Friday, October 11, 2013

and now, the Rainbow Tree

And now, after the rainbow banners on the lampposts, today on campus, in honor of National Coming Out Day, we have rainbow flags hanging from the trees.  In an idly procrastinating moment, I looked at the Trevor Project's very user friendly pamphlet Coming Out as You - which on the one hand was very practical and straightforward and I would imagine useful to a Young Person - but on the other, it offered a bewildering menu.  Back when the Little Red Schoolbook explained cheerfully enough what being gay was, and what being a lesbian was - and that was, at the time (by which I mean around 1970 - I see that a copy is going on eBay for $45 ...), a sensible enough grounding, the choices appeared to be relatively clear cut.  But now, we're told "Just like some people come out as lesbian, gay or bi, you might come out as transgender, genderqueer, bi-gender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, MTF (male to female), FTM (female to male), two-spirit, boi, grrl, or another gender."  All of which is true, but if one's 16 and confused in the first place, isn't this more confusing?  Or, forty plus years on, are people just differently confused?  Gosh - I never thought I'd see the day when I sounded unmistakably like an old fart (to use, I think, a rather British expression, suitably enough).

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