Your Mom’s Guide to the Hippie(ish) Colleges of the Northeast — Part 2 (Day 8)

Today was a momentous day because it marked the likely end of my part of our college tours.  Which is fine because I’m exhausted.

We had a lazy morning before we hopped on the train uptown for Barnard College, the women’s college of Columbia University.  I liked it.  Boo did not.  Why you ask?  Because while they allow trans women to enroll, they do not allow non-binary gendered people to enroll.  Only people who consistently identify as women can enroll.  That was the reason Boo didn’t like Barnard.  Totally not kidding.

I had one of those “kids these days” moments, and we ended up irritated with each other.  I swear that we hardly ever quarrel but when we do, it’s usually about gender identity issues.  Not her gender identity (she’s totally cis-gendered), but the gender identities of other people.  I often wonder what other families quarrel about.  I’d be willing to bet that very few other families have had a major blowout over pronoun usage like we have.  Seriously, our biggest argument in the last year or two was over pronouns. #firstworldarguments

We managed to reach enough detente that we stopped by the TKTS booth in Times Square for theater tickets. Then we headed back to the apartment for a short rest before we went out for Japanese food and headed to the theater to see “The Color Purple.”  It was absolutely brilliant.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a show before that was literally stopped mid show because of cheering from the audience.  By the end I was crying so hard that I was afraid I was going to start audibly ugly-sobbing.

Tomorrow is my last full day with my baby before I head for home and leave her in New York.  Sniff!  I’ll be studiously avoiding discussion of pronouns.

Next up — Day 9

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3 thoughts on “Your Mom’s Guide to the Hippie(ish) Colleges of the Northeast — Part 2 (Day 8)”

  1. I am going to miss these trips but look forward to hearing about final selection lists etc. “Boo” is a lucky young woman (person) and I bet that she realizes that, hence no need to argue of most topics.

  2. I would take your bet.

    My cis-gendered, asexual older daughter went off to North Carolina last June to meet a group of internet friends. She left her talking about a girl named Kylie and how she so looked forward to meeting “her.” She returned talking about someone named Mihael — which wasn’t one of the names I remembered hearing — and how “they” were a highlight of the trip. Turns out they were one and the same. Then, she gets pissy with me for not immediately intuiting this, and moreso for taking more than one conversation to adapt to the name/gender change. (To be fair, I’m bad with names anyway, much less genders/non-genders.)

    I feel your pain.

    1. Our battle initiated in a similar way. I failed to use the proper pronoun for one of her friends. I just wasn’t thinking. But she took it as a sign of disrespect for all LGBTQ and/or gender fluid people. Later that night, I took her into San Francisco to see a documentary about gender fluid people. One of her friends was featured in the film. The best part was that there was a discussion in the film about how “older” people have a hard time using the preferred pronouns — not out of malice but because they just aren’t used to it. After seeing that I wasn’t just trying to be a jerk, she apologized.

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