I’m not usually a follower of celebrity news. I don’t belong to Twitter, don’t watch Entertainment Tonight except by accident, and would rather eat worms than read a National Enquirer or People Magazine.
In recent weeks, Stephen Ira Beatty has caught the attention of the international press.
Stephen Ira has a blog, called Supermattachine.
His most recent post is “I’m sorry, I just can’t get your pronouns right!” Yes, you can. You just won’t.
I once had a long conversation with a highly educated cis man about pronouns. I know him to be absolutely brilliant. He was an official at a school. He told me that I had to understand, that the cis people (everyone else) at my school couldn’t get my pronouns right because I wasn’t “masculine” enough for them to associate male pronouns with me. As I do now, I dressed like a cute gay boy. As I do now, I gesticulated often and acknowledged the fact that I was capable of bending my wrists and hips. I talked openly about my interests in dance, poetry, and cute boys.
He acknowledged that this was fucked as hell, albeit in nicer language, because he was at least gender-positive enough to believe that men shouldn’t have to like football and beer and women shouldn’t have to like pink dresses and fluffy bunnies. But instead of attempting to educate these people-which he could have done, as he was in a position of extremely high authority-he asked me to accept their sexist, homophobic, and cissexist perspective on gender. I was the one who needed to change, not them, although he openly acknowledged that they were wrong. During this conversation, I was in tears, because I was having regular panic attacks during the school day. They were happening because of persistent and unapologetic mispronouning. (Keep in mind, I was a sixteen-year-old kid. Sixteen-year-olds are not known for their emotional maturity, and we shouldn’t ask them to be as mature as or more mature than adults.)