When I first read the word genderqueer it just clicked. So many things I’d experienced made sense as soon as I knew it was possible to exist outside the binary. We need more non-binary representation so that non-binary people have access to the frameworks and language we need to understand our experiences.
The gender binary is so entrenched in Australian society. Everything is forced into these two artificial boxes, even in some trans communities. I still hear other trans people insisting that non-binary people aren’t really trans or don’t belong in trans spaces and see trans resources and events that completely fail to acknowledge non-binary people. Non-binary people absolutely have a place in trans communities and saying that we don’t is transphobia. I am a genderqueer trans person and I have as much right to be here as any other trans person.
I like ‘nonbinary’ as a word for a few reasons. One it is that it’s a literal rejection of the binary, which is rad. I also like that it can be both a specific identity and an umbrella term, because that’s a pretty good description of how I feel about my gender - though my conceptualisation of it can change sometimes, it always exists outside the binary. For most of my life, thinking about my gender (and gender in general) just made me feel Bad. Realising I was trans was such a relief, and it gave me a better framework to look at my gender from - anything that made me feel like that, I could let go of. My gender only exists for me, so if something isn’t working, I can change it.
I’m Aboriginal and I still didn’t learn that the gender binary was brought to us through colonialism until I was 17.How messed up is that? It’s so hard to find info about our traditional gender ideas because the people who invaded our home deliberately erased it like they did with everything else. I wanna see more people, trans people and cis people, binary people and non-binary people, learning about first nations genders. Listen to brotherboys and sistergirls. Listen to us for a change.
I love being genderfluid. I love experiencing and experimenting with so many different parts of gender. I love that I challenge people’s assumptions about what gender can be, what we can be. I love when I get to know that I’ve shown someone that they have more options than just what’s in the binary. I love how demanding that people get my pronouns right and get my name right is a small rebellion against cisnormativity. I love how strong and creative the trans community is. Being genderfluid is great.
I think Non-Binary People’s Day is really important because we’re erased all the time. Having a day that’s about us pushes people to think about who we are and what we need and how we’re being included (or not).
But Non-Binary People’s Day is only as good as we all make it. If you use this is day to post a tokenistic acknowledgement of non-binary people online and that’s it, then that’s what this day is about. But if you use this day to really think about the harms of the gender binary and what you can be doing to support non-binary people, and then you start actually materially helping us, then that’s what this day is about, and that’s exactly what we need. Go tell your workplace that gender neutral toilets are a must. Go tell your school that gendered sports teams are excluding non-binary people. Start paying attention to all the ways that the gender binary sneaks into your language and start using more inclusive words.