talked about showing love to the people we don’t understand. So in my example, I’d go hand out water bottles at a Pride Parade."
"With signs to let them know you’re a Christian, right?" My mom asked.
"No, no, not like that. No agenda. Just there, loving them. They’re human, they get dehydrated too. The point is to love them."
"We seem to have forgotten how to do that along the way," I interjected. My Grandma gave me a smile. I guess there’s hope.
I came out as genderqueer to one of my close friends. Later that day, he held a door open for me because I have arthritis and can’t push doors very hard, and an old man walking passed said “that’s a good lad, ladies first!”. When we got in the building, he turned to me and went “shows what he knows, eh? You’re not a lady at all!”. He now goes out of his way to avoid calling me a woman or implying that I’m a woman, and when I came out to more people, and somebody called me a lesbian as an insult, he immediately said “nah, ze’d have to be a girl to be a lesbian!”
I had a meeting with an endocrinologist this morning who asked me what my sexual preference was and elaborated, saying, “men? women? both? neither?” I appreciated that she’d include the possibility both of being interested in more than one gender or no one at all.