My little brother was the first to call me a gentleman, and my eyes lit up like electricity. I’d just discovered that I liked male pronouns, but I hadn’t yet realized what a powerful word gentleman could be. It’s more than just a word for a man. It’s praise.
My gender is still far from simple, but there’s something undoubtedly delightful about the combination of “gentle” and “man”. It implies that the typically underrated quality of gentleness in males is in fact something to aspire to, not mock. And the way it feels in the mouth as my tongue rolls out the word… It’s beautiful.
It has such exquisite meaning, too. It brings to mind holding open doors and pulling out chairs and taking the time to listen. I can’t say I’m a perfect listener, but these are things I desire to be.
Perhaps, after all, gentleman is simply an ideal that leaves us striving to better ourselves, and isn’t that why we are here? I want to be a gentleman in the fullest sense of the word: not just on Tuesdays, or with someone I love, but always.
Call me a gentleman only when I’ve earned it, but call me a gentleman.
This episode of “A Queer Was Here” is on Sex vs. Gender vs. Gender Expression, and defines each of those terms and discusses the similarities and differences between them. It is followed by a poem on the topic discussed, and then a TED Talk recommendation on Ending Gender.
You can find the TED Talk I mentioned here: TEDxHouston: “Ending Gender” by Scott Turner Schofield.
This episode of “A Queer Was Here” is on “Understanding Consent” and gives a simple definition of consent, followed by a detailed explanation of each part of the definition, and then a poem on the topic discussed. I also mention a spoken word poem on the topic by Guante and a video explaining consent through tea.
You can find the spoken word poem I mentioned here: “Consent at 10,000 Feet” by Guante
You can find the video "Tea and Consent" here: Tea and Consent
You can find the post I wrote on my website that inspired this episode here: Understanding Consent