quipping boy: things that get stuck in my brain
as a general rule in groups/panels/events at my school’s LGBT Resource Center, esp. the trans* group i regularly go to, when we do introductions and icebreakers at the beginning people are asked to state…
i’ve heard this said before, and have discussed it specifically at a cis-privilege/trans* ally workshop in a queer setting.
i’m also in a specific queer setting regularly where people of all gender identities and expressions, binary-typical and otherwise, often answer the PGP question with ‘either pronoun’ or ‘i don’t care for pronouns’ or ‘pronouns don’t matter.’
i understand the argument that for a cis person to say her/his pronouns ‘don’t matter’ without having considered what this might mean is, obviously, not a good thing. we’d like to think that we are working to make every person acknowledge (singular)their privilege, or the state of not having to worry about/be othered for aspects of their identity, like gender.
cis privilege. check.
but i also know gender non-conforming people, trans*people, gender queer people, and people who present as cis but might not be cis who are regularly in queer spaces, engaging in dialogue about things like gender, and who, for themselves, genuinely don’t care what pronouns are used to refer to them during the group or activity.
i think it’s that fine line between universalist-ish assimilation of —and therefore erasure of— gender variance (much like what always happens with issues of race and, increasingly, orientation) and genuine affirmation and acceptance of gender variance, ‘nonconformity,’ etc.
in short, there are people who engage in discourse and actions surrounding issues of gender who understand the importance of things like stating one’s PGP who don’t actually identify strongly with the way in which they are identified by others.
that they express this intrinsic state of being in their own gender, whatever it is, is not necessarily invalidating of the experiences of others.
it might seem like a privilege inherently, and it’s surely how we frame the discussion around privilege, but there are other factors involved.
and not all gender-related privilege is wanted. not all FAAB or MAAB persons who present that way actually wish to present that way. people might not feel comfortable in their gender expressions, but maintain those for safety at home, work, or school, etc.
i think we’ve got to be careful about the difference between policing and educating, and recognizing that there can be ignorance, but there can also simply be difference.