A collection of posts dedicated to discussing Nonbinary pals + advice
On new york (Opinion)
Recently, New York has adopted a new bill that offers the opportunity to identify as nonbinary from birth. This bill allows the parents or the child later in life to have an “X” as their gender. This is a clear victory for everyone who doesn’t fall under the typical category of male and female, and is finally a legal representation of them.
While I personally don’t know how one would be able to identify if their child is nonbinary from birth (unless in the cases of intersex babies), this could help in the cases of people who want to raise their child as genderless or without having to feel the pressures of being a certain gender. While there’s still expected traits for nonbinary people, as there are for most genders, there are far less in terms of development since society only seems to have a binary toy system with dolls for girls and trucks for boys. These norms are also evolving too, but it’s nice to see some legal incorperation of the destruction of the binary ways of life.
What’s it like being nonbinary? (Interview)
As a cisgendered female, I can’t say much about how it is to be nonbinary. Thankfully, I have a few friends that are nonbinary and available to answer some quick interview questions and inform the general audience what life is like and such.
(A is Anon, they wished to remain anonymous for this interview, and J is Joy N., who did not wish to share their full name)
Hi, how are you doing today?
A: I’m okay! Very tired, but getting through the week!
J: I’m doing well!! In terms of dysphoria, not the best, but I’m hanging in there.
What pronouns do you use?
J: They/Them or He/Him
How did you come to discover you were nonbinary?
A: When I was at a Thomas Sanders event and someone asked me my pronouns. I said that I went by they/them and the person I was talking to explained that people who used those pronouns often identify as Non-Binary. I then did my own research and decided that was the right label.
J: Well, first I happened upon the LGBTQ+ community. After starting out as an ally, then realizing I was pansexual, I began to explore the term “transgender,” probably more than any cis girl would. This all occurred in middle school for me. After researching about ftm and trans-masc people, I also found terms like “non-binary” and other identities that fall under that umbrella. It kinda felt like something had clicked for me, I thought it was amazing and so cool, and although the notion was scary when referring to myself, it also felt really amazing to discover an identity that matched with me more than “girl.”
Are you still closeted or are you fairly open about it?
A: I am closeted almost completely when it comes to my family, but I am very open about it at my college and with my friends.
J: I’m fairly open to most, although I find it hard to come out directly. It’s more like I’m not trying to hide it, but I’m also not broadcasting it at every moment (mostly out of fear of being obnoxious). I’m very open when it comes to close friends and have only recently come out to all of my teachers (most of which were very accepting and kind).
What’s your daily life like?
A: My daily life isn’t all that much different; I still go to class, I still hate Mondays, I can’t live without my favorite tea from Starbucks. Though there are certain things that differ because of my identity.
J: Often times I just get up every day at around 3-4am to do homework, go to school, and then come home to rest and eat.
How is it impacted by your nonbinary-ness?
A: My life has been impacted most by a little thing called gender dysphoria. Certain things cause me to feel this pit in my stomach that is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t experience it, but the best way I can think to explain it as is imagine that the image of yourself in your mind doesn’t match what you see in the mirror. Simple things like someone using the wrong pronouns or describing me with a feminine word can send me into a depressed downward spiral. With being non-binary especially, misgendering is a huge issue and it feels like getting punched in the gut every time I hear “she”, “her”, or my birth name.
J: It’s hard due to the body and social dysphoria I experience. I wear a chest binder day-to-day, sometimes longer than I should, and I wear masculine clothing and pack. Even by doing this, often times I am called a girl because I am surrounded by peers who knew me before I realized I was trans. It can be really draining and tends to grind down on my depression. Some days are better than others, and others are quite difficult. Thoughts that rush through my head daily are “do I pass?” or “is my binder in place?” There are even small instances of dysphoria from the oddest things, one of the biggest being my voice.
Who’s been your biggest supporter and/or most accepting in your life and why?
A: I would have to say that the person that has helped me the most is someone that I have met in the last year. While I have been out for about three years and have had a few great people in my corner, I met my best friend back in April of 2018. That was a pretty dark time in my life, I was going through a breakup and my issues with my gender and physical look were at their peak. She has been there with me through thick and thin ever since and has helped me come to terms with my identity so much (as she is genderfluid). I honestly don’t know where I would be without her at this point.
J: My best friend and friend group that I have been a part of for about a year now have been some of the most supportive people. They’ve used my pronouns and acknowledged my identity from the get-go and have made me feel more comfortable being out and proud. They’ve given me a lot of confidence and shoulders to lean on, which I am eternally grateful for. My mother has also been a big factor, although it’s a much slower process of acceptance. She bought me my first binder and washes it, and is slowly helping me more and more. It’s amazing watching her and myself grow.
What’s the best strategy for you when dealing with people who claim there are only two genders (or simply hateful people)?
A: Honestly, it can be really difficult to deal with these people in real life and online (though the online hate has been way worse than anything in my daily life). In real life, the best you can do is try to educate them on the subject and be kind to them. Online, blocking and deleting their comments is the best course of action I have found.
