Growing up in the age of social media, I found that many of the sites that I have been on for years ask the same questions upon sign up. What is your Gender (Male or Female)? What is your Sexual preference(s)? What I have come to find interesting is how public these responses are. When taking a look at the many different online accounts I have, I found that on every page where these questions arouse, my response was public. This was not by my choice, but by default. But why has then become a standard among social networking sites?
Being here at UNT has been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I have made friends with people I would never had associated myself with 3 years ago and today I find myself constantly being inspired by my peers and those in the public eye. This is due to their strong stance against this very gender binary that society and social networking sites try to force upon us. Why must our gender and sexuality be so public? I found myself asking this question more and more as I watched some of my closest friends publicly announce or deny claims about their gender and sexuality. Then came Lana Wachowski.
As a filmmaker, I am constantly looking for people to inspire something new in me and give me a new look on life. Lana’s strength in her time of change has been incredible. As you can see in the video, Lana was once known as Larry. For years, Lana and her brother Andy have kept to themselves and avoided the public eye. It wasn’t until the release of their new film Cloud Atlas that they decided to make themselves seen again. Lana’s speech brings up questions regarding the gender binary and sexual identity that many people avoid discussing, even though these social networking sites often force people to announce their private information. Thanks to people such as Lana, more individuals are finding the strength to accept their identities.
With this constant public knowledge in regards to peoples private information, individuals have come together to create amazing organizations to fight against is. One of the most well-known and recognized organizations is known as “It gets better.”
“It gets better” gives a voice to those that have had to face the troubles of public information, whether they are personally publicizing the knowledge or not. According to the reading almost 80% of all men and women have access and use the internet. If even 40% of those people use social networking sites such as facebook, myspace, twitter, and google +, how many of them have publicly announced their gender and sexuality on these sites? With so many organizations and individuals fighting against discrimination, it is amazing to find that so many sites still raise the same questions for public view. I am constantly amazed and the strength of those that fight for the acceptance of their personal identities. People like Lana Wachoski and George Takei inspire me to help in the fight.
Do you publicly announce your gender/sexuality online?
Do organizations such as It gets better work?