Happy Friday, Gender Focus!!! This week we’re looking at the awesome GF-related things that are happening right here in the city of Boston. Last Saturday, June 13 there was the Gay Pride Parade in Boston, with over 10,000 people marching and half a million more cheering them on from the sidelines. We’re so proud to live in such a welcoming, open, and loving city that embraces people of all genders and sexual orientations. We were reminded today that not all places are as open to the LGBTQ community as Boston when we talked with one of our speakers for Ed Day. Our speaker grew up in an area of the country where bigotry, hate crimes, and anti-gay sentiments were readily accepted. His story of suffering through intolerance and discrimination was moving, eye-opening, and truly shocking. Living in a city like Boston can sometimes make us think that everywhere else is as tolerant and welcoming, but it’s crucial to recognize that this is oftentimes not the case. One of our greatest hopes for Gender Focus is to acknowledge and work against the injustice that’s occurring in many parts of the US and the world, while simultaneously continuing to promote the tolerance that’s so refreshing to find in Boston. So remember that, lovely readers: whether you live in the most liberal community in the world or a place that might not be as forward-thinking as Boston, you can always promote tolerance, respect, and equality for all people through your words, thoughts and deeds.
In other GF news, a bill affecting transgender rights is being reintroduced into the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The bill, entitled “An Act Relative to Gender-Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes” would protect people who suffered discrimination or hate crimes based upon their gender identity. The following quote, taken from the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition website (www.masstpc.org/legislation) states that the law protects “a person whose gender identity or expression does not conform to stereotypes about gender”. The wording is thought provoking: does anyone really “conform to stereotypes about gender?” Everyone can call to mind some of the stereotypes about gender that still rear their ugly head in our society: women have traditionally been marked as passive, docile and delicate, while men occupy the sphere of tough, burly leaders. However, one of the best things about being a person is the way you define gender as it applies to you, not as it’s “supposed to be” based on a rigid set of expectations. People shouldn’t have to fit into gender boxes that only contain a select number of acceptable descriptors, and the wording of the bill clarifies a crucial aspect of gender identity: anyone who doesn’t “conform to stereotypes about gender” can face discrimination, ridicule, or hate, whether you are part of the LGBTQ community or not. So keep that GF thought in mind throughout your week: nobody conforms to the stereotypes about gender, and from a GF mindset, that’s one of the things we love best. Peace out, fabulous readers. Stay tuned for our blog next week!!
Peace, love, and Gender Focus,
Kyle & Holly