Having read back in the diary…

Posted: December 24, 2010 in Damned binaries, Gender, Personal, Relationships
Tags: ,

Being seen as what we are is always a problem for non-binary folks, people without binary gender. Until we come out, we are assumed to be binary – and once we have come out, many people can’t get their heads round us. So they quietly go on thinking of us as binary, and then one day something crops up and reveals this, and we become annoyed with them about this.

And that’s fine. That is a totally reasonable response. If someone persistently misgenders you after they have been told and seems to be making no attempt to change, then it is totally fine to be wounded over that. Because it’s not a reasonable situation.

People can be very resistant to non-binary identities. They pull all sorts of arguments out of the hat (why can’t people just stick to rabbits?) against the very validity of non-binary identities. They say that because we have certain genitalia, we can’t be ourselves; or they say that wishing to change our body to alleviate dissonance invalidates us. They say that there is nothing outside the binary, when we are living proof that there is.

They may even say that since society doesn’t recognise us, we should just shut up about it. That’s symptomatic of their own problem with it. Why can’t you just go back in the closet? Everything would be easy again.

That’s never an okay point of view. If someone has come out to you, they trust you enough to do so. They think you are important enough, to them or to their lives, for you to be made aware of their gender/lack of. They also probably think you can handle it. Don’t prove them wrong.

Not everyone chooses to come out; some non-binary folks are just fine having worked themselves out and don’t need others to know. Others want other people in their lives to know, to understand. And we should be able to.

It would be very nice if one day nobody would assume the gender of a stranger at all; we would all be ‘people’ until we got to know each other and told about our genders/lack of. But that day will probably not come for a very long time…

  1. Dreki says:

    “Why can’t you just go back in the closet? Everything would be easy again.”

    A privileged person can go home and pretend like it didn’t happen. We have to live with it. And the privileged people have teh audacity to ask us to go back in the closet just to make their lives easier. And we’re the unreasonable ones for expecting to be acknowledged as who we are.

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