By Luis Olguin, Nov. 22, 2022
On Nov. 14, Cal Poly Pomona’s Womxn’s Resource Center and the Housing team hosted an event called ‘‘Genderbread.’’ The Genderbread event was a workshop where students decorated gingerbread provided by Womxn’s resource center and doubled as a safe space event for those who have questions on gender expression.
The workshop opened its presentation with the question of how confident participants were with their current understanding of gender identity, gender expression, biological sex and sexual orientation. The organizers then explained these concepts with the usage of the genderbread person.
The workshop also talked about the importance of pronouns. Preferred gender pronouns or personal gender pronouns are the set of pronouns that an individual wants others to use in order to reflect that person’s gender identity.
If one gets someone’s pronouns incorrect, the Womxn’s resource center member Shanuki Watagoda, she/her, has a tip for you.
“If you get someone’s pronouns incorrect, then don’t over apologize. As how it can feel insincere,” Watagoda said.
She explains that mistakes are bound to happen. When someone over apologizes, then it seems to be too much. Just acknowledge the mistake and keep moving forward. Learning from the mistake is much more important.
All the resources and information used by the Womxn’s resource center for the Genderbread Person was provided by “Its Pronounced Metrosexual.” This is a free online resource on gender, sexuality and social justice. The resource aims to make it simple for everyone to learn, teach and make a difference in all three areas.
The Womxn’s Resource Center believes that safe spaces for gender identification and expression is very important for campus life. Possible safe spaces may include workshops like this one, gender-neutral restrooms, resource centers and close friends/family. There are some safe spaces online, but some could run the risk of being invaded by online trolls who disagree with the message of the safe space. Active member and meeting contributor of the Womxn’s resource center, Tori Umeda, she/her/hers, explains that safe spaces are important to her and others as there are multiple benefits to them. These safe spaces are all welcome to those that seek them in person and/or online.
“I never encountered someone who shows hates, even online,” said Umeda.
The workshop and coordinators harvested a safe space for all who were willing to open up about their gender expressions.
Coordinator Ariana Estrada, she/her/hers, explained, “Everyone is welcome to the Womxn’s Resource Center, no matter your gender or identification.”
She continued to say that just because it’s called the Womxn’s resource center; it is not only for those who identify as women, any identity is welcome, that’s why the “x” is present. You are still welcome to use the facility, use printers or even relax at the center.
Feature image by Luis Olguin
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