Gender Blur

Gender Blur

The idea of being genderless is nothing new, as androgyny can be traced all the way back to the Greek god Aphroditus. But there has been a lot of talk in the news lately about gender; about male and female, boy and girl, who is allowed to identify as guy or gal, and, perhaps more importantly, what factors identify as such. And with all of the talk especially about who is allowed to use what bathroom, it’s clear that being safe and comfortable with your sexual orientation, who you’re interested in, and how you identify yourself is still something John Q public needs not only to discuss, but regulate. But, eventually, that won’t really matter. Gender has become a fluid concept. The generation inheriting this country has a very different view of gender, of “LGBT” and “straight,” and of the limiting, binary notion of what makes us who we are. Alongside public figures like Jayden Smith and Miley Cyrus, and David Bowie who blurred the lines for decades, it’s becoming more evident that those fighting for “traditional” gender norms are ending up on the wrong side of history. Here are some numbers. A report from Intelligence Group found that 60% of people between the ages of 14 and 34 believe gender lines have been blurred, and believe their generation is doing the blurring. According to a Gallup survey, 6.4% of people aged 18-29 identify as LGBT (which is triple the number of people aged 65+). And, a Fusion poll conducted last year determined half of Millennials believe that gender is not limited to male and female; that gender exists on a...
St. Paul, a city of the future

St. Paul, a city of the future

St. Paul, a city of the future? Not usually. Known for historic charm, St. Paul is often called quaint, quiet, and even sleepy, especially in comparison with its shiny neighbor to the west.   St. Paul isn’t usually mentioned when talking about cities of the future.   But leaving it at that means ignoring more than a few existing factors and upcoming projects that have the city looking forward. St. Paul’s population recently crossed the 300,000 mark for the first time in over 40 years, and people are moving back into the city center at an incredible rate. Here are a few things coming soon, or already in place, that are helping St. Paul keep its momentum.   The 8-80 Vitality Fund Centered around the idea of noted urbanist Gil Penalosa that cities should be accessible to anyone aged 8-80, the Vitality Fund has several projects around the city, including renovating the century-old Palace Theater in downtown, currently underway. One of the key components of the plan is the Downtown Bicycle Network. Cities all around the world have been looking for ways to integrate bicycle traffic more effectively into city grids. In the Dutch city of Eindhoven, a suspended loop that hangs over automobile traffic called the Hovenring (read more: www.hovenring.com) was constructed to revolutionize the relationship between bikes and cars. In St. Paul, where the landscape is defined by the Mississippi River, the bike network lets you enter, move throughout, and then exit downtown quickly and easily on raised, separated paths. This allows bike and car traffic to coexist in a safer, more efficient manner. The entire bike plan extends throughout the entire city, and will eventually connect to the Midtown Greenway...