Non binary people need love too

by Elias Briggs
Journalism Intern

Non binary people are a part of the LGBTQ+ family, but what do you know about people who identify as non binary?

Two non binary people have agreed to share their stories with us, revealing their experiences living as non binary and some of the issues they face on a daily basis.

“I don’t identify with being either a woman or a man. I do feel pulled in a masculine direction most days, but there are also days in which I do enjoy femming up, so I guess you could say there's a bit of fluidity to my gender,” said Vann, who identifies as non binary. “I use ‘non binary’ or ‘GQ’ [genderqueer] because I feel like they are umbrella terms that encompass a lot of the variance I feel.”

Webster’s defines nonbinary in the queer community as, “relating to or being a person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that is neither entirely male nor entirely female.”

“I've always known I was different but didn't have the language to describe it,” Vann explained. “I believe I heard the term non-binary about four years ago and that seemed to fit.”

In regard to their dysphoria, Vann said, “I don't recognize myself in pictures or videos, it's like having a mask or a costume on that I'm not ever allowed to take off. I am very ‘voluptuous.’ Dressing in a way that reads as ‘androgyny’ in thinner people comes across as being ‘butch’ in a heavier person.

“I've thought about undergoing hormone therapy, but I have no desire to develop the secondary male sex characteristics, like more body hair. It would induce as much dysphoria as it helped to alleviate, just in a different direction.”

Some non binary people attempt to cover their feelings in a variety of ways. “I've done a lot to attempt to claim my body; tattoos and piercings for instance,” Vann explained. “It has helped with the ownership factor.”

Chrissy Amber, a femme genderfluid bigender person also experiences gender dysphoria.

“I can't afford the massive amounts of hair removal, balding treatment, fat redistribution, and nothing can be done about my skin conditions,” explained Amber. “Most days I just really, really hate myself and if I were run over by a bus, it would probably hurt less.”

People have long identified as non binary, but how does society react to this identity?

“I'm not out at work and too many of my old friends.” Amber said, “I'm prevented from doing the things that will make me look and feel feminine because I have to pass as cishet [a cisgender heterosexual] at work.

“My state has laws legalizing discrimination against LGBT people, so I absolutely can't come out at work, no matter how much they talk about diversity and acceptance.”

Non Binary Peoples Day is July 14. Reach out to someone who identifies as non binary and say, “you’re important; you are valid.”

Copyright The Gayly - July 14, 2018 @ 6:30 a.m. CDT.