Changing Thoughts on Gender (Part 2)
by Simone Britto
The Boys vs. Girls Spirit Week has been a tradition at my high school for many years. Every spring, the leadership class organizes competitions and a rally and the “dominant sex” with the most spirit points at the end of the week wins a pancake breakfast. Last year, one bold girl chose to sit with the boys at the rally, wearing a tie instead of a dress, and faced judgment from her peers. A recent graduate who identified as gender neutral wore a homemade graduation gown that combined the customarily white gown of the girls with the green gown that boys, causing shock among the families in the crowd. In my community, those that choose to defy gender norms have been traditionally judged.
That is, until this year. Recently, my community has begun to understand that there is not one definition of “boy” or “girl” — that gender is not what defines us. For the first time, the leadership class has opted to do away with the Boy vs. Girls Spirit Week in exchange for a one that celebrates our school as a whole, uniting us and including everyone.
Many people are upset with this change. Our school newspaper ran an editorial claiming that this action is too drastic, that no one currently attending our school identifies as gender neutral anyway. I disagree. Though this may seem like a small step towards acceptance, it symbolizes something bigger, paving the way for more change in the future.