I am a humyn… A persyn… With a hystory/queerstory/theirstory… my preferred (in the context of academic spaces* queer spaces* and spaces that people are down*) pronoun is singular they…. I associate with womyn who have herstories … and I like to hang out with folx when I write words a certain way. Its true, there are certain words that I spell funny… deal with it. But it confuses people, causes some people to be pissed off, and generally requires me to give some sort of justification. I ask so what? Why does it matter? Thats my question. It gets answered in different ways but for the most part I don’t like what they tell me. Some tell me it doesn’t matter so why do it, others tell me that I am fighting a cause that doesn’t make a different, and others just get uncomfortable and insult me.
But I would like to say that to me it matters, I understand that it is an academic fight, and I like to think that I don’t try to push my thoughts onto other people. I do not force people to spell things a certain way but I ask that people respect me when I do. These spellings are my way of being subversive, to introduce my thoughts on gender/sexuality/patriachy/race in my writing and speech. The “y” to me is a way of degendering language and reducing the impact that words such as HIStory, huMAN, MANkind, HIStorical, HE/SHE (binary pronouns), perSON etc have on academic understanding. To me these words can be made gender neutral in all contexts of my life. Whether it is in scientific papers, sociology papers, emails, posters ETC ETC. Gender neutrality and intentionality of spelling need not be restricted to solely “queer spaces” or “conscious spaces” because to do so is insulting to people outside of those “spaces” and forces me to create multiple selves. I do not like that so I refuse to do it and I am willing to deal with consequences that may result because at the end of the day it forces people to think about language. Language is powerful and can affect so many different aspects of folx lives so in my opinion its worth screwing with “correct” spelling and subverting the hegemony.