In one of my classes on Wednesday, we discussed gender roles in the family. (Yeah, we were discussing gender roles at the time.) The teacher wanted us to talk about what we look for in a romantic partner, so she asked us to write down on paper what we look for in a romantic partner. Except, she didn't do that. That would have been too easy, I guess. Instead, she asked only the women to write down what they look for in a man. Then, she waited for them to write for a little while. After that, she asked only the men to write down what they look for in a woman.
So, I just didn't write anything, then when she went around the room asking everyone for their answers, I reminded her that I identify as nongender and said what I look for in a romantic partner.
And I get that I'll definitely be disappointed if I expect all my teachers to use actively progressive language. But this was a sociology class. We were talking about gender roles. And she went out of her way to separate men from women and then explicitly ask for heterosexual answers.
That's on top of the fact that it's a class participation heavy course, and many of the other students are horrible people. (One, a US Soldier, told us about the things he'd learned about the culture of Afghanistan during his tour -- he taught us the word for "Put your hands up." He also called the Hebrew language "Jewish." As in, "She had to learn to speak Jewish.") Rarely a class goes by where nobody says something actively offensive about someone else's culture, identity, background, psychology or sexuality.
I'm writing this because school was cancelled due to snow today, and I was really relieved. Which pisses me off. I like school. School has, at times in my life, been the only thing I look forward to. The only time I ever usually don't look forward to going to school is when I'm studying a topic I struggle in, and I don't struggle in sociology.
I'm only uncomfortable because odds are good that in any given class someone's going to say something that implies my identity is fake. Odds are really good that in any given class someone's going to say something derogatory about me or about someone I care about. And odds are good that if I say anything, I'll have to defend my identity against a classroom full of people who think I'm lying, or that there's something wrong with me, and odds are good that the teacher will take their side.