February 13, 2015
Julie Scelfo writes a very accessible article in the New York Times about the increasing number of people unwilling to to be defined by the gender labels of “male” or “female,” and how one college, the University of Vermont, is accommodating them.
In the piece she quotes Robyn Ochs, “an educator who helped found an early L.G.B.T. faculty and staff group at Harvard.”
“Some people try to reduce this whole topic to kids trying to be cool or they’re just acting out or whatever, just trying to be different or new,” said Ms. Ochs, who has visited some 500 campuses to speak on L.G.B.T. issues, and often facilitates a discussion she calls “Beyond Binaries.” “But there have always been people who have felt profoundly uncomfortable in their assigned gender roles,” she said. “Anything we can do to make them safer, or make them feel recognized, heard, seen, understood, we should do. To validate their identity and experience could, in fact, save their life.”
Read “A University Recognizes a Third Gender: Neutral.”
Read also this interesting article about the difficulty of writing without the usual gendered pronouns.