Gen Z: Woke, queer and oat milk – what is that actually? A young woman explains her generation

A word that defines my generation is “woke.

Gen Z: Woke, queer and oat milk – what is that actually? A young woman explains her generation

A word that defines my generation is “woke.” Now please don't run away, it won't do anything! The word originally comes from the English "to wake up" and means to wake up, to be attentive. But it's not that new at all. The expression was already used in the 1930s: against racism and a lack of social justice. When an 18-year-old African American was shot by a police officer in Missouri in 2014, the term “woke” became more widespread. A social movement called “Black Lives Matter” has emerged in the USA and is directed against racist violence by the police. Social media like Twitter has really pushed the word again. The meaning of “woke” in the Duden is: highly politically awake and committed against (especially racist, sexist, social) discrimination.

Unfortunately, the word is often misused to influence people. Then misunderstood expressions arise. “Wokeness” is often used in a derogatory way when referring to Generation Z. Some label the term as moral know-it-all. Does this have to do with the generational conflict? I would like “woke” to no longer be a negative buzzword, but rather a generational political attitude.

Whatever expression I can use to crash any family gathering is the word “queer.” It also comes from English and is a collective term for sexual orientations that are not heterosexual and gender identities that are non-binary or non-cisgender. If you're now thinking: Huh?

The drag queen Vicky Voyage summed up the word "queer" for us simply: "Everything that doesn't correspond to the heteronormative world view. For me, queer means, in the broadest sense, being open to every identity."

“Cisgender,” a word that appears in the definition of “queer,” refers to people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. I, for example, was born as a woman and also feel as a woman and also live as a woman, which means I am “cisgender”. When we talk about “non-binary” people, these are people who identify as neither male nor female. Your gender identity can have feminine and masculine characteristics.

When I get up in the morning, I always go straight to the kitchen - to make myself a coffee. My daily caffeine intake is sacred to me. For about a year now I've only been drinking oat milk in my coffee. Not because I'm vegan or have an intolerance, but because I actually like it. My dad can't do anything with oat milk. Honestly, I understand that, because oat milk also tastes like oat milk. Personally, I like that “grainy aroma” in coffee, so I always successfully convince myself how healthy and hip my lifestyle is.

A Swedish chemistry professor invented oat milk in 1990. An oat milk "Barista" consists of water, fermented oats, rapeseed oil, calcium carbonate, acidity regulator, potassium phosphates, sea salt, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. After reading the ingredients I feel like I'm in chemistry class. But it doesn't matter, the main thing is that I like it. Thank you, dear inventor of oat milk, you shaped my younger years!

Woke, queer and oat milk - three terms that apparently belong to my generation and are also important to know. So I'm sitting in the living room with my oat milk cappuccino and I'm happy that I can explain terms from my generation to other people.