The Wonderful World of Gender Identity

When editing or writing, I try to be aware of bias. For instance, as a woman, I’ve often felt left out by male-centric language, and I don’t want to similarly cut others out of written communication.

Cue the gender revolution and the ways it’s challenging language.

The gender revolution is also the cover feature of the January 2017 National Geographic. As part of the feature, there’s a group photo of people who represent various gender identities, accompanied by a gender glossary.

As I looked at each person and their stated identity, I sometimes consulted the glossary.

For instance, the magazine defines genderfluid as “someone whose gender identity or expression shifts between man/masculine and woman/feminine or falls somewhere along this spectrum.”

And genderqueer is “someone whose gender identity is neither man nor woman, is between or beyond genders, or is some combination of genders.”

As I looked at the magazine—and indeed as I look at people around me every day—I couldn’t help but channel Louis Armstrong and say to myself, “What a wonderful world.”

I know, I know—we have a long way to go (hello, President Trump). And as I looked at each person in the National Geographic photo, I considered that their individual journeys probably weren’t easy ones.

Still, I’m hopeful for a world where inclusion is the norm. And I’m thankful for those who are doing their parts to start the conversation.

Leave a reply