10 July 2014

"I identify as...."

Puck went through a phase over the last year when he was very aware of the differences between male and female. He would often see someone and ask me "Is that person a girl or a boy?"

When he asks, I usually say, "That person identifies as..." and then answer (if I'm able). If the person is androgynous or I'm not sure follows binary genders, I give an answer like, "It doesn't matter because boys and girls can wear dresses."

It's important for me to teach Puck and Tink that gender is not always as simple as "That's a girl" or "That's a boy." Some people choose to identify as male or female, but do not appear stereotypically male or female. And I want the munchkins to know there's more to a person's gender than the way they appear or their physical anatomy. And that's okay.

I hope our society gets to a point where it's more socially acceptable to openly discuss personal gender publicly. I would like my kids to be comfortable asking someone, "What pronouns do you use?" and it be okay to both ask and get an answer.

Until then, we'll keep working where we are.

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