Yesterday I misgendered a dog...
Yes… I misgendered a dog. And I actually felt bad for a moment. You know that feeling right after you say, “Aw, what’s his name?” and the owner scoffs and says, “HER name is…” In my defense, the dog was little and was wearing a full size sweater that covered most of it’s body. Not to mention, I didn’t want to look at it’s genitals anyway.
That got me thinking… I wonder how many people I misgender on any given day. We make assumptions about people based on superficial characteristics. So today I’m going to a weekend long conferenced called “What Women Want”. It’s a weekend filled with professional and personal development aimed at women business owners and I could not be happier to be involved in such a positive and powerful group of people. Given the current climate in the country right now, doesn’t it feel like the title of the conference is inadvertently politically charged? (“WHAT DO I WANT? I WANT TO NOT BE TREATED LIKE A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN. I WANT EQUAL PAY. I WANT TO FEEL SAFE WALKING DOWN THE STREET AT NIGHT ALONE. I WANT COMFORTABLE SHOES ALL THE TIME.”) So presumably all of the attendees will be women this weekend. But oh, the exclusive nature of the binary construct makes me uncomfortable.
Having met some of the most incredible people over the last 6 years who fall in the spectrum of gender identity, I tend to want to be inclusionary. I want to be clear that when I talk about loving to photograph women, that includes ANYONE who identifies as a woman. And not to say that I don’t love my male-identifying clients… I absolutely do! And we have a blast working together as well. I just have an affinity for making people feel as beautiful on the outside as they feel inside.
Ok so this is all to say, I’d like to apologize to anyone I’ve ever misgendered due to my own ignorance. And know that I am an inclusive ally and advocate. Plus a pretty badass photographer and all around good people.