Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility

VIDEO: LGBTQ is a Liminal Identity: What you see is not always what you get Part 1

Culturs sat down with columnist and member of the LGBTQ community, Kendall McElhaney, to talk about issues both in the US and all over the world throughout the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in the first of this two-part series.

McElhaney identifies as pansexual which she described as meaning that she doesn’t discriminate on a potential partner bases on their sexual orientation, gender identity or biological sex. What’s important is how she feels about the person and how the person makes her feel- it doesn’t matter what’s happening on the surface.

At Culturs that exactly what having a liminal identity is all about. Often what you see on the outside is not what you get.

McElhaney explains that there are differences between certain ways people identify. For instance transsexual means that a person is choosing to transition completely by changing their identity and anatomy while transgender is the changing of identity.

Often we forget our privileges and one of the privileges commonly forgotten is pronoun privilege. McElhaney said she is lucky she always identified as a women and as a “she.” However, there are many people around the world struggling with what their pronoun should be. If someone is “cis privileged” they identify as the gender that matches their anatomy.

McElhaney said many people aren’t that lucky and ask themselves constantly, “how am I going to present today?” or “how is it going to look when I present this way but my mind presents another way?”

It’s important to understand that this is an everyday battle and while there are binary pronouns (his or her) there are also gender neutral pronouns such as ze, zir, or hen.

In the next and final part of this two-part series, McElhaney will continue the discussion on LGBTQ issues and how it is imperative to continue the conversation on the community and global scale.

By: Samantha Malpiedi

Samantha Malpiedi is a columnist for Culturs and is especially interested in current issues around the world that affect people and the way they make their livelihoods. Her cultural awareness education began at age fifteen when she traveled to five different countries including parts of Europe, Mexico and Kenya and ended in her time spent living in Chile at age 21. From these experiences she developed her love for travel and the appreciation for culture. As a duo-language speaker, she thrives in environments where communication spans cultures. Never complacent to stay in one place, her articles will interest anyone that might resonate with a restless nomad, hungry for a taste of travel.