Is There A Spectrum? Gender Identity in Our World Today

by: Charlotte Chute

On Friday, our class discussed how gender norms and terminology have evolved over the course of the development of society. We read texts correlated to the Indigenous world of gender terminology, and immersed ourselves in eye opening conversations about society historically and society today.

We first began to educate ourselves on the terms berdache, two-spirit, and indigiqueer. Berdache, which essentially has the same meaning as two-spirit, refers to indigenous people who do not conform to Western gender and sexual norms. Terms like these were created long ago, way before we were alive. Our society gradually formed an awkward stigma surrounding those who identified as any sort of LGBTQ. 

Our theme of the day was gender norms and Western terminology, and how it differs from other cultures and has evolved over time. There is a societal norm that those in the West have created, which is almost derogatory terminology used in regards to the LGBTQ community. 

We explored a website genderspectrum.org, and this website articulates that young generations understand gender differently than past. I do think that this is true because these conversations started in the older generations, and were then taught to younger generations. This is a cycle and gender and sex is slowly becoming more and more talked about today. In class, we acknowledged the fact that now in school when we introduce ourselves, we mention what our pronouns are too.

So, why are these important conversations?

The toxicity around gender and LGBTQ norms has certainly not gone away, but it is important to acknowledge the progress that we as a society have made thus far.

It is very interesting hearing about other cultures and areas where gender identity is not as big of a deal. In some cultures, not being a specific gender is powerful! It is really eye opening to learn more about this because it is such a growing topic and so current in our lives today; we are experiencing the growth of gender identity in society first hand.

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