Special (Song for Sunday)

I’ve decided to get back to my blog more seriously and as a way of easing my way in, decided to find a great song to warm me up. I recently came across Special by LP (Laura Pergolizzi) when a friend was playing it, and later discovered I had another of her songs (Lost on You) in my Spotify liked songs. I now know she has many other great songs.

But it was only when I was learning a bit more about LP for this post, that I discovered that my assumption that she was male was wrong. I had only seen her album cover, and with very little conscious thought, I had jumped to the conclusion that the cover showed a male. It was like an automatic reaction to fit her into a binary notion of gender. The person had to be male or female.

One of the things I appreciate about Jasmine and Alexa (20 and 17), and many other young people around the world, is that they are challenging me (and many other old people) about sexuality. They are making me so much more aware of the fluidity of gender and how it is not, and never has been, binary. I love how easily this has been embraced by many young people, and I welcome that it is quite a common discussion in our household.

It raises questions for me at times (and I would prefer a new word rather than using they/them as a pronoun for a gender neutral individual) but I think it is a wonderful development. After nearly 60 years I still make many assumptions (as proved by this post), sometimes struggle with pronouns and language, and I’m sure I misgender people at times. But I’m trying to become more aware, to be more sensitive and to be more supportive.

Of course the main thing about Special is not the gender identify of LP, but that it is a great song. If you want to learn a bit more about LP, there is an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald from earlier this year.

If you liked this post please follow my blog, and you might like to look at:

  1. All the songs
  2. Times like these” by Live Lounge Allstars
  3. “Shine” by Vanessa Amorosi
  4. “Same love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lews (in support of marriage equality)
  5. “Take me to church” by Hozier
  6. “I will survive” by Gloria Gaynor (Priscilla Queen of the Desert version)

If you find any problems with the blog, (e.g., broken links or typos) I’d love to hear about them. You can either add a comment below or contact me via the Contact page.

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
This entry was posted in Song for Sunday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Special (Song for Sunday)

  1. Pingback: Zero Gravity by Kate Millder-Heidke (A Song for Sunday) | Sustaining Community

  2. Chris Ho-Stuart says:

    I’ve been using gender neutral pronouns a lot recently in my work, where I need to write a lot of individual notes of what I have been doing (activities/lifestyle) with a lot of people; and I need to do the notes quickly, clearly and efficiently. I cut and paste the same note many times, and then perhaps edit a bit if there’s something special to add for someone. And the pronoun I use is they/them; simply because it saves me some key strokes when pasting the same note, and because it reads clearly for people I work with. My colleagues are highly diverse and for many English is a second language; hence using a well established pronoun is my choice in that context.


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