"Complex personhood means that people suffer graciously
and selfishly too,
get stuck in the symptoms of their troubles, and also transform themselves.
Complex personhood means that even those called "Other" are never never that.
Complex personhood means that the stories people tell about themselves, about their troubles, about their social worlds, and about their society's problems are entangled and weave between what is immediately available as a story and what their imaginations are reaching toward.
Complex personhood means that people get tired and some are just plain lazy.
Complex personhood means that groups of people will act together, that they will vehemently disagree with and sometimes harm each other, and that they will do both at the same time and expect the rest of us to figure it out for ourselves, intervening and withdrawing as the situation requires.
Complex personhood means that even those who haunt our dominant institutions and their systems of value are haunted too
by things they sometimes have names for and sometimes do not.
At the very least,
complex personhood is about conferring the respect on others
that comes from presuming that life and people's lives
are simultaneously straightforward and full of enormously subtle meaning."
Avery F. Gordon