Good morning dear applicants,
we are proud to announce that the Literary Ladybug Guilt (LLG) would be open to all applicants even the non-binary.
“Some people don’t identify with any gender. Some people’s gender changes over time. People whose gender is not male or female use many different terms to describe themselves, with non-binary being one of the most common. Other terms include genderqueer, agender, bigender, and more.“
While we did everything in our power to get it right, we did receive some pushback on the application process. Comments such as “I am not a woman yet, but soon,” “I am tired of having to misgender myself just to access the already scarce resources for different genders in this world,” and “Will there be separate bathrooms for those who identify as ‘ally'” (see explanation in the picture above), and “Please, can I just use the bathroom in peace” made our evaluation committee stop and take notes. As the chair of that committee, I want to take some time to put your fears to rest.
Some people think that adding “nonbinary people” to our application form while not changing anything about our application process, or internet presence is evidence that we want credit for being inclusive without doing any actual work. Let me be clear: We want to create opportunities for ALL genders. That includes women, girls, men, queer, transgender, transsexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, intersex, ally, asexual or pansexual applicants.
But listen, we hear you. You, nonbinary people, are super-sensitive about being grouped in with the ladies for some reason, and we want to respect that enough to stop people from making mean Facebook comments about us. Your feedback has led our steering committee to take several steps to make the LLG even more accessible to nonbinary applicants, so we decided on the following rules:
- Wishing all applicants a Happy International LGBTTQQIAAP Day, and ignoring all of the feedback we have received on that practice earlier
- Spelling various gendered words with an “x” because inclusivity means all consonants are valid
- A mandatory screening of Brokeback Mountain during our last board meeting (we couldn’t find any movies about nonbinary people, but we figured it was close enough)
- Emailing several prominent nonbinary writers and asking them to give hours of free labor to our committee, and then passive-aggressively dragging them on Facebook when they say no
- Updating our application forms to LGBTTQQIAAP and “Diverse”
We have also heard your concerns about how your applications are evaluated by a committee that lacks sexual diversity, gender diversity, or racial diversity. While we share your concerns about diversity, we do not have the capacity to expand the committee at this time. Instead, we are making other efforts to include diverse voices in our operations.
We also acknowledge that for some, these efforts will not be enough. If you choose to withdraw your application, please be aware that we cannot refund your application fee, as we have already spent most of our budget on changing all the application form to LGBTTQQIAAP, non-binary and diverse. The other part of the budget spent goes to all those who applied as male and now identify as female and vice versa. Also, all the queers. For any disappointments, we are happy to offer a free ticket to the LGBTTQQIAAP Gala in Austria. It is mandatory to bring a rainbow flag. You’ll also need to help serve the hors d’oeuvres.
For those who decide that the LLG is not the right opportunity for them at this time, we hope you’ll see the changes we make and choose to apply again in the future. Thank you for supporting our mission of creating opportunities for every human being and also making sure those opportunities are branded like an eight-year-old girl’s birthday-home-pick up with a limousine for reasons we refuse to examine.
—The LLG Committee