Trans-Awareness Week & Linguistics

Linguistics Society

This week in the University of York, it’s Trans Awareness Week, a week, in term time, dedicated to advocating raising awareness of the trans community and issues relating to it through education. There’s much that we as linguistic experts can do to support the lives of trans students, and the trans community as a whole.

We as linguists are in a position where we are authorities on language – this puts us in a position of power. Trans and Intersex individuals, on the other hand, are often denied  authority of language relating to their own identity and bodies; people’s identity, gender and sex are often treated as invalid unless it matches those assigned at birth. The linguistic view of gender is defined as a learned set of behaviours based upon the culturally and socially constructed forms of identity such as “masculinity” and “femininity,” whereas sex refers to having biological male and/or female sexual…

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