Prefered pronoun use becomes a case of human dignity, respect

Opinion by GaeaKaan

Throughout recent years in American history, the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community have become more prevalent as the individuals persist in their fight for equality across the country. Although there are  groups of people that choose to disrespect members of the LGBTQIA+ community, small forms of kindness and respect make all the difference. Given the difference between how public school and private schools approach situations dealing with the community, when I transferred from Central to Marian my junior year, I knew things would be different in that regard. 

As we brainstormed coverage for the September Network and bounced around ideas about what was new this year, one of my fellow staffers mentioned that some people had asked which pronouns Marian students preferred. This made me happy, not because it impacted me personally, but because it is important to me that no matter how someone identifies as an individual, they deserve the decency of respect from everyone. I understand there can be issues surrounding that concept; if something goes against your religion or your political view, it can be difficult to find acceptance in yourself for that thing. However, an individual’s choice of what faith to follow or party to vote for should in no way discredit another human’s choice for what they identify as. If everyone did this, followed the rule of common decency for one another, it would make the world a safer place.

Although this idea seems attainable to me, it can be difficult for a lot of individuals to put aside a prejudice they have for someone else. I can easily relate: on a much less serious level, an example in my life is that I hate peas. They disgust me, and I cannot for the life of me understand their existence in the vegetable world. Now, some people would disagree and think those statements were atrocious and unfair to an innocent pea who wasn’t doing much harm. And I can’t bring myself to put aside that dislike for peas, similar to how someone may feel about their dislike for using preferred pronouns. This seems silly in comparison to such an important issue in one’s life, but it gets across the point that some people have a difficult time respecting something they don’t understand.

Coming from public school provides a very different atmosphere for how I view things at private schools. Ideas that are being introduced at Marian have been in place since before my freshman year at public facilities. It seems unfair, in a way, to compare two things so different, and I have no place to judge a Catholic school for taking strides so large within its community. The fact that some people started asking for preferred pronouns is incredible; it fills me with so much joy and hope for the future wellbeing of our fellow underclassmen and the legacy of our generation to continue on with such inclusion. 

It is important for the community to strive for change, if we wish to see it happen. As we get older, we are entrusted with massive amounts of responsibility, one part being the way we treat each other and how it will affect those around us. It is important we view each other with at least an ounce of dignity and courtesy. Acceptance can come later, as it remains difficult to agree with the choices of others. The respect of everyone, regardless of race, sexuality, political or religious affiliation, or gender, is necessary in order to ensure a sense of peace and unity, and that is beginning inside Marian.

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