Tuesday, May 31, 2016

10 Things Not to Say to a Genderqueer/Nonbinary Person

content/trigger warning: really disparaging remarks and other things that shouldn't be said.

If you're nonbinary or genderqueer, chances are you've heard binary people say some shitty things to you about your gender.  Here are some common remarks that nonbinary people often hear:

1. "Your gender isn't real/your gender is bullshit."

How would you feel if I told you that your gender wasn't real or was bullshit?  Pretty lousy, right?  Well, when you tell a nonbinary person that their gender isn't real, it invalidates their feelings and their experiences.  I don't knock you for your gender, so don't knock me for mine.

2. "What bathroom do you use?"

That's a very personal question.  Some of us feel comfortable using gendered restrooms, others feel more comfortable using gender-neutral restrooms, especially if we don't "pass" as any gender.  Bottom line: don't ask us this question because it's very rude.

3. "What's in your pants?"

Magic!  Just kidding!  But seriously, it's just plain rude to ask a person what genitals they have because they're private parts.  You don't need to know what my nether regions are, OK?

4. "When are you gonna really transition?"

Not all nonbinary people take hormones or undergo surgery to transition.  Some people are happy without those things.  Some people don't even change their name or pronouns, and that's OK.  Trans people should be allowed to transition in any way they please.

5. "But the Bible says..."

Yes, God created male and female people, ("So God created in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." - Genesis 1:27 NIV), but He also created intersex and nonbinary individuals as well.  And besides, when God sent His son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, we have all been redeemed. ("There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28, NIV).  OK, I'm a Christian, so naturally I'm gonna quote Scripture, but the Bible does not condemn trans individuals.  Plain and simple.

6. "You can like this/wear that and still be a boy/girl."

Gender expression is different from gender identity.  Gender expression is how one expresses their idea of being a boy, girl or nonbinary.  Gender identity is how a person feels about their  gender.  If a person tells you that they're a particular gender, then they are that gender.  Please don't dismiss that person's feelings.

7. "Why can't you just be gay?"

Being gay (or bi) and being trans are two totally different things.  Sexuality is who you want to go to bed with.  Gender identity is who you want to go to bed as.  Some trans people are gay, bi or asexual.  Others aren't.  Make sense?

8. "It's just a phase."

Argh...just ARGH!  Being genderqueer or nonbinary is not a phase, for Pete's sake!  It's simply how some people are.  Is being cis "just a phase"?  Of course not!  So don't tell me my gender is just a phase, we clear?

9. "Just pick one, already!"

I can't choose either boy or girl because I don't identify as either one.  I'm agender - please respect that.

10. "'They' isn't a pronoun."

Um, yes, it is.  Just because you don't think they/them/their is a valid pronoun doesn't mean it is invalid.  My pronouns are they/them/their.  Please respect them.

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