Centering the Marginalized: symphony and triptych

Prelude

It was with astonishment this morning (Tue March 5, 2019) that I gazed upon the title of this article about trans people in the UU World, “After L, G, and B.” The subject of the article, transgender people, (the missing T in this acronym) was unnamed. Before the piece even began, me and mine were made invisible.

I.

The Margin, The Center

The article starts by centering the author’s experience as a cisgender person in relation to transgender people as friends or as family a couple of degrees of separation away. Their introduction to transgender people came after their personal history as an ally to gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.

II.

Ideas and Language

There is in our society still a great deal of difference in how we think and talk about bodies and gender, and we still struggle with an unnecessary and unhelpful conflation of sex and gender. I find it is most useful to use the framework that we use in Our Whole Lives-the Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ comprehensive sexuality education program. It might have been useful if the UU World had reached out to Melanie Davis at the UUA’s Our Whole Lives office for some support around these basic definitions of what we are talking about when we are talking about this stuff. Our Association staffing is structured to have experts who focus in particular areas. In the absence of this, I will make a few comments to correct the record. If you read the article, please know that many of the words were misused. I hope here the reader may find clarity.

Interlude

SLURS

III

A Corrective.

THE FOCUS ON RISK AND INJURY AND MURDER…

Finale

So how is it that this well-meaning article caused so much heartbreak and harm?

*****

3/7: edited to correct some language that referred to physical abilities as metaphors for observing and taking notice of, and an error in my personal timeline.

CB is an educator and consultant focusing on consent and sexuality ed, and inclusion and equity for all ages/all bodies. FMI justiceandpeaceconsulting.com