Hi folks! Welcome to another instalment of the AusYABloggers #77Saturday tag.
This week’s quote is from the essay “Training to be Me” by Cindy Zhou from Growing Up Queer in Australia edited by Benjamin Law.
The Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, held from September to November 2019, coincided with my second year as a high school teacher in Victoria’s wheat belt, in a rural town 400 kilometres from Melbourne. While I was just a ‘blow-in’ one of the countless transients who passed through, the townspeople were kind. People looked out for each other and had a moon understanding forged through experiences of family connectedness, acute weather conditions from droughts to floods, and a passion for local competitions. I felt included but always on high alert. My neighbours offered to set me up with a farmer (like the TV show!), and I had to invent pre-prepared lines to correct the constant misgendering of my ‘partner’. With a handful of people there was an unspoken ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. To my surprise, this applied to my race and my sexuality. Among others, there was open handshaking … It was paradoxical and complex. My presence as a twofold minority allowed for more conversations – and a tangible movement towards compassion. At the same time, we were living in a political environment in which our federal member had the effrontery to liken same-sex relationships to rams in paddocks; every day I would take a deep breath before opening the local Herald and scanning for homophobic or transphobic tirades from ‘concerned’ community members.
Thoughts: All humans want to be happy, be with the people they love, and feel safe and accepted. Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non binary people are non binary people. The pronouns you use for others matter and have the power to wound. If your feminism is not intersectional, then it is worth nothing.