And that's where I felt really old. I don't feel particularly female, but of the binary world in which we live, I guess that holds the most accuracy for my body. And yet in just over 10 years, the undergrad queers have moved from wearing what they wanted and looking androgynous to calling themselves 'they' and rejecting gender.
It's brave and it rejects a lot of bullshit. Here's the rub though. When I'm not with people who will let me chose my pronoun, am I setting myself up for conflict and disappointment? Or this how the revolution starts? A few of the women I used to know have transitioned or now ID as gender-queer. Most recently I used an incorrect (old) name for someone, who I see every few years round the traps. S/he (we didn't get to pronouns) was a bit annoyed. It probably happens a lot with people you don't see a lot of. Does s/he feel more authentic fighting for a change in pronoun round those who they see regularly? How does the day to day in the world existence feel compared to that?
It's ironic for me to comment on this, as many people could say to me: 'grow your hair, wear women's clothes and people won't keep asking your gender'. And yet I draw the line at wearing what I want, but being more 'conservitive' in my pronoun choice. In some ways I identify as gender-queer, but my day to day doesn't ask how I identify like it did when I was at university and establishing my identity. And then we didn't have words like gender queer and cis-gender.
So, back to the young queers. . I have no clear answers to all this, but it was interesting to witness a version of myself in a different time. Perhaps it's arrogant of me, but I would suggest we probably feel the same sense of self, but time has changed how that manifests and how it's integrated into our identity. Just like there are only seven narratives that all stories centre round, gender has multiple expressions, but perhaps they are not infinite. What is infinite is the language around it.