You know the phrase, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”? I think non-binary people are from Pluto. People don’t recognize us as a gender/planet, but we’re still there.
ATTENTION TRANS*/GENDERQUEER/AGENDER/NON-BINARY PEOPLE IN THE UK!
IF THIS INCLUDES YOU, PLEASE SEND ME A MESSAGE FOR A SUPER SECRET SPECIAL MISSION/OPPORTUNITY.
IT INVOLVES WRITING.
ALL WILL BE REVEALED TO YOU SHOULD YOU WISH TO INQUIRE FURTHER.
PLEASE REBLOG TO SPREAD THE WORD.
Living with a non-binary gender
I feel like there’s a lot of misconceptions or stereotypes about how non-binary people actually live. The most popular idea of a genderqueer person is someone who lives and passes 100% of the time as their gender assigned at birth, followed by the image of a person who is seen as a binary trans person who has transitioned but identifies as genderqueer in addition to identifying as trans wo/man. I don’t have either these experiences, so I thought I’d give an idea of what my life is actually like.
I identify as third gender. I do not identify as transgender, but I say I live in a transgender role because I choose to not accept and live in the gender I was assigned at birth.
Most people who are important to me know that I am nonbinary, including my main social sphere. There are certain circles of people I interact with who think I’m male, certain circles who think I’m female. Some think I’m cis, some think I’m trans, but I’m fairly positive all read me as “gender non-conforming.” It is difficult for me to pass as cisgender anything.
To my school’s administration and the government, I am the gender I was assigned at birth, but my name is legally gender nonspecific. People I meet on the street tend to be befuddled by my gender, and it’s difficult to make generalizations of how I am perceived. Many people I have only brief relationships with (such as my teachers) know me as generically “transgender,” with little specification of what that actually means to me.
I make an effort to inform everyone who I will be having significant interactions with that I am not cisgender; I generally leave it up to them how to interpret that. Except in situations where it would be unsafe or inappropriate, I refute implications that I am male or female.
I do not have “internal” male privilege; I sometimes receive male privilege when read as male, but it is usually tempered by also being perceived as queer or non-conforming. I sometimes receive oppression targeted towards women when read as female, but I neither feel comfortable nor am welcomed into women-only spaces. I never enter male or female only spaces at all. Except when legally required, I decline to choose male or female on forms, even if this means missing out on things.
I use only gender nonspecific bathrooms because I have the privilege of doing so at my university; otherwise I use male and female bathrooms more or less equally depending on situation. I often am forced to create my own social space, including mannerisms that mix male and female or are neither, clothing (especially creating appropriate nonbinary formal clothing), and ways of speaking.
These are just some of the ways being non-binary gendered manifests in my daily life. There’s lots of other stuff I haven’t addressed (for example, the way my gender manifests in queer versus straight spaces, or depending on the racial composition of my environment). If anyone has questions about my experiences, I’d be happy to answer them, keeping in mind however that I prefer to not mention my assigned sex on the internet.
You know what’s funny?
Nobody ever seems to say, “Gender doesn’t exist, therefore all these labels are arbitrary and meaningless, therefore it doesn’t matter what I call you, therefore I have no reason to use any terms other than the ones you choose for yourself. Neither I nor no one else has a horse in this race, so the way you identify is all anybody has to go on.”
Nobody even ever seems to say, “Gender doesn’t exist, therefore I shall not recognize anyone as men or women, but refer to everyone using gender neutral terms and pronouns regardless of their preference.”
It’s always, “Gender doesn’t exist, therefore, I shall basically interact with everyone in the same way as the vast majority of the population who believe that gender does exist, except for being a little bit more pointed about it when I dump on trans* people.”
I’m not saying there aren’t any decent, respectful people out there who are “gender agnostic”, as one radfem/MRA put it when justifying her trans* outting/hitlist website. But they’re not the ones who feel the need to go around telling people that gender doesn’t exist.
