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OPINION

GAY SAN DIEGO April 15 - 28, 2016

gay-sd.com

Correction In our last issue we ran a story about the San Diego LGBT Center’s Young Professional’s Council (YPC) Academy [see “Building leaders of the future,” Vol. 7, Issue 7 or at tinyurl.com/ zv8xhqp].

In that article we stated that The Center’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Delores Jacobs, took over in 2010. This was a typo. Dr. Jacobs actually assumed her post in 2001. We fixed the error online immediately but not in time before it went to print. We regret the error.▼

Guest Editorial

Gender buttons By Lee Lynch Where do little kids get their urgent need to know my gender? Is it intrinsic, some part of survival of the species? Parents should at least teach them that their question is rude. But no, the parents are as unsettled by what they perceive to be gender nonconformance as their children. That leads to bullying, even at home. “Darling, you’re a pretty little girl! Wouldn’t you rather play with your dollies?” Well, no. I had not the slightest interest in dolls. Dressing them up? Pretending they were living infants? Bor-ing. I’ve been messing with gender all my life, preferring to present as androgynous. Perhaps it’s been rebellion, a slap in the face of anyone who asks the perennial question, is it a boy or a girl? Perhaps I just liked the look. I’m biologically female and have never wanted to be anything but a woman. At the same time, I have hated to wear female clothing since early childhood. It’s overpriced, often not well made, and uncomfortable. And I’m required to wear it because — it buttons to the left? Who makes these rules? In the March 27, 2015 Atlantic Magazine, MeEDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 morgan@sdcnn.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Azzopardi Charlene Baldridge Benny Cartwright David Dixon Dave Fidlin Michael Kimmel Walter G. Meyer Margie M. Palmer Frank Sabatini Jr. WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 jen@sdcnn.com COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

gan Garber wrote “Every day, millions of people are walking around with these little reminders of gender inequality emblazoned on their chests.” She explored the possible history of button placement to male use of weapons and shields, to class, to holding babies, and maybe even to Napoleon. Laughable, the way we button up traditions so they don’t go away. I don’t get angry easily, but I’ve always had a hair-trigger fury when confronted with gender assumptions. I had to hold in my anger — I was different and therefore wrong, wrong, wrong. Inside I was screaming, “How dare you—?” I didn’t know what to ask; I didn’t have the words. Why, why, why, did they have to know anyway? Today, I still ask. What is this need we have to categorize one another? Why separate, why pit category against category? Probably it goes back to defending ourselves when we set up housekeeping in caves. Gender labels are convenient, whether they once were prehistoric mating signals or are a way to protect today’s females from today’s males. Even as a kid, I wanted nothing to do with that mating stuff. The planet is EDITORIAL INTERNS Joseph Ciolino Tori Hahn ART DIRECTOR Todd Kammer

overpopulated enough. I have the maternal instincts of a sidewalk. Does this mean there’s something wrong with me? Again, how dare anyone define what is right or wrong in my inherent makeup. Once I was nominally a grownup and might have enjoyed the freedom of confident androgyny, many feminists, as unlearned as I had been, condemned the boyishness of butch and the spectacularness of femme. It took me a long, long time to re-recognize my natural attraction to girly girls and not condemn myself for it. I am terrifically grateful to the brave people who are speaking out on this subject in recent years, many of them young and fortunate to be more knowledgeable than I was at their age. Certainly, for most of them, reassignment to one extent or another is not the easy way out. I saw a meme yesterday that read: “Legality is a matter of power, not justice.” The fines and prison sentences that have been written into bathroom-use laws are a way of controlling those who the powerful fear: scary us. Wake up, legislators in North Carolina and Tennessee, we are not the people most likely to harm you or your kids. It’s okay to be ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 accounting@sdcnn.com

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who you are and it’s okay to be who we are. Let go of that vestigial panic. But what kind of bad joke is this aging business? We grow heavy or dangerously thin, our bodies lose or grow (unwanted) hair. We’re prescribed medications that can numb our favorite drives and increase disfavored urges. Female and male become less distinct until, at the 50th anniversary celebration, longtime mixed gender couples look like each other. By end of life perhaps some begin to realize all the fuss over who was who and who did what never mattered. Many women have told me that they simply had no idea there were choices available to them: how to dress, who to love, whether or not to give birth, what work they could and could not do. Too many promising humans have been utterly crippled by primordial traditions and it’s time to quit mandating where our buttons go. —Lee Lynch is the awardwinning author of “The Swashbuckler,” “An American Queer,” “The Raid,” and has written many other gay and lesbianthemed novels over the course of her 30-year career. This opinion piece is from her nationally syndicated column, “The Amazon Trail.” To learn more about Lynch, visit leelynch6. tripod.com.▼

FROM PAGE 2

DEBATE and the Mission Hills Business Association — are business groups representing five of the neighborhoods that are part of District 3. The district includes Downtown, Bankers Hill, Park West, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Medical District, Middletown, University Heights, North Park and Normal Heights. Benjamin Nicholls, executive director of the HBA, explained why his group got involved in this particular debate. “We co-sponsored it because we felt that the members of this coalition face similar issues as HBA and we thought our voice would be stronger if we partnered with like-minded groups. We also like to get together with our neighbors and talk about civic challenges and opportunities,” he said. Nicholls also shared why Sanborn was left out of the debate. “We didn’t discuss inviting Scott,” he said. “I don't think anyone on the organizing panel knows him and he certainly hasn’t been involved in the neighborhood business associations. We might have invited him if he had been more engaged with San Diego’s smallbusiness community.” The organizers also offered a good reason for the debate location. “East Village is central to the neighborhoods involved and we were looking for a place that represented the dynamism and excitement of these neighborhoods,” Nicholls said. “The facility at Snowflake is really exciting and represents the future for smallbusiness incubation. Plus, we can sell beer.” And that’s why this debate differs from so many other ones. “We’re selling beer and wine at the event,” Nicholls said. “The net proceeds will go to the BID Foundation. This group supports small neighborhood business groups that aren’t large enough to have a full-fledged BID. Neighborhoods supported by the BID Foundation include Bankers Hill, Barrio Logan, Thorn Street and South Park. Warren Simon is the chair of this group.” So order a beer, listen to the debate and help your neighborhood business groups. To submit possible questions for the candidates, send them to Nicholls at benjamin@hillcrestbia. org. Questions can also be submitted before the debate. —Ken Williams is editor of Uptown News and Mission Valley News and a contributing editor to Gay San Diego. He can be reached at ken@sdcnn.com.▼

OPINIONS/LETTERS: Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to morgan@sdcnn.com and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff.

SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to editor@sdcnn.com. For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email.

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