Girls shouldn’t fear for their lives when they’re just living them. Girls who are impassioned about their worlds, who want nothing more than to engage with their world, learn about that world, build empathy for this place and the people around them, who use their knowledge and their passion to give voice to their beliefs shouldn’t worry about their bodies—or their lives—being at stake for doing so.
And yet, because we’re asking for and raising our voices without waiting for permission to do so, it happens.
Kelly Jensen (catagator), Advocating for and Writing About Girls is a Radical Act
Make sure you read that. Make sure you share it so other people will too. And don’t miss reading and sharing these posts either:
Author Laura Ruby (thatlauraruby) - AO Scott Would Like Another Harvey Wallbanger Please
Author Anne Ursu (anneursu) - On Poisoned Apples, the “Great YA Debate” and the Death of the Patriarchy
Kelsey scans the wall of T-shirts in Five Below, one of the few stores to qualify as “quirky” in this conservative part of western Michigan. “Let’s Have a Party,” a shirt reads, near displays of body glitter and $5 leggings. “Warning: Prone to Shenanigans,” reads another, and after less than a minute, it’s clear the store doesn’t have what Kelsey is looking for, because no place ever does, at least not around here.
“I think I might have to make you a gay shirt,” Kelsey’s friend Kahri offers as they walk out of the store. “Or not a gay shirt, but — you know.”
What Kelsey Beckham really wants is a shirt that communicates something very specific about its wearer. Not about gayness, or anything to do with sexual orientation, but about gender. A shirt that says the wearer is something many people aren’t familiar with: Not a he. Not a she. Not a male transitioning to a female, or a female transitioning to a male. A shirt explaining that Kelsey, 18, doesn’t identify with any gender at all.
Kelsey’s gender identity is “non-binary.” Or, “agender.” It’s what Kelsey feels comfortable with, even though the world keeps insisting, in a million little ways, that Kelsey has to choose. Like the OkCupid profile some friends are always suggesting Kelsey create online. When Kelsey looked at the matchmaking site’s opening screen, it presented an immediate problem: “I am a [male/female].”
Which box do you check when you don’t belong in any box? How do you navigate the world when the world is built on identifying with one group or another group, male or female, and the place that feels most right to you is neither?
When No Gender Fits: A Quest To Be Seen As Just A Person | Monica Hesse for the Washington Post
In case you missed it, this was on the literal front page of the Washington Post last week, and it might be one of the best pieces of journalism I’ve ever seen on agender identity. You won’t regret reading the whole thing.(via nitatyndall)
Read the whole speech. It’s brilliant.(via nitatyndall)