GNDR | accepting nonconformist reality

this article was sparked by a recent raging discussion we had during a lesson at school. a guest lecturer was talking about the negative effects of all the new technology and the easy access to the Internet and social media, and, as a joke (wtf), he brought up the fact that Facebook now allows you to choose between 50 different genders and that he thought it was kind of ridiculous and extreme. me and some my classmates reacted to that and had a very engaging debate about it. at one point, the teacher said he felt 'threatened' by all those various gender identities.

that is, in fact quite a common reaction to such nonconforming issues.
the reason why the teacher and many other feel uneasy when presented with all those alternatives new to them, is quite simple. we live in certain constructed structures that are considered 'normal', and as people are creatures who prefer to stay within their own comfort zone, many often find it hard to understand that there are things that differ from this tightly formulated reality.

however, even if it might feel strange that there are things so completely different from what we know from our own experience (e.g. the fact that there are people who do not fit within the binary gender framework, that there is something else than just women with vulvas and men with penises, that there is a difference between sex and gender or that gender might be a completely subjective thing), we should not respond to those impulses by feeling threatened, offended or aggressive.
we need to step back and accept that there is no universal rule that would guide how people live, feel and present themselves; and that sometimes, what the society is telling us is simply not how things really are.
some things might pretty much shake up your own life (or at least reading queer theory analysis did that a lot to me), but that is by no means anything bad.

to sum up, don't be afraid of things interfering with the reality you yourself know, and allow yourself to let go of all those rules and structures you have been living with – and i'm not only talking about gender-related issues now.
open your mind, don't be afraid of queer or 'strange' things – listen and educate yourself instead.

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