How do we dump sexist language in all its forms?

Larger coercive hegemonic battalions are bent on destroying all signs of sexuality and gender non-conformity in young and old alike, and in the maintenance of pre-determined gender scripts. Most of us function as conscious and unconscious co-directors in this drama each time we enforce sex, sexuality, and gender conformity onto others, and each time we relegate our critical consciousness by failing to rewrite or destroy the scripts in ways that operate integrally for us.

Certain words and phrases (in all their linguistic variations and dialects) related to human sexuality and gender identity and expression we need to critically analyze and to relegate to the archives of history, words that marginalize, stereotype, separate, limit, and justify oppression.

These words include “Born Out of Wedlock,” “Illegitimate Child” (no person is “illegitimate”), “Bastard,” “Artificial Insemination” (rather “Alternative Insemination”), “‘Normal’ or ‘Natural’ Sexuality & Gender Identity and Expression,” “It’s against ‘Natural Law’,” “Regular Guy,” “‘Alternative’ Sexuality & Gender Identity,” “Red Blooded American,” “Trying to ‘Pass’ as Another Sex,” “Homosexual,” “Homosexual Lifestyle,” “Alternative Lifestyle,” “Gay Agenda,” “Homosexual Choice,” “Transgender Choice,” “Chosen Lifestyle,” “Fence Sitters” (bisexuals), “Hermaphrodite” (rather “Intersex”), “Just Confused,” “Just a Stage You’re Going Through,” “You’re Too Young to Know,” “They’re Just Rebelling,” “I Don’t See You as an LGBT Person. I Just See You as a Person,” and “We Hate the Sin but Love the Sinner.”

It also includes “Old Maid,” “Maiden Name,” “Confirmed Bachelor,” “None of Those People Are Here,” “Pre-Marital Sex,” “Losing Your Virginity” (rather “Sexual Debut”), “Pre-op” & “Post-op,” “Sexual Reassignment Surgery” (rather “Gender Confirmation” or “Transition”), “Grow Some Balls,” “Man Up,” “Wimp,” “Tomboy,” “Straight Acting,” “Sexual Preference” (rather “Sexual Identity”), “Same-Sex Marriage/“Same-Gender Marriage”/“Gay Marriage” (instead: “Marriage for Same-Sex Couples”), “Act Like a Lady,” “Act Like a Gentleman,” “Speak Man to Man,” “Girly Girl,” “That’s So Gay,” “Effeminate,” “Fag,” “Faggot,” “Pansy,” “Pussy,” “Light in the Loafers,” “Butch,” “Dyke,” “Fem,” “Tomboy,” “Diesel,” and I could continue ad infinitum.

Many individuals are challenging the notion of personal gender pronouns and using terms outside the current gender binary (he, his, him / she, her, hers) by asking to be called pronouns that are gender inclusive or gender neutral such as ze/hirs/hir, per/pers, zie/zirs/zir, and others. Some people are now employing the pronouns they/their/theirs as singular pronouns to more closely align with their gender identity. 

Each time we rewrite the scripts to give an honest and true performance of life, each time we work toward lifting the ban against our transcending and obliterating the sex, sexuality, and gender status quo by continually questioning and challenging standard conceptualization, only then will we begin as individuals and as a world community to lift the socially constructed hierarchical binary systems of artificiality, which operate contrary to human lived experience.

I would like to thank Dr. Diane Raymond for her invaluable input into this commentary.

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