What I want to present at BUTCH Voices Portland

This is the session abstract I submitted for BUTCH Voices Portland.  I’m really hoping I get the chance to do this, and would love any feedback y’all have for me on the topic, maybe links to resources I might not be aware of yet.

For over 40 years, Kyle Jones has been trying to decide which gender fit him best. He recently made a startling discovery:  there’s no reason to choose one over another.  He’s not male OR female, he’s genderqueer.

Do you use the term ‘genderqueer’ to describe yourself?  Do you know someone who does?  Ever wonder if means the same thing to you as it does to the next person?  Genderqueer is a relatively new term some people use to describe a gender identity that transcends the constraints of the binary system of male/female.  Other related terms are transgender, gender-fluid, gender-variant, poly gender, two spirit, bi-gender and pan-gender.

Each of us makes use of labels and identifying terms to help us understand ourselves and to tell our stories to others, which helps them to understand and support us.  Sharing our stories also helps to create a road map for others to follow, and lets others know they aren’t alone.  Join this discussion and contribute your experiences and stories, whether you’re a genderqueer individual or someone who wants to learn more about non-binary gender identity.

Although there are few words that complete describe us in our complexity, choosing the right labels helps us communicate with others, helps us to tell our stories, sharing experiences and strategies for survival.  Having a common vocabulary helps us in that communication, so let’s get together and talk about these labels.  Which ones work for you, what do they mean to you?  How do you explain your gender to others?  Do these terms and labels help or hinder you?  Let’s share stories and strategies and learn from each other.

Goals for the session: Each participant will leave with a better understanding of the terms used to describe gender identities which are outside of, between, or some combination of the genders.  Participants will have the opportunity to share their stories of gender discovery, and hear the stories of others, with the ultimate goal of equipping participants with the vocabulary to describe themselves and the confidence to use it.  This, in turn, will support increased confidence in each individual with regard to their gender identity.

This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.

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