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Breaking Out of Society’s Boundaries

Walking into the classroom on the first day of college classes was an intimidating experience. So many new faces and names to learn. Queer studies was a class I was most excited for in particular and I expected it to be a big class full of gays (like me!). Instead I walked into the classroom and my gaydar went off for only a few people in the whole class. Immediately I wanted to know what the hell all these other non queer people were doing in a class literally called “Queer Studies”. 

 My professor is a very intelligent lady that encourages us all to go outside of the normal and think different than all of the ways we have been raised to think about gender, sex, and sexuality as well as each of our individual roles in this large thing we call society. So, she began with all of us introducing ourselves with our names, pronouns, and reason for joining the class. Of course we had the folks who said it was the only class available and others that were taking it just for the general education credit (GE).  But there were others that expressed their interest in LGBTQ history. I never really thought of the history about people in the community, but in this class I soon dove into scholarship and literature about all of the history. Ideas such as the personal and societal importance of labels are questioned, and the belief that there are only 2 sexes is turned down with a proposal that there are actually 5. I never imagined a course would ask me to go out of the ordinary and even dig deep into the societal boundaries that have been placed on me. 

Every individual is a piece to this large puzzle of society, and we each feed into the normalization of the gender binary, heteronormativity, as well as sexism. Until we started to have class discussions around these topics, I never realized the value and necessity for everyone, whether you’re queer or not, to take a queer studies course. I reccomend for anyone that is reading this to remember to incorperate a queer studies course into your education at some point. It will truly force you to think outside of the binaries and conceptualize the way that these seemingly normal constructs influence your life on an everyday basis. 

Ever since starting in my queer studies class, I have never been able to see the world in the same way as before. I am now able to see this bullshit that society has created to keep me in a specific box- but I am going to break those boundaries.

Hi! My name is Gabriella Longo and I am from Cleveland Ohio. I am a sophomore at Denison University, and I am interested in majoring in Psychology with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies, and a Queer studies concentration. I have a strong passion for social justice, I enjoy photography, and I am a fencer at Denison. I joined Her Campus for the opportunity to share my writing as well as enjoy the writing of other amazing female writers. I hope you enjoy!
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