Conforming to Nonconformity
Gender nonconformity is a relatively new term used to describe individuals that do not identify as one gender, if any. Since the uprise of coming out as gender nonconforming, discrimination made itself present to all the identifiers. From schools, jobs, and walking down the street, these individuals usually do not escape prejudice and discrimination. In some cases Chaffey College has been a culprit to discriminating gender nonconforming individuals. Gender nonconforming individuals have been shoved to the bottom of society and in some cases have also been left out of the LGBTQ community. People need to understand that gender nonconforming individuals are trying to gain equal rights and contribute to the society that has shunned them. They work, go to school, aspire to reach their goals, and most importantly they love. All they need is the support from allies which include family and friends.
The Breeze: What would you say to cisgendered and non-queer people about nonconforming individuals?
LW: "Ultimately refusing to not use correct pronouns is dickish. Its not principle that you don't stand for anything, you're just enforcing the status quo. I think its really telling that so many of these people that have done that, like the University of Toronto professor who talked about not using they/them pronouns then also came out in political extremes in other ways.They are awful people. It is reflected in many ways including the refusal to just be decent people to trans and non-binary people."
TB: Have you been discriminated on Chaffey's campus?
LW: "Just in transitioning I had all these problems with the Chaffey Administrative side, totally dropping the ball."
TB: What would you say to cisgendered and non-queer people about nonconforming individuals?
Raven Grey: "Don't treat them [gender nonconforming individuals] any different than you would anybody else. If they ask you to use a certain set of of pronouns then I don't see why it has to be a difficult situation. Even if you're not comfortable with using those pronouns you could use they. I don't see why that has to be an issue."
TB: What is it like finding a supportive partner?
LW: "It was super difficult before either of us found each other[...] It contrasts with moments of actually dating another trans person or at least another person who complicity understands and accepts your gender embodiment."
RG: "I've had some issues when I brought up some things that I felt to past partners and have been rejected based on that. Those were the issues and problems I had until finding someone[...] who is accepting and wanting to be with me."
TB: What advice would you give to people who are not aware about gender nonconforming individuals?
M: "Read about the experiences first and foremost. Do a quick search and you'll find experiences. If that doesn't open up your mind, them i'm sorry I don't know what to tell you."?
TB: What does being gender nonconforming mean to you?
M: "For me it was a state of mind then an expression. For the most part I express myself as feminine but mentally I'm more a-gender where I kind of just reject that mentality at all."