Perhaps you subscribe to the relatively brand-new idea of “gender” — a layer of identity apart from sex which, we’re suddenly told, critically defines us. But simply having a gender doesn’t mean you’re with the times; “men” and “women” are as antiquated as opera. The hip way of indentifying…rocks.
One company can assure you of such. Introducing Gender Spectrum, a West Coast consortium that describes its intent thusly:
[Our] mission is to create a gender-inclusive world for all children and youth. … We envision a world that is affirming and inclusive of children and teens of all genders.
A bit of backstory:
Established in 2006, Gender Spectrum emerged as a response to the limited resources and support available for families and educators interacting with gender-expansive children and teens. We began as the first national transgender parent support group and quickly expanded to offer the first trainings for California elementary and pre-schools transgender & gender-expansive children. One year later in 2007, Gender Spectrum incorporated after creating the first Family Conference for caregivers of gender-diverse children & teens.
Fast-forward to Family Conference 2022, and instruction reported by OpenTheBooks.com. At the meet, Manager of Family and Education Programming Naomi Cruz told teachers mum might need to be the word around moms and dads:
“If parents are not supportive of neogender identities and the youth is feeling really torn because of that, I definitely recommend supporting that youth in the ways that you can, so definitely making sure to use this youth’s pronouns when it’s safe to. The youth may request, obviously, ‘Don’t use these pronouns around my parents,’ but when you two are alone or in spaces where their parents are not there, or the youth has indicated that it’s safe, making sure to use those neopronouns or making sure to refer to them in ways that make them feel gender affirmed.”
What all can former boys and girls be? A conference terminology sheet listed three realms of recognition:
- Nounself Pronouns: a subtype of neopronouns that uses nouns to construct pronouns
- Emojiself Pronouns: a subtype of neopronouns similar to nounself pronouns but instead relies on emojis or symbols as pronouns
- Noun Genders: a subtype of neogenders that uses nouns in the identity term
Those favoring emojiself pronouns may turn out to be “smileyself,” while nounself-pronoun people might hop to the beat of “bunself.” For those in need of noun-gender justice, a trio of triumph was displayed:
In the past, someone calling themself a fox would’ve been taken as boldly braggadocious. And a person presenting themself as “moon” might’ve been said to be showing their butt. But these are the days of supreme self-focus; and while one’s gender isn’t set in stone, the concept of elastic identity is solid as a rock. In fact, via a nine-year grant, Gender Spectrum is set to receive millions from taxpayers.
Back to Open The Books:
Gender Spectrum will collect $2,340,000 from the California Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity for the California Reducing Disparities Project.
Family Conference 2022 named “possible members of the [Gender Support Team]” for transgender and nonbinary students:
- Student (?)
- School Leadership
- School Nurses
- Counseling Staff
- Teachers/Other Staff Working Directly with Child
- Mental Health Providers
- Supporting Organization
It’s all part of colossal cultural and governmental growth:
Though Gender Spectrum’s open-mindedness is impressive, it isn’t limitless. If a child picks a gender encompassing “a racial, ethnic, religious, or disability group they are not a part of,” says Open The Books, “the parent must direct the child to a different neogender.”
For example, only autistic people are allowed to use “autigender” or “autismgender.” [Naomi Cruz provided] a script for parents to correct their children in these cases:
“Yes, I understand that this term means something to you, but perhaps we can create another term or another pronoun that also has a meaning to you, but isn’t specific to a certain racial, ethnic, or other group where there are closed identities and pronouns.”
There are kinks to be worked out; then again, “kink” is probably a gender.
Speaking of refinement, Gender Spectrum’s role in our revolution may be morphing. According to independent reporter Christina Buttons, the initiative recently announced it will soon be “ceasing all direct service programming” — whatever that means.
Regardless, it’s a new era. And where identity is concerned, almost anything goes. So if you’re sly as a fox, you might be one. If you feel over the moon, be sure to check that you aren’t simply its exact height. And if, this Halloween — like Charlie Brown — you get rocks instead of candy…and if you ingest them…it may in fact be true: You are what you eat.
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