February 24th, 2018
Nowadays when you enroll in a college you are likely going to be asked to give your name, age and your PGP – your preferred gender pronoun. Your professor might be strictly required to address you in accordance with your PGP. So will that be ‘she’ and ‘her’, or ‘he’ and ‘him’? Or would you like ‘it’ or ‘they’ or none of the above? Also, please choose between Mr, Miss, Ms or Mx.
There aren’t two sexes anymore because there never were two sexes. Those who wish to reject the old school binary system can now do so under the ever-expanding umbrella of LGBTQQIAAP which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies and Pansexual.
That second A for Allies represents those who so strongly support the rejection of the binary system that they want inclusion under the umbrella, too, although they might easily be more easily accepted as simply male or female.
All of which leads to Breaking Boundaries: LGBTQ2 Writers on Coming Out and Into Canada (Nanoose Bay: Rebel Mountain Press $13.95) a literary anthology born of struggle, strength, resilience, compassion and determination. A group reading will be held at the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library on May 14 at 7 pm.
In her foreword, Robin Stevenson (author of Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community (Orca 2017) notes the LGBTQ2SIA community in Canada is comprised of those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirited, gender queer, Canadian-born, immigrant, refugee, indigenous and settler.
“They are teenagers and seniors; single and married; coming out to parents and becoming parents themselves. Woven together, these voices leave me with a sense of hopefulness: a belief that the creativity and fierce commitment of our community will carry us forward as we work to create a Canada that lives up to the dream of freedom and safety it represents to so many people around the world.”
The line-up of contributors, edited by publisher Lori Shwydky, includes authors Teryl Berg, Kyle Chen, Wendy Judith Cutler, Corrie Hope Furst, Kevin Henry, Anne Hofland, Chantal Hughes, Masaki Kidokoro, Dale Lee Kwong, Austin Lee, JL Lori, Eka Nasution (narrator), Adam Nixon, Rainer Oktovianus (narrator), Gail Marlene Schwartz, Caelan Sinclair, LS Stone, Sosania Tomlinson, E.T. Turner, Hayley Zacks—and artists Joni Danielson, Wokie Clark Fraser, Austin Lee, Trinity Lindenau, Rainer Oktovianus.