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NASW-NC Member Jan Tate Featured in the New York Times!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Seth Maid
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New York Times

 

The Struggles of Rejecting the Gender Binary

“Why didn’t you wear makeup today?”

 

Jan Tate asked her client during a therapy session in May of last year.

 

“I didn’t feel the need to.”

 

“Would today be the day to begin using Salem instead of Hannah?”

 

There was a long pause and a hushed reply: “Yeah. But it would hurt a lot worse to start asking people to call me Salem and have them not do it than not to ask them.”

 

Tate is a psychotherapist at the Carolina Partners clinic in Durham, N.C. She specializes in clients who are pushing against the bounds of gender. Salem is 20 and was, in the phrase Salem prefers, assigned male at birth, with a more clearly masculine name — that it is a “deadname” is all Salem will say about it. Salem uses gender-neutral they/them pronouns. They’d failed, so far, to get their parents, their sister or their two remaining friends to understand and accept that they were neither a man nor a woman, that they were nonbinary, gender fluid, gender expansive. They’d chosen the name Salem to fit with their identity, but they’d almost never asked anyone to call them by it. It was easier — definitely not easy, but easier — to let themself be considered conventionally transgender, male to female, and go by the name Hannah.

 

Read the entire article here!


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