pronouns.” They’ll tell me their pronouns too. In fact, some classes now start with a pronoun circle where everyone takes turns saying their pronouns and names they go by.
But out in the wild, I scan people surrounding me for signs that they are safe: edgy haircuts, shorts with dinosaur prints, subtle rainbow watch bands.
I sweep the crowd for warning colors too, like the aposematism of the white stripe on a skunk: “Not I But Christ” bumper stickers, pink floral T-shirts with gold scripture in unreadable cursive, the American flag on a face mask.I am thankful that I have yet to experience anything horrifying since coming out.
I hear heartbreaking stories on TikTok, my main source of queer community, about purposeful deadnaming aimed to invalidate a person’s identity, job offers that fall through from discrimination, and familial tension that results in getting kicked out of the house.