iO Tillett Wright: Fifty Shades of Gay

This is a space where we can offer things to the rest of the class, continue discussions and start new threads of conversation. I moved this item from another page for your pleasure:

Annie-Rose Strasser, “Tennessee ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Now Requires Teachers to Inform Parents If Their Child is Gay,” Think Progress LGBT  January 30 2013. (Hat tip: Maximillian Kiehne.)

I also wondered: were there things you would have liked to bring up yesterday in class but didn’t have a chance to say because the conversation moved on? Ideas you have had since? Bring it on!

While you are at it, take a look at this video was circulated by Madeline R. Del Real.

The central arguments of this piece are very powerful and challenging, and focus on a notion of humanness that transcends race, gender and sexuality. Here are a couple that I am thinking about:

Wright’s assertion, based on her experience of childhood, is that a person can switch back and forth between genders without being transgender. When she became a boy at age 6, she said that “no one” knew that she was a girl until she switched back. This autobiographical narrative, within which she articulates herself as having grown up outside of prejudice and bigotry, seems unlikely to me. For example, she had parents who must have known she had been born a girl, and a teacher who surely knew that as well. Disregarding the facticity of these assertions, how does it serve her larger set of arguments — that lack of familiarity with the “Other” promotes bigotry and prejudice — to anchor the talk with this story about herself? And what features of last week’s readings speak to the video (or vice versa)?

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