We spend a lot of time on this blog talking about the bad things in the world, the things we wish were different, and rightly so. One of the main reasons we started this blog was to make a difference, to change things. And I like to think we’ve made some progress. But you know what? I’ve had some crappy things happen in my life recently (read: over the past few years), and I need a little sunshine. I figure I must not be the only one, so I decided to make a post about some of the really cool things happening in the world right now. Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think we should focus on the bad things; that’s not it at all. I just don’t think we should let the good things fall by the wayside.
For instance, back in February, the New York Times had an article about how the University of Vermont has started recognizing nonbinary genders, as well as making life easier for binary trans people. The article states that “The university allows students…to select their own identity — a new first name, regardless of whether they’ve legally changed it, as well as a chosen pronoun.” According to UVM’s website, students’ preferred names (and pronouns) will be used anywhere from the library sign-out system to the students’ unofficial transcripts. Do you realize how cool this is? An actual real live institution of higher learning has acknowledged that there are more than two genders, and that alternate pronouns have a place not only in people’s personal lives, but in academic settings as well. Rock on, UVM.
In a similar turn of events, the Dean of Students office at our very own Randolph College has just recently approved the idea of a gender neutral hall. From what I’ve heard, it’s going to end up in either Moore or West. I’m not just talking co-ed, here, I’m talking honest to god gender neutral. This means that your gender and the gender of your roommate won’t factor in to whether or not you can room together. From what Chris (our new director of Residence Life) has said to me, I’m fairly certain that the priority will be to make sure queer, especially trans and nonbinary students have a safe and comfortable place to live. This is actually happening. At our school. This is possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever seen happen at Randolph.
So yeah. As our own Peter Parker said last Monday, there are places where things are definitely getting worse for trans and nonbinary people. And that’s scary, and we shouldn’t ignore it. But we also shouldn’t ignore the good things happening for the community. People are coming together and making a difference and that’s important. We should celebrate what victories we do have, and use them as motivation to keep fighting. We have to have hope that it can, and does, get better.