The covid pandemic brought a lot of changes to all of our lives, but for many, quarantine brought with it a total shift in gender identity. However, a return to campus and day-to-day life means a return to socializing with people we normally avoid. For junior botany student Sage, a return to classes has meant some uncomfortable changes. “Yeah I really didn’t think an intro business class would be that bad... but after getting at least a dozen strange looks walking into discussion, I realized it would absolutely suck.”
Sage is nonbinary and has been using they/them pronouns openly for almost a year and is extremely proud of their identity, “Gender is a prison and I’m excited to break out of it. Unfortunately some people aren’t quite ready for that.” Sadly a lot of conservatives, older folks, and JK Rowling haven’t gotten the memo that gender is far more complicated than two dots on a board. “I tried to explain how biological sex didn’t define gender, but after the fourth ‘I identify as an attack helicopter’ joke I decided to just call it quits” Sage explained.
Although business students are taught everything from marketing, to handshakes, to how to not eat crayons, there aren’t any gender studies requirements in the major. Surprisingly, a group of mostly cishet white guys are not well-versed in the intricacies of gender performance, leading to some mix ups. “On my first day of lecture, I had a guy ask me if ‘genderfluid’ was just slang for sperm, and another person tried to ask if nonbinary meant that I hated computer code,” Sage recalled. Even after attempting to use infographics, tiktoks, and sock puppets, Sage wasn’t able to break through to their classmates and mournfully returned the he/him into their pronouns.
“Using he/him again is kinda like having sex with your ex: you’re not proud and you feel a little sweaty afterwards… but it beats spending my whole discussion period trying to explain what a pronoun is.”