photo from Samantha Riccardi
Although Allilsa Fernandez, the first non-binary person to run for homecoming royalty at Stony Brook University, didn’t win, the shift to a gender-neutral court is more important now than ever.
Society has ignored trans folks and denied them rights for so long. But people are becoming aware that trans-identifying individuals exist, regardless of the nonsense controversy around them. (Why are people’s identity’s political?)
Seldom do I see gender neutrality and non-binary representation in media or the sociopolitical arena. Because Stony Brook decided to have three people become “homecoming royalty” as opposed to a King and Queen, we are beginning to dismantle the idea of a gender binary.
The Trump administration continues to discredit and target trans folks as well as non-binary people. As someone that identifies as non-binary, I can assure you we exist.
SCIENCE supports that there is no gender binary and that sex is a nebulous concept as well because of genetic deviations, hormone balances and parallels in nature. The Department of Health and Human Services continues to defy peer-reviewed and supported science. By trying to erase these identities from existence, they are proving their incompetence. This is another attempt to assert their privilege and oppress minority groups.
Fernandez is brave. People constantly attacking our identity hurts. I am inspired — inspired to be comfortable with myself, despite society’s view on my identity and that I am not enough.
We are told over and over again that we are not enough. Stony Brook having a gender-neutral court is a step towards acceptance for the LGBTQ* community. I and other members of the community feel as if Stony Brook uses us as tokens as times- for example, when we got the LGBTQ* center to pacify us but we don’t get gender-neutral bathrooms in every building. Despite this, the decision to have a gender-neutral court empowers me.
I can’t express how much this change has meant to me as well as others. We need to continue to fight for our rights, which should be innate, and this is a step in the right direction. This motivated me to continue to fight.