What do you think of when you hear the term hermaphrodite? If you said it referred to an animal with both male and female sex organs and the ability to reproduce alone, you'd be correct. If you said it referred to anyone human, you wouldn't be.
But the term hermaphrodite is generally understood to be an offensive one, and starting in the late-1980s, some people who had been referred to as "hermaphrodites" began using the term "intersex" to describe themselves.
One of the benefits of the term "intersex" was that it could address both the physical differences, while also allowing for an identity that wasn't exclusively male or female. This was important because for many people the effects of their medical situations were not only physical, but psychological and emotional as well.
These days, however, most medical professionals and a lot of people with the conditions themselves are using the term "condition of sex differentiation," instead of the term "intersex." Keep reading...
What do you think of these terms?
A transgender teen who lives with rigid transphobic parents write for help. As she says,
"I want more then anything to transition. I've told some of my friends and have had them change pronouns and call me Anne. The thing is I could never tell my family. And my family has very strict gender rules."
The website gURL.com just published a great article called, "10 Things You Probably Say But Didn't Know Are Actually Offensive." It is really eye-opening and a great reminder for teens on the importance of language.
Among the phrases they see as problematic are:
- "I'm so OCD!"
- "I'm really depressed."
- "Ugh I'm going to kill myself."
- "I'm so ADD."
- "I'm so moody! I must be bipolar."
- "I'm not a feminist."
and one we all know,
As they write in the article,
"The truth is that words, even when unintentional, can be offensive and hurtful. I know it seems like everyone is offended by just about everything, but you don't know everyone's personal situations so having a filter is really important."
Check it out if you get a chance!
Related:The Power of Words
Today is the Day of Silence.
This is an event that happens every year and which hopes to fight anti-gay bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools.
Teachers and students can take part by spending the day without talking. This is done as a reminder that even today, many GLBT individuals cannot talk openly about who they are.
This year, I am happy to report, that the school where I teach is participating in the Day of Silence for the first time! So far it seems to be going pretty smoothly.
Have you ever been involved in the Day of Silence? How did it go? Are you staying silent today? Let us know!
This week, there was yet another horrific story of a woman and her boyfriend who murdered her 4-year-old son because they thought he was gay! I can't even wrap my brain around this tragedy, but it has made me think a little about the kind of environment that could allow this kind of thinking.
Some researchers think disgust is really what drives trans- and homophobia. But in a case like this, I feel like there has to be more too it.What do you think?