For Brandon Kyle Goodman, it’s life, liberty, and the pursuit of love

I, Brandon Kyle Goodman, am a self-described queer-gender nonbinary-my-or-my-entity-but-not-what-you-might-think queer-gender nonbinary-My-or-my-entity-but-not-what-you-might-think person who writes, acts, and studies.

In your portrayal of a character who is a humanizing point of reference for LGBTQ youth, a very real problem, you have opted to incorporate pronouns that don’t exist in the fichotography on the show and instead have an expository voiceover outlining different expressions. You made this choice in part because of your experience as a “homo person”. However, you did not clarify to the audience what the word homo means, and so, most of us in the room were unaware of who you were talking about. One of the truisms that the LGBTQ community often faces is that society confuses us, and what’s more, it confuses people on our own behalf. This kind of confusion was amplified when the interviewer asked you if you referred to this person as a woman, and you responded “I don’t know!” and proceeded to throw it up in the air and assume you needed to respond with a little niblet like “she, she, she.”

As a queer-gender nonbinary-my-or-my-entity-but-not-what-you-might-think person, I am thankful that you took the time to outline what you refer to as a four-tier gender, and stated that you do not identify with these four gender categories. As one of your crowd goers put it, “It sounds like you’re admitting that you identify, at least, as a gender different from the four-tier binary.” I’m very proud of you for your forthright responses to the question of gender, and I feel the need to thank you for being an ally and an activist. As an ally, I want to thank you for your feedback on pronouns. If you choose to identify as a gender that does not fall within the four-tier gender framework, please feel free to continue to provide me and other audiences with clarity on this.

As an activist, I find it imperative to continue to participate in queer-diversity-politics-self-empowerment-stuff. I wish that more educators had come out and spoken about these issues, instead of being quiet at this crucial moment. When I was in high school, I saw the way that anti-gay teachers framed homophobia and transphobia and how “being gay” and “being transgender” were inextricably linked with one another. To come out as a lesbian while still struggling with transgender identity was confusing to me and to many LGBTQ teens.

My hope is that you will receive my “thanks” for bravely portraying a queer character in a television series, and that more LGBTQ people with queer-gender-fluid-ities will realize they aren’t alone in their identity and journey.

(For an in-depth write-up on Transgender Youth, I recommend reading the Transgender Youth of Color Platform.)

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