Tuesday Reads 1/14

I'm back after a long holiday break and a nasty fight with a flu. This week's news offered a number of anecdotes that related closely to conversations I had with my family over the break.

One topic that "normative" people are increasingly curious about is why gender-identity is being discussed more and more. Gender-identity is different than what sexual organs a person has or who that person is sexually attracted to. Gender-identity is how the individual thinks about themselves as they interact with the world.

Just this past weekend, Janelle Monae shared that she identifies as non-binary. That just means she doesn't personally feel that the attributes of the male or female gender accurately represent them. Both Sam Smith and Indya Moore have also recently come out as non-binary.

Growing up, this wasn't something I heard about, so I'm also sure my parents never heard of this concept. When I was growing up, I didn't see anybody that identified as gay that looked like me and liked the things I liked, so I refused to question my heterosexuality. Spoiler alert: it didn't work.

A personal plug, but I recently wrote about the need for more inclusive spaces in sports so that athletes can develop in all facets of their lives. Personally, Jason Collins coming out story was incredibly impactful, and I think that gets at the core reason as to why we are hearing more and more about non-normative identities.

Many people grew up feeling isolated or without community. The opportunity for Sam or Janelle to share their stories is at least in part and opportunity to tell people who feel isolated or alone that they aren't.

One of the reasons this is so important is because minority populations face significant barriers to healthcare, largely due to ignorance from providers. Harvard Medical Magazine published an in-depth piece specifically about the disparities in care the LGBTQ community faces.

As I called on coaches and administrators in my piece with Athlete Ally, we must also demand more accountability from our medical professionals. Systematically disadvantaged LGBTQ patients are all too commonly expected to be the ones to address and fix these disparities in the system.

For many, the legalization of same-sex marriage represented a panacea for the sexual and gender communities (SGC). In reality, there are still many legal hurdles for SGC persons. Today, Arizona is currently debating a bill that would mandate abstinence-only education for LGBTQ students

It's not all bad news though. Activists have been pushing to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified by three fourths of states (38), mandating the legal protection of all people regardless of sexuality or gender. There are currently 37 states that have ratified the amendment.

This year, Virginia will battleground zero for the ERA. Virginia's House of Delegates has advanced the bill, which could be ratified this week. There are still many hurdles ahead, but it's a reminder that progress is still being made. Stay tuned!

  1. Janelle Monet identifies as non-binary
  2. We need administrators to create more inclusive spaces
  3. Non-normative people get worse healthcare
  4. Some states are trying to enshrine that
  5. Some are trying to make Equal Rights an Amendment

Happy Tuesday, see you Friday!


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