30-Question Outside The Binary Challenge
The thirty questions can be answered all at once, one a day, or on any particular schedule. Please tag your answers with #30qoutsidethebinarychallenge.
- What is your gender identity?
- What are your preferred pronouns?
- Do you have a sex identity, and if so, what is it?
- What’s your sexual orientation?
- What intersections do you have with being outside the binary?
- What does your gender/s mean to you?
- Has your gender/s ever changed?
- How has your understanding of your gender/s changed?
- Do you feel you have a full grasp on understanding your gender/s yet?
- How do you come out as your gender/s?
- Do you have facial dysphoria?
- Do you find it worse to have social dysphoria or bodily dysphoria?
- Do you consider yourself FtM or MtF? Why or why not?
- Does it bother you more to be misgendered as the sex you were designated or assigned at birth, or to be misgendered as the other binary gender?
- Do you have any politicized identities, such as Muslimah or Latino?
- Do you have preferred pronouns in other languages than English? If so, what are they?
- Are your gender/s fluid or static?
- What would you want on a government ID card?
- Do you consider yourself trans, trans*, transgender, transsexual, or some combination of those terms?
- What symbols for your gender or being outside the binary do you like best?
- Do you like the transgender flag? Why or why not?
- Are you proud of being your gender/s?
- Are you proud of not being the sex you were assigned/designated at birth?
- If you could have been called any pronoun as a child, which pronoun would you want?
- If official forms had lines instead of boxes for gender, what would you write?
- What kinds of microaggressions do you receive most often?
- Are you stealth off the internet, or out to a few people?
- Do you have any mottos related to your gender/s.
- What’s your favorite 101 for people outside the binary, or even cis people?
- What are your dreams regarding your gender/s?
non-binaryoutside the binary challenge, too! Have fun, followers.
Note: while this is a 30 day challenge, it’s titled 30-question challenge. I don’t what the difference is, if any, but don’t forget to use the tag :)
Responses to the proposed non-binary flags
(and the difference between the terms non-binary and genderqueer)
No. I don’t want a flag that include your favorite color, JUST BECAUSE it’s your favorite color.
If the colors don’t have a purpose, they shouldn’t be there.
Personally, I like the idea of non-binaries having our own flag. I’ve always identified as androgyne, and the genderqueer titled always seemed off.
That’s a good point. I do wonder what the colours stand for (if anything), and even if someone wants to put their favourite colour in their flag, they should probably find a reason for it. I’m pretty lucky with the genderqueer flag - purple and green are my favourite colours.
Some people see non-binary as an umbrella term which includes identities like genderqueer, agender, bigender, and neutrois, some use it as a specific identity. Others see genderqueer as an umbrella term containing everyone who is outside the binary or gender non-conforming it seems while some people see genderqueer as a specific identity.
For me I identify as non-binary because it’s the only word I can find that fits. I used to identify as genderqueer as a specific gender identity under the umbrella of non-binary but I don’t any longer. For me personally this is because the way genderqueer is commonly understood in the circles I travel is as gender non-conformance, and/or not being cis but not being trans* either. I’m not saying this is the right or wrong definition but it’s the one I continue to run into and I don’t fit into it. So yeah, that’s just my reasoning for IDing as non-binary and not GQ. Sorry to babble.
That’s pretty interesting - so, basically, they mean the same thing to different people. Thank you, and don’t worry, you didn’t babble.
I mean this in the nicest way, but almost all pride flag color palettes make the color theorist in me cringe.
Almost all? Some are clashing or garish, but I think most are nice.
I do like these colors better than the other flag, but I would like to know what they stand for. I think that integrating the phrase “non binary” would be good, as some people are uncomfortable with the word “genderqueer” (as “queer” is such a traditional insult, even though the community has self-reportedly “taken it back” [I believe that it has and I’m comfortable identifying as queer and genderqueer, though I know that at least a few others would prefer different wording])
You prefer the non-binary flag ideas to the genderqueer flag? That’d interesing. People not wanting to identify themselves with the word queer is a good point, too.