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Misconceptions About Non-Binary People

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Non-binary people are not trans if they’re not transitioning, or hoping to transition, in either a physical or a social way.

False: identifying somewhere outside the gender binary — and therefore as a gender different than the one you were assigned at birth — brings you under the trans umbrella, a magical place where the only thing we want it to rain is kittens!

misconcetion non-binary people - all hail gif

Non-binary people don’t want to — or aren’t supposed to — transition either, ever.

Some non-binary people do in fact wish to undergo processes of transition — social, medical, or both. Transition is not an exclusive thing for binary trans people. That notion enforces cis-sexist stereotypes, which is harmful to the trans community in general. Such an outlook demands that trans people’s appearance and bodies “pass”, so that they won’t threaten the comfort zone of transphobic people.

The social mechanisms that try to control what women and men should or shouldn’t look like, are similar to the sort of policing experienced by non-binary people regarding their appearance. Unfortunately, these constraints are enforced by cis and sometimes even binary trans people, but a nonbinary person’s transition or stasis is for them to control, and shouldn’t be dictated by some construct.

misconcetion non-binary people - whirl girf

Non-binary people are just desperate to be unique.

What non-binary people more often than try to build, is a community where they can be understood. If the problem with being non-binary is because they ‘stand out’, then why is there such an effort to stop them finding a space to fit in?

Also see: “non-binary people exist only on tumblr”

No, But it’s obvious we’re gonna feel more at ease to express ourselves in a space where we’re kind of represented, accepted as members of a community, and tumblr — along with other online spaces — more often than not does work that way.

 

Non-binary identities are a fashion statement.

The non-binary community wouldn’t need to invent a whole new gender category just to justify buying a unisex macintosh jacket or a pair of jeans. Genders aren’t going to be worn in pastels in Spring/Summer 2017!

If a person isn’t struggling with some kind of conflict between mind and body or if they are not dysphoric, they don’t have a right to identify with the narrative of struggle present within the trans community.

There are both binary and non-binary trans people who do not experience body dysphoria. Being trans has to do with a conflict between the gender you are, and the gender you were assigned at birth, not necessarily between your body and your mind, even though for many people that is indeed the case.

There are always people who are more privileged in certain areas of their lives than other people, and they must acknowledge their privilege and try their best to support their fellows, even though they aren’t going to be directly affected by a positive change (eg. say in access to medical transition).

The more of us there are in a community, sharing similar worries, identities and needs, and standing up for each other, the stronger the community gets. People experience similar things in different ways, and they are all valid. An individual has individual experiences which, isolated, don’t have to – and should not – claim the voice of the community, but still we should all have our voices heard.

According to the Christian publication ‘Alive’ (and other conservative voices) non-binary identities are clearly engaged in a ‘war on gender’, and the increased number of alternative pronouns being used within the community are designed as ‘traps’ for cis-gendered people, so that they can be taken to court and sued to raise funds for the gay agenda.

This article was written as a response to the standards of a U.S. student union which categorised the willful failure to recognise someone’s correct gender as grounds for expulsion from the campus.

BAHAHAHA… HOW DID THEY KNOW ??!!!?

OMG THIS IS GENIUS. FUNDRAISING STRATEGY AT ITS BEST

Which means not only are we trying to destroy gender as seen from a conservative point of view, but also we are believed to invalidate the ways in which other people experience their gender.

First of all, non-binary people may not have a gender (if they identify as agender) but they just as much may have a gender. Non-binary is not the absence of gender, just a multitude of ways in which people experience their gender outside the gender binary. So non-binary identities are enlarging the concept of gender instead of wishing to destroy gender.

I hope that most non-binary people respect and value the gender experiences of all binary people, cis and trans, whose gender is an important part of their identity — in the same way that it is important for many of us too.

Non-binary people have felt all their lives that they’re “neither a boy or a girl”.

For many non-binary people that is true, but here it is important once again to avoid generalizations. I was brought up and socialized as a girl and I never felt I had a problem with that, or questioned the gender I had been assigned — until I did.

It is true that many non-binary people have felt all along that something was off, but that was not the case for me — until it was and repeatedly reading and hearing narratives that described the non-binary experience in a quite monolithic way, I kept feeling like my own identity wasn’t valid because I literally did what we usually hear as a punchline:

I woke up one day and realized I was genderfluid.

misconcetion non-binary people - woke up gif

But “waking up one day” feeling genderfluid clearly indicates that you’ve just been influenced by the people you hang around with those days, and just want to mimic them.

In Jane Austen novels, we read that middle class men are either supposed to get in the army, become priests or lawyers. Imagine such a man starting to hang out with people who inform him that he can also become an astronaut, an IT engineer, a unicorn or a chef. Say that this man feels the unicorn career closer to his dreams than the one in law.

Has he been brainwashed into going to unicorn university, or is he doing it just to become a cool kid out of peer pressure? Neither. This man has simply had more options from which he realizes he can choose, unraveled to him.

Can you see the analogy of the gender agenda that wishes to *gasp* deviate our children from the holy path of gender roles? I say we make all of them priests.

Non binary people don’t exist. These are just made up identities.

I detest being the one to have to break it to you, but gender in general is different from biological characteristics and is also:

*clears throat*

*unearthly roar from the pits of post-modernist hell*

A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION!!!

As Judith Butler says, we’re performing our gender anyway – it’s our way of being our gender. We construct the ways in which gender is performed, therefore we construct the ways in which gender is.

 

But you never were a too feminine girl, what is new? / It’s ok I have my sweatpants-and-hoodies days too / You’ve always loved experimenting with your outfits. You can still be a girl with a bowtie 🙂

Uh, yeah. And for a long time I did identify as a girl with a bowtie, because that was what felt right then. And now I tell you that what feels right now is to identify as a genderfluid person with a bowtie, a dress, a suit or sweatpants. Now I’m not telling you something about my gender expression, but about the way my experience of my gender identity has changed. These are two entirely different things.

It’s a phase.

As in all other similar reactions, I won’t reply with an “it isn’t”, but with a “what if it is? I’m experiencing a thing right now, and that is enough to make the thing valid”.

Non-binary identities exist to make political statements.

The whole discourse about gender is political and introduces elements of social, philosophical and legal importance that we must consider, but that doesn’t mean that the valid identities, the ways in which people think, feel and exist, are here to make a statement.

misconcetion non-binary people - just me gif

“They” is not grammatically correct and other pronouns are made up.

Language isn’t some independent metaphysical entity that grew on trees or existed without and before us. Language is a human made tool that humans invented to communicate their human issues.

Also, tell that first bit to Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde and Thackeray.

“But you look very feminine to me” / “But you still use she and her”

There is a pattern on feeling/acting/looking/referring to yourself in a certain way, in order to be “trans enough” or “non-binary enough”, otherwise you aren’t what you claim you are.

There is no correct way to be, feel or experience your gender; man, woman, neither, both, whether you’re cis, trans binary or non-binary. Even for non-binary people, the little representation we have is extremely monolithic, depicting non-binary people as white, thin, conventionally attractive, able-bodied and androgynous.

But this is wrong in every way. There are non-binary people in all different bodies, cultures, of different beliefs and religions, whether they choose to change their pronouns, names, appearance, bodies, or not. No one gets to dictate whether you are non-binary enough, if you “look” or pass as non-binary.

In conclusion, be your amazing self! No one knows how to do that better than you! 🙂

Hey! What do you think about this topic? Let us know by speaking your mind in the comment section! If you love to know more about non-binary people, check our article, Non-Binary 101.

 

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