Learning Your Own Name

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2022-03-24 15:49Z by Steven

Learning Your Own Name

The Gay & Lesbian Review

Ren Iris

The author in fourth grade, holding a basketball trophy

IF GENDER had a tagline, it would be “Gender: Paradoxes Abound.” Every day, we make countless assumptions based on gender expectations and societal norms. Sex assigned at birth and gender are often conflated and/or repurposed to fit institutional check-the-box guidelines. Gender—the abstraction, the perceived reality—is a chimera. Like most other words acting as a placeholder for an abstract concept, it is ever shifting and always context-dependent, even if it’s relegated to a box to be checked on a form.

We’ve gotten less restrictive lately, thanks to activists and antidiscrimination policies, and thanks also to the dissemination of intersectional training, often featuring educational resources such as the “gender unicorn” or “gender bread” person. But even with all that knowledge, we must constantly unlearn the restrictive, prescriptive understandings of gender. And in real time, during present interactions, referring to a gender-inclusive cheat sheet before responding is usually a thankless endeavor…

Read the entire article here.

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