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Celebration Of Identity Was On The Button At GFESS

by Matthew Vandervoet | Oct 28, 2021

Oct. 20 was International Pronouns Day and last week, we were thrilled to be invited to visit Greater Fort Erie Secondary School the mark the day. We brought our button maker to help promote their wonderful Positive Spaces Club. Staff and students were welcome to make a button to wear to display their preferred pronouns.

While choosing preferred pronouns is more accepted with younger generations, it may not be familiar to you depending on your age and circumstances. As a quick overview: in most societies, there is a basic division between gender attributes assigned to males and females — this is called a gender binary and includes expectations of masculinity and femininity in all aspects of sex and gender: biological sex, gender identity, and gender expression.

However, some people do not identify with some, or all, of the aspects of gender assigned to their biological sex and identify as transgender, nonbinary, or genderqueer.

Choosing and using different pronouns allows people to be identified in a way that feels true for them. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, using simple words, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.

The library seeks to be a positive space for everyone. It’s also a wonderful place to learn more if you’re curious about preferred pronouns, gender identity, and gender expression. If you’d like to learn more, here are some books that I highly recommend:

'Trans+: love, sex, romance, and being you' by Kathryn Gonzales

This wonderful book answers all your questions, easy and hard, about gender and covers mental health, physical health and reproduction, transitioning, relationships, sex, and life as a trans or nonbinary individual. It's full of essential information you need — and want — to know and includes real-life stories from teens.

'Trans Mission: my quest to a beard' by Alex Bertie

Good for older and younger readers, this book is a memoir about from online personality Alex Bertie''s life, struggles, and victories as a transgender teen, as well as a groundbreaking guide for transitioning teens.

'Annabel' by Kathleen Winter

A personal favourite of mine, this book is older but resonated with me. This book tells the story of Wayne, a mixed-gendered child born into a rural hunting community in Labrador in the 1960s.

Please remember, our staff are always happy to help connect you to these titles and more.

Laura Trabucco (she/her) is the community engagement librarian at the Fort Erie Public Library who loves Canadian literature, crafts, and canoe trips. You can reach her any time at

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