Sunday, October 23, 2011

‘Sorry, I Gendered You.’ ”

Check this amazing story from "America's Heartland"
"Male, female, transgender, no gender, gay, lesbian, straight. Labels don’t matter at Grinnell College. Students can share a dormitory room, bathroom, shower room or locker room with any of the above, if they choose."
The idea was driven by transgender students, those who don’t identify themselves as either male or female, and students transitioning from one gender to the other. Gender-neutral grew from one percent of the school’s on-campus housing in 2008-09 to 18 percent this fall, and officials discontinued asking students to divulge gender or orientation. The rooms include straight males and females living together, although those who self-identify as transgender are given priority, which includes five this fall."

The most impressive part of the story could be this excerpt:
"More students today don’t identify with the binary. That is a more recent shift,” said Astrid Henry, associate professor of gender, women’s and sexuality studies at Grinnell.Some students don’t want to be referred to in male or female pronouns because they carry societal labels, preferring the pronoun “ze” (for she) or “hir” (for he), Henry said. “Even in class as the chair of gender studies I get told, ‘I don’t want to be called she,’ ze said."
Further more, parents who visit their children on gender-neutral floors now will encounter these signs: “Queer Safe Space” and “Be an ally to gay and lesbians.
!8 year old "Austin Mckinney" ( a ftm transgendered student) said he has found plenty of allies and he feels
 comfortable here. "It’s a welcome breath of fresh air after high school,” he said. “People here even say to you, ‘Sorry, I gendered you.’ ”

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