Gender

Well, where do I start? Its important I truly understand the transient concept of gender before I start answering the questions my group has been asked to provide feedback on.

I have realised the older I have become the more traditional, conservative my thought process has also become.  I’m not sure if its because i’m now a parent or i’m not slightly set in my ways or i’m quite frankly just out of touch – I’m an Xennial after all.  But part if the reason for me embarking on this journey is to also gain a better understanding of those persons/students who are in conflict with their inherent biological identities and those who are not. Those persons/students whom i never organically converse with on a day to day (or probably do, but again ignorantly without realising).  I guess I want to ensure that as I progress within this academic, parental, societal arena  – this apparent new world order that i’m equipped to support, nurture, protect and rationalise an identity profile that i’m still getting to grips with to better my professional and personal approach to everyone I come into contact with.

After reading the Gender Diversity UAL website link,  its noted the levels of support systems set in place to support students, compared to other academic institutions, the level of importance held at UAL is to be commended. It is a transient topic and a lot of academic professionals are still getting to grips with it all, myself included, so the more aware i’am with the guidelines put into place should prevent me from unsolicited offensive remarks whilst teaching or conversing with y students.

After watching Pay It No Mind, I literally couldn’t sleep. I felt so deeply sad for Marsha, the life lived and lost.  The unrepentant and largely ignored trauma experienced at an early age, which left Marsha’s adult life dealing with the low self worth, esteem and need to self punish at all every level of existence.  I felt bad that although Marsha had the support from the LGBTQ community she also largely was not supported.

When we were later informed of her death four days post documentary taping, I felt the since of loss for a life that worked so hard to raise the awareness of a community that was looked down upon and marginalised. A stoic ambassador for all things creative, alternative, foreign and pretty. Adored by many and largely unknown, her recent homage via Netflix et al is a testament to her legacy.  I wondered what Marsha would have thought about today’s world and her place in it, if she were alive.  To see her own fruits of tolerance, peace, acceptance of everybody reach its fruition. I wondered if she would have settled down,  owned a property, met a loving partner,  continued with STAR turning it into a global organisation. I wondered if she would have felt the love, acceptance and received the emotional healing she needed yet brushed aside during her life. I will never know..but I’m glad to have now been introduced the legend that was Marsha ‘Pay It No Mind’ Johnson.  How do I now incorporate what i have read  and  viewed towards my own professional practice? Well I believe it’s important to provide support services to students across and within academic institutions, but its also important to provide academic student inspired programmes, curriculum and courses, throughout the students academic experience. The wider issues in our society, such as the fight for non discrimination protections for LGBTQ people have inceased.  As this topic has taken on a wider social open conversation, I believe academia, lecturers, student councellors should produce a collection of  LGBTQ resources and services made available to students via a digital app. This app would not only incorpoate guidelines that curently exist within the university, but also research guides and services for those who seek anonymity when wanting assistance with sensitive topics, or fear of being outed themselves or embarrased at asking for existing materials.  Its important that I and additionally my peers understand that we should ensure alternate avenues of gender related support via the digital or self-service (app) amenities. For the wider audience it educates us, allowing for better understanding of LGBTQ issues coupled with stoies and experiences to be disseminated moe broadly.

4 Replies to “Gender”

  1. I think you made very important observations by considering your current interactions with LGBTQ groups who may have been present in your daily activities without detailed attention. It seems that watching Pay It no Mind had the most profound effect on your reflection with Marshas story evoking a strong sense of empathy which translates into your wholistic our view of how you as a teacher/academic can support your students with the wider university resources and perhaps open conversations amongst colleagues.

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