While we all know that gender isn’t binary, most of us would find it difficult to name any other distinct genders identities than male, female, transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, and gender nonbinary.
Well, now students at a prestigious college in southern India will have the opportunity to learn about 58 unique gender identities.
The American College in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, has added a new “gender queer and intersex” studies syllabus for those in the Tamil and English Department.
"We want students to understand sex, gender and sexuality well, as we are all going to live together in the same society," the head of the Tamil Literature Department, V Prabhakaran, said.
Those in the Tamil and English Department will study Gopi Shankar Madurai’s book Maraikkapatta Pakkangal, which includes information on dozens of genders including pangender, androgyny, bigender, neutroi, retransitioners, and transbinary.
“It took me four years just to get this book published, as nobody was interested in the subject. Now, not only has the book been published but it is part of the curriculum in a college,” Madurai said.
"This is a huge leap, as we need to start a dialogue on these subjects, especially in Tamil,” the author continued.
I’d argue we also need to start the dialogue here, in the United States, too.