WHAT IS NORMAL?
Words: Jason Kattenhorn
Is it social engineering to teach kids about LGBT issues at a young age or do we have a moral duty to teach them about all kinds of people and relationships? Why do people choose to believe that being LGBTQ+ is bad? We are taught as such a young age to believe that heteronormativity is the norm, when in reality queer people exist, have always existed and will continue to exist.
I wish I had been taught about all different kinds of relationships and people when I was younger. Throughout my 20's I was dogged with negative thoughts and used to get annoyed at people who got caught up in pronouns. Call it social engineering, call it a male privilege, but I naturally challenged those that went against the hetero norm. Surely they must be confused, or going through a faze? Because my queerness and gender are invisible, I was often presumed to be straight and CIS- gendered and I was happy to go along with this.
It was not until I had the vocabulary to understand and explore the complexities of my own gender and sexuality that I could come to understand how important those pronouns are to make queer people feel less vulnerable in society.
I have never been completely comfortable being called a man, but not totally feeling like a woman either. I have always had a duality within me, but I never had the words or the pronouns to express it. Sassify has been a bit of a lifeline in terms of creativity and acknowledging my gender-queerness through talking to other queer people.
I am happy with the pronouns he or they, but I do worry that I am using my privilege to erase my own gender identity from the conversation. Is it erasure or privilege to feel comfortable with those pronouns that I have been raised with, whilst still acknowledging this duality?