Identity remains a big part of LD Green

How their work makes strides to better tomorrow

LD Green

LD Green

Tatihn Mellieon, Staff Writer

Dressed in a half pinstripe-half black button up, black slacks, and tennis shoes, LD Green talked about everything from Watchmen to non-conforming gender identity. They shared that in 2019, after the publication of their first book, seeing their old name on the cover made them think that “my name was wearing a dress,” and eventually, “that’s not me.”

As a writer, Green’s identity and works often blend together to create pathways for voices most don’t even acknowledge that they exist. Their first book, “We’ve Been Too Patient: Voices From Radical Mental Health” touches on the traumas and experiences within the mental health care system. Their second book “Phoenix Song,” focuses on the confusion and struggles as well as the clarity and pleasures of being queer.

Green detailed the importance of their identity in their works, “I think the non-binary is a lot for people to try to wrap their heads around… I’m hoping to be a part of that wave of people speaking up about that.” While non-binary identities are nothing new, evidence of them dates back to at least pre-colonial Americas, in contemporary times they are often misunderstood and misrepresented. And so Green wants to change that, and while doing so, they’re noticing the success of it too. “In the writing world, I’ve found people are interested in what I have to say about it… people are like ‘Oh I want to know about that now.’”

Even as a professor here at LMC, teaching creative writing, queer studies and LGBT+ studies, they still want to be an advocate and role model for those who may be “feeling uncomfortable on campus.”

 “I want them to not feel that way, and so that’s the work I’ve been trying to do for LMC, to advocate and be myself as much as possible, and provide opportunities for trans and non-binary students, to thrive, not just survive.” They stated, reinforcing their goals and commitment to non-binary and transgender students.

“Life is long, and people are allowed to evolve and change…” they said, “I can look back on my childhood, when I was five years old dressing up in boy’s clothing… It was always there.”

Even as they began to question their gender identity all the way back in the late 2000s, it took another decade for them to realize just what they felt, and coincidentally, what they felt wasn’t in the binary of gender identity.

While contemplating the cultural understanding of trans identities, Green recalled a moment they had with their partner, finding themselves giving praise to Caitlyn Jenner for bringing the topic of non-cis gender identities to the forefront of American discussion.

Even then, they were aptly aware of the current state of such discourse, “It feels like trans and non-binary people, especially trans youth, are being scapegoated,” referring to the recent wave of legislation that has been introduced, and not so sparingly passed, across the US, “on a personal level, I went to middle and high school in Oklahoma, so just hearing what’s happening there is scary and painful.”

To elaborate on their mention of the state, the Human Rights Campaign has condemned the Oklahoma state senate for the passage of three anti-LGBTQ+ laws, two of which specifically target trans youth in sports.

“There’s a deep misunderstanding and fear culturally… and this backlash is just setting us back,” They continued, “I don’t know how to shift the cultural conversation, except for doing my art, and so in that sense I call my art artivism.”

When speaking on the purpose and storytelling of their fiction works, Green explained that, “Not only is it representation, but the argument of the story is about trans inclusion.” 

On the topic of future conversation in relation to gender and how society views it, Green said with a frown “I do think it’s going to take some time… People are gonna have to get to know trans and non-binary people personally, and we’re gonna continue a lot of pressure to present well.”

Their tone expressed a clear sorrow at the topic, though they still looked towards solutions, “I think it’s a changing heart and minds thing, and I think it happens slowly, I think it happens a conversation at a time, I think it can happen through art, I think it can happen in education.” 

By the time this issue is out, Green’s new graphic novel, “Journey to The Enchanted Inkwell,” will have a brief previewing and performance at the Pride Alliance mixer on May 3. Hopefully you attended!