One of the deepest regrets in my life is that I have not had children. It was my dream to be a mother, and every Mother’s Day I feel excluded, less than whole, marginalized, and shunned. But should I expect the world to stop calling mothers by that word, to discontinue the celebrations, remove Mother’s Day cards from the stores? No! This discomfort I might feel is my own stuff to work out. I can’t expect the mothers of the world to give up their joy of motherhood and tiptoe around my feelings of being different.

In a similar way, it is not the dance community’s responsibility to confirm or deny a dancer’s gender identity. That is each person’s own stuff to work out and ought not to include an expectation that the rest of us must become birds. Dancing has been an important part of my life, and I find that I can’t enjoy the flow, the music, or the people I meet in line when I’m trying to translate whether I’m a lark or a robin, or stressing about whether or not someone else is comfortable in their dance role.