Alas, we have reached the end of the End of Gender.
From he-waxing to “gender-reveal” parties, we’ve covered a lot of ground in the past two months. But despite the ever-growing “hip factor” of gender neutrality, there’s evidence of a powerful backlash:
Urban Outfitters hatched yet another epic fail. A transgender Miss Universe contestant had to put up a fight to be legally recognized as female. Oh yeah—and gender-nonforming people are still getting murdered and locked up.
But alongside the media missteps and the horrors of transphobia, we’ve seen some binary-bustin’ events happen around the world:
- Parents are raising (and supporting!) gender-nonconforming kids
- Melissa Harris-Perry featured a segment on “Being Transgender in America” and covered trans issues that rarely get media attention
- Argentina gave citizens the freedom to change their legal and physical gender whenever they want, without the legal mess
- Sweden’s online National Encyclopedia adopted the gender-neutral pronoun “hen”
- Healthcare reform promises more affordable, culturally competent care for gender-nonconforming folks in the US
Adopting a new pronoun in Sweden won’t prevent transgender people from being disproportionately arrested and detained in the US, and some guy getting a he-wax definitely won’t smash the binary. But all of the little advances make space for conversation, and that’s when change happens.