Non-binary gender

quiet_riot

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People are mixing up 2 issues here

1 - Gender, there can be only 2 (with apologies to highlander) Male or Female, it's to do with chromosomes apparently. There may be the odd biological misfit, but they are the exception that proves the rule

2 - Sexuality, this is where you have a choice, you can be many variants, but whatever you are doesn't change your fucking gender now stop being a fucking snowflake and man (or woman) up

From what I understand (granted it's not a lot), you've mixed that up.

Sex is whether you have a penis or vagina - and therefore you can only be 1 of 2 options (rarely there's both - hermaphrodite)

Gender is what you FEEL like you are, so you can have the sex of a male, but your "gender identity" is female, for example.
 

flook

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From what I understand (granted it's not a lot), you've mixed that up.

Sex is whether you have a penis or vagina - and therefore you can only be 1 of 2 options (rarely there's both - hermaphrodite)

Gender is what you FEEL like you are, so you can have the sex of a male, but your "gender identity" is female, for example.

it seems gender is used for both examples which is a bit disturbing (eg, fill a form in, there may well be a box which says gender - MALE - FEMALE, or the box may be labelled sex. (to which I've always thought there should be the option to tick "yes please"

irrespectve of which label, the point still stands
 

7evens

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Would love to know if anyone in this thread who's expressing their disdain for non-binary/genderfluid individuals has ever knowingly spoken to such a person to try to better understand why they feel the way they do.
 

bluemooners09

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Would love to know if anyone in this thread who's expressing their disdain for non-binary/genderfluid individuals has ever knowingly spoken to such a person to try to better understand why they feel the way they do.

Half the people here probably have no idea what it's all about and probably don't care.
 

7evens

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Yeah and I still don't have a fucking clue what all that made up nonsense means.
All I'm saying is that 18 pages (and the rest that will definitely follow) is quite a lot for a thread on a subject people "probably don't care about".

As for not having a clue about it, I think that's completely fine. Gender fluidity isn't exactly a new concept, and people feeling as though they don't fit within a binary gender system of "man" and "woman" isn't new either - go back in history and you'll find tonnes of examples in different cultures. But while that's the case, it hasn't exactly been a regular topic of discussion in mainstream Western society until maybe this decade.

It's not a crime to not understand. I feel bad that the media constantly use terms like "non-binary" and "transgender" and "gender fluid" without explanations for the uninitiated. They're simple terms once you get to grips with them, but it's taken years of me knowing people who are non-binary, trans, etc. for me to get it. So for some people I imagine it's like hearing the word "Pythagoras" without your teacher explaining where the term originates from and how it applies to mathematical equations.

I imagine it becomes alienating. People who have grown up and reached middle age without hearing the terms "non-binary" and "gender fluid" before will obviously find them to be confusing and difficult to understand, and that's completely okay. It takes time to adapt to new things and it doesn't help when your best source of information is reporting on these stories so haphazardly.

Sadly there's a perception amongst some people that non-binary and transgender individuals will crucify you if you're not strict with their pronouns. Of course there are groups of people who are like that online, who are so intensely wrapped up in their identity that they view every interaction through that lens, but most people whose pronouns don't "match their appearance" will likely just give you a little reminder and tell you not to worry about it. The media paint a different picture, sadly.

My advice would be to try to imagine these people are your children. How would you feel if your son or daughter came to you and said they were non-binary, for example? You would be confused, maybe even upset at first, but I believe you would try to understand. Quite often these people have grown up feeling confused or even suicidal, as though they're not in the right body or failing the people around them. I think the way the media reports on these stories emphasises the gimmick and forgets the person underneath.

It dehumanises people questioning their gender.

I wasn't alive back then, but I imagine the media made similar fusses around David Bowie. When you were kids growing up in the 80s, I imagine your parents said the classic "Is he a boy or a girl?" line when referring to him. But you just ignored their out-dated opinions and bought his records anyway. You didn't care whether Bowie was a man or a woman, you just listened to his music and you loved it because you thought he was cool. And I imagine today's kids will do the same with Sam Smith.

Non-binary people aren't trying to take over the world or scare anyone. They're just human beings like the rest of us trying to get through life. One of those ways through life is by finding terms that express how they feel inside. Sometimes, because of the limitations of the English language, the terms they come up with to try and articulate their feelings aren't always the cleanest, but they're not trying to attack anyone. I think they just want to be happy in themselves, same as all of us.

As I said, I was lucky enough to meet and know so many transgender and non-binary people through Twitter at a very young age, so while I didn't fully understand their problems with gender (and still don't because I've never questioned my own) I was given enough information to appreciate their plight and just relax around them. I think remembering that these people are just people will save everyone a lot of bother. Questioning our gender isn't something we'll ever have to do, so let's not get so angry about it.
 

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