J: I ignore them. If I do engage, I am typically not hostile or hateful back. I have received hate messages before, an example being “Kys you piece of nonbinary sh*t,” and I have seen many hateful comments on social media posts. My best coping methods are to remember that a) they are wrong, b) I have people who love and support me, and c) my existence is only definable by myself and myself alone. No one else has the right to dictate who I am in this world.
What’s the craziest claim you’ve heard regarding nonbinary people?
A: I think the weirdest one is that we are closeted trans men/women that just don’t want to admit it which makes no sense to me.
J: That they are not part of the LGBTQ+ community, that they are not trans, that they cannot be called non-binary women and non-binary men, that they are all androgynous, and that they are a danger to others. These, I would consider, are fairly irrational to me.
What do you think about the new legislation in New York regarding Nonbinary gender?
A: I think that it is awesome! I was talking with my friend about moving to a state like California where I could change my gender to non-binary on my ID.
J: I believe that it is a great step in the right direction, however, I feel that it is more helpful for adults who want to get their birth certificate changed rather than for babies. I see nothing wrong with raising your kid with a certain pronoun, as long as you’re open about the fact that they could identify with another one in the future, and would want to change it. I believe that this new legislation is a game-changer for many adults and teenagers who don’t identify as “male” or “female” and will serve to help many
Any further information?
A: To anyone who is confused or skeptical about the Non-Binary identity, please do research and then try to find someone who can answer your questions who identifies with the label. It is really important that you know all your facts before you start jumping to conclusions, most of us are willing to have a conversation about it! And to anyone who may be questioning their gender identity or their sexuality it’s okay! You will figure it out and you will be able to surround yourself with accepting people eventually if you aren’t right now.
J: I would like every non-binary person to know you’re loved and that you’re not alone!! We all go through struggles and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re wrong or don’t exist. Shout-out to all my enbies who are: -Trans-masc/fem -Androgynous -Comfortable with their bodies -Pan -Gay -Lesbian -Bi -Aro/ace -Label-free -Disabled -Autistic, I love you all so much! Keep going!!!
3 Good tips for how to Deal with queerphobic People (and other annoying people) in nonviolent ways
To preface, I use the word queer as an umbrella term for the LGBT+ (or SAGA) community. Some in the community view the word as a slur, so apologies in advance to anyone offended by my use of it.
Now on to the tips
As many of us are aware, there are lots of queerphobes, homophobes, biphobes, transphobes and just absolutely annoying people out there. Often time these people are trying to harm others simply for existing or because they believe that being queer is anti-religion. While this rightfully makes most people want to scream and tell people like this off, I’ve decided to compile a “top three” of calming strategies and nonviolent options when dealing with this nuisances.
1. Try to stay calm and collected
It’s very easily to immediately become angry and lose your cool when people make comments that really shouldn’t be permitted. Rather then ignore your anger, try to channel it into other productive outlets and calm yourself in the present moment. By remaining calm, you can better prepare yourself to inform people on how what they are saying is offensive, and your audience won’t immediately dismiss you because they believe you are simply being angry. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dismissed people’s arguments in the past simply because they were screaming and yelling and I just wanted them to stop.
2. Inform them
Many Cishet people (People who are cisgendered, heterosexual, and heteroromantic) simply don’t understand what they are saying is queerphobic, and they simply need someone to tell them “Hey, that’s rude, cut it out,” or something along those lines.
If the person you are dealing with isn’t Cishet, they’re probably misinformed on what LGBTQIA+ stands for. Many people believe common misconceptions such as:
- It’s only LGBT, nothing more
- Pansexuals are transphobic
- Pansexuals and Polysexuals are just fancy terms for Bisexuality
- Asexuals and/or Aromantics are not LGBT since they do not experience sexual and/or romantic attraction
- (Insert sexuality) isn’t real
- (Insert romantic attraction) isn’t real
While many of these are easily explained, if you don’t know how to tell the person, simply inform them that LGBT+ includes all sexual identities and romantic attractions. This should give them the chance to research, but if you’re in a situation where someone is claiming something like being a pedophile or a furry is LGBT+, those are situations in which this person probably needs more help then just advice.
Go get some help
Some situations require some outside help aside from yourself, and may need authority to be involved. If someone refuses to stop saying something to you (for instance someone continuously harasses you using a slur such as f*ggot ot f*g or they won’t stop using the word after multiple people or you have told them several times), your words may not be impacting them, and you’ll have to go get a teacher or in worse cases file a complaint with the local police. While these situations are not commonplace (I hope), it’s important to know what to do in these situations.
In addition, you can seek help from counselors or various therapy outlets to vent or leave a tip about the person annoying you without having to face someone directly. A simple google search for these numbers should provide adequately, but if not you could also seek help or sympathy from someone you trust, and they may be able to offer you advice.
You’re valid, there’s way more advice you can find online from professionals, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re not real! Have a nice day.