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International Women's Day: Celebrating the spectrum

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Happy International Women's Day!

Let's give all the ladies, each other and other people, big hugs (if they like) and high-fives (if they like), and while doing so examine the word woman. It can be argued that the gender binary system is very prominent, especially within media and educational systems, and with that extremely problematic. Forcing people inside these two confining and antiquated models is not only unnecessary but is inadequate in allowing individuals to freely express their identities. However, instead of examining all the terrible ways that people on the gender spectrum are denied their rights, let's take this moment to celebrate not only women, but people who fall along the fluid spectrum of gender and those who are genderless!

I think the beautiful thing about all the wonderful events and messages that will be written today is that women will be celebrated for their achievements and also recognized beyond their identified gender. Yes, women (and people along the gender spectrum) still face numerous oppressions everyday. Yes, women (and people along the gender spectrum) continue to fight for civil rights and freedoms. Yes, women (and people along the gender spectrum) will continue to struggle for their equality. However, today is a day where we can all stand together, man, woman, trans*, two-spirit, genderless and beyond and celebrate and encourage the works, efforts and abilities of all around us with the guise of 'International Women's Day' knowing full well that those who cherish this day continue that same passion and fight everyday.

One such website, glitter tongue established Feb. 14, 2012, uses this mentality to celebrate and expose 30 queer and trans poets with their brilliant and beautiful writings and poems. The poems compiled mark ideas on love, loss and identity and help to represent people beyond being products of their gender and as humans living together in this world. According to their website, glitter tongue first began with this question: "How does a fish write a poem about water?", which quickly trickled into "how does a fish not write a poem about water?" This identity and niche that glitter tongue has carved out is so evident in all of the inspired writings by the contributing poets.

Poet Kim Crosby struggles and questions her identity, her abilities and her desires:
"I've never written a love poem before
I write proud poems
A knock you down to the floor poem
But never a love poem"

Poet Margaret Rhee expresses her love and encouragement towards and for queer youth:
"it may not get better, and it may get worse, or you'll get stronger, or you'll
make it better. maybe heaven is 21 and free in a gay bar: just kiss his lips, love."
"they say we're different because our index fingers longer. hypothalamus brighter.
science vs. romance. little do they know, how to quantify and fabricate love, love."

Poet Ellen Bass rediscovers the power of knowledge and myths:
"I want to know too. Belief and disbelief
are a pair of tourists standing on swollen feet
in the Prado-I don't like it.
I do.- before the Picasso."
"God, the G-spot, falling in love. The earth round
and spinning, the galaxies speeding
in the glib flow of the Hubble expansion.
I'm an East Coast Jew. We all have our opinions."

Poet Monica A Hand examines the idea of self and perception:
"Know this: I am no giggling schoolgirl
With a crush or humble Lesbos maiden
Singing her heart into pieces at your feet
My claim holds no promise of heaven"

What all these people have in common, no matter the differences in what they express or how they identify, is a passion and commitment to their beliefs and ethics and a bravery to express desire, fear, anger and love to whomever they choose. I think this is how International Women's Day should be celebrated: women being celebrated for being fearless, committed and passionate, no matter their chosen identity. We should all support and love one another and encourage each other that things can and will get better, we must just keep our heads held high and voices loud!

So again, happy International Women's Day to those who fall into the category of 'women' and those just outside it and to those on their own spectrum and those without a spectrum. We all deserve love and respect and kindness and today is a day to remember that.


Thank you to glitter tongue for being an inspiring and thoughtful website.

Thank you to Mel, a powerful friend who inspires all she meets.

Thank you for reading this story…

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