If in doubt just ask, and yes that probably is offensive…
Non-Binary people self-identify, essentially making their own rules for their identity and gender. Self Identifying can be difficult for non-binary people- even though its supposed to make us feel more comfortable- because other people make it difficult.
Admitting to yourself how you truly feel can be hard, but to have this questioned at any given minute is not cute. Pretty much all non-binary people will have faced this. This list is not indicative of all people just the problematic ones.
People assume you are seeking attention
If I had a pound every time I heard this, we could afford to pay ITV to sack Piers Morgan. No matter how far we progress the discussion for trans and non-binary people, someone will always drop this into a conversation.
I mean don’t mind me, Karen, just trying to assert my identity here. Sorry that you think I’m trying to dominate your existence.
‘This is just a phase’
See the previous paragraph.
It is impossible to explain to the person, that non-binary people have existed for as long as humans have inhabited earth. This arises because we self-identify, in essence, because we have chosen, this cannot possibly be permanent.
We are not a trend, nor do we want to be treated like one. We exist just like anyone else, and we are permanent.
Your Pronouns will be confusing
A lot of non-binary people face pronoun issues when self-identifying because they worry (rightly so) that other people will find it hard to use they/them instead of he/him or she/hers. However, the reason to change pronouns is to make you feel more comfortable. Why should we go through the discomfort of hearing pronouns don’t match who we are?
I am so sick of hearing, ‘them is so hard to say, it just feels wrong’ well hearing the incorrect gender feels wrong for us, so please just do as we ask. When it comes to using different pronouns, it is you that needs to feel comfortable; other people are really not your concern.
People refuse to validate your identity
Believe me, it happens. Most recently for me, it was on International Non-Binary day, a literal day that celebrates our existence. I mentioned this in conversation with someone, for them to say ‘that doesn’t really exist’.
This is a common occurrence, and there is a simple way to address it; you exist therefore non-binary exists.
‘Oh so you’re just Androgynous’
Honey stop right there. As non-binary people, we get to self-identify, and thus we define who we are. Therefore we can dress in either femme or masc presenting garments. This means that people will read the signals given off by the clothes; and assume the gender codes presented to them.
At this point, I would forgive you for shouting “MY CLOTHES ARE NOT MY IDENTITY” because that is the truth.
And that’s that. Drops mic.
The things we face as non-binary people are tough, and it's even tougher to face this alone. This is why we need allies in the community, you don’t have to be non-binary to understand that we exist and deserve to be respected. So if you are reading this and it's new but it all makes sense; then you have become an ally. Welcome darling, we love you...
Can I also take a moment to talk about my jeans, I bought them right at the end of the M&S Sale and they were £2.49, that's 249p. I have never found a comfier pair of jeans and the cut is great for my bum; WIN WIN. We are very happy together and are currently registered at Harrods and Liberty.
Shot by Rachel Pechey
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Dress: Lost Ink via ASOS
Jeans: M&S, Out of Stock
Boots: Old, Similar
Earrings: Jenifer Loiselle
Sunglasses: Karen Walker