I have to admit that until last year, I hadn't clocked that there was a whole month dedicated to LGBTQ+ pride, but here we are, and I'm super excited!
This time last year - and from quite a while before, in fact - I was going through a lot of emotional turmoil over what I could and couldn't share about myself. This year, I'm proud to be openly nonbinary, using they/them pronouns – including to my students, whose support has meant the world to me.
(If you’re someone in my life who's only just finding this out now, I’m sorry not to have spoken to you personally. I almost certainly wanted to - it's just been a lot of effort to try and speak to everyone separately!)
Despite what some people apparently believe, it's not easy to come out as any gender other than the one people assume you to be from birth. It's not a trend. And it's not something anyone I know has done on a whim. For many people, it simply isn't safe to even try and live as themselves at all, and in that regard, I’m very lucky.
The media is full of misinformation about trans and nonbinary people and the issues we face, and the more I’ve learnt, the more I’ve been shocked at the damage being spread via even the most (supposedly) reputable of sources.
If you feel unsure or uncomfortable about things you hear in the media, take this Pride Month as an opportunity to listen to trans and nonbinary voices. Know that we are on the whole entirely uninterested in a culture war. We just want to live our lives.
While for me the focus of this month is naturally trans/nonbinary identities, Pride Month is of course about celebrating the whole wonderful spectrum that is LGBTQIA+! I'm planning on sharing some more LGBTQIA+ related content this month, especially in relation to teaching, but don't just listen to me: there are so many amazing people out there to learn from – and it's not all doom and gloom!
For those happy to explore these topics online, I’ve gone ahead and made a list of some creators, educators, artists and others who continue to help me learn about what it means to be trans/nonbinary, as well as about other queer and intersecting identities. (Several of these people have books too - look them up!)
In no particular order...
For YouTube content:
- Ash Hardell
- Jackson Bird
- Khadija Mbowe
- Samantha Lux
- Ty Turner
- Sam Downey
- Philosophy Tube
- Jessie Gender
(Some of these accounts have a lot of videos on them. If in doubt, I suggest going to "Videos" and ranking by "Most popular". Also, be aware that there's a big variety of presentation styles on all of these channels. If you don't particularly like the first few you look at, keep trying!)
For nonbinary representation that I’m struggling to put in a box:
For educational content incl. discussions of science:
For educational & wholesome LGBTQ+ themed comics in Japanese:
For beautiful art:
Obligatory disclaimer: I personally have learnt a lot from each of the people/accounts listed above, but that is not to say I know/agree with every single thing they’ve ever said. This list is meant for you to have a browse and see where it takes you.
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