Tag Archives: nonbinary gender

dear binary trans* guy who complained about referring to people of unknown gender with singular “they”

[TW: ranting, rage, super righteous nonbinary rage, binarist asshattery]

fuck off. just fuck off. you know perfectly well that people frequently use singular “they” to refer to people of unknown gender and/or pronoun preferences. insisting that singular “they” now refers only to people of nonbinary gender denies the diversity among nonbinary people; because of our diversity, we need singular “they” to mean anything and everything, including unknown gender. furthermore, it erases the lives of cis queer people who need to use singular “they” to conceal the gender of their partner in order to stay safe. it’s also just bullshit cuz most people who speak english frequently use singular “they” to refer to people of unknown gender and/or pronouns preferences. it’s embedded in the fucking language. [eta: it might be a north american thing. i dunno. but it’s pretty fucking common, right?]

and when you told that room full of cis people (and various trans* cats) that they should be able to just guess your (gendered) pronouns, that was shitty. fucking thanks. cis people already misgender me constantly; it still hurts even when i correct them immediately. so fucking thanks for encouraging them to continue guessing at my pronouns.

the fuck did you even mean by that, anyway? “you should just be able to guess! don’t i just look like a dude?” are you seriously telling cats that men look a certain way? i suppose you think women also look a certain way, right? what about nonbinary folks? do we all look a certain way, too? you oppressive fuck. people look however the fuck they please, regardless of gender. you have no right to stipulate through implication that a person must prove their gender by looking a certain way. cuz holy fuck, doesn’t that sound familiar.

and nice fucking double standard. you think it’s ok for people to guess gendered pronouns but not nongendered pronouns? cuz, what, nongendered pronouns are extra gross or something? just admit you’re a binarist assclown and go the fuck home.

you spouted all this shit with nonbinary cats in the room and none of us did more than squirm about it cuz we didn’t wanna step on your sacred manly toes, but fuck you. fuck you and your binarist shit.

i’m not gonna call you “they”; i know your pronouns are “he/him/his.” that’s not what i’m talking about. but  i will never again listen and squirm while a binary trans* person spews binarist asshattery. singular “they” is just fine for anyone whose gender and/or pronoun preferences are unknown. stop shitting all over nonbinary people.

also, i didn’t say “fuck you” enough; fuck you, you fucking dudebro.

sincerely, a nonbinary trans*person who’s done with your shit

*   *   *
yep, i feel better. whew. that’s been weighing me down for awhile.

i actually totes don’t hate this person, but i’ve been seething about this for months. i haven’t seen him in a long time and i don’t know if i’ll ever see him again, so i decided to write a rant instead of talking to him in person. and now i’m not mad anymore, so yay.

i really hope my next post is all lighthearted and stuff. maybe i’ll write about unicorns in space.

reclaiming my femininity

i’ve worn clothes from the “boys’” and “men’s” sections** for most of my life. those are just the clothes i like and they make me feel comfy.

sometimes i wonder, though, if maybe i like those clothes cuz society tells me they’re for “not-girls/women.” like, how much of my gender expression is mediated/informed by society? i occur in this societal framework and it’s not like i can just fuck off and live in a vacuum. i definitely need to examine the ways i construct my gender expression.

i spent a long time trying to live as a tomboy/butch-y woman. i experienced very little backlash (no bullying, no parental pressure, etc.), but it wasn’t right for me cuz reasons. old gender things i’d forgotten/buried started to unbury themselves, so i went looking for something.

i went through a phase where i presented as a femme-y woman. it was weird. i mean, i wore whatever clothes i wanted to wearyou look so goood, just like i always had, but it turned out that i just wanted to wear femme-y clothes for a while. and people kept telling me i looked pretty, that they much preferred my new look, that i looked funky and fun (i’m always fucking fun, k? i’m fucking fun even when i’m wearing plannel*** and work boots.), and that they were glad i’d finally “found myself.”

holy fuck, right? i was experimenting with my gender expression and all these people came outta nowhere to “reward” me for finally expressing my gender in a way that made them comfortable. so i ended up deciding to wear my old clothes again (stuff “for” boys/men). sure, i often wear fishnets under my torn-up jeans, but that’s nothing. not much, anyway.

i do love my fishnets, though. just sayin’.

maybe i should go to school wearing a tutu over some skinny jeans. or something. just to fuck with people and to show them (and myself) that i can wear whatever the fuck i want. that i’m not a dfab trans* stereotype, ya know? cuz i’m starting to feel a little trapped by people’s expectations.

thing is, i’m also trapped by my tits. that probably sounds totes weird, but it’s true. i can’t wear shit that emphasizes my tits; the dysphoria is crippling. as it is, when i get dressed, i’m always searching for the magic shirt that’ll make my tits look flatter. as though i can hide triple d tits even with binders. (spoiler: nope.) so i don’t really know i’d go about reclaiming my femininity even if i decided i definitely wanted to.

i mean, how do we go about reclaiming our femininity or masculinity? how do we reclaim our stories? the way society is set up, we have to “prove” the validity of our gender(s)/genderlessness; when we don’t dress “right,” that gets used against us. how the fuck do we navigate this toxicity? i don’t have the answers, lovelies; i think this is one of those things that needs some serious conversation. so, thoughts?

**i don’t think clothes should be gendered at all. there is nothing inherently masculine about dinosaurs and dark colors. there is nothing inherently feminine about flowers and pink. this is the paradigm i’m living in, though, and just ignoring it won’t solve anything.

***plannel = plaid + flannel

binarist asshattery (9000th edition)

yeah, more binarist asshattery. it never ends. to no one’s shock ever, care2 make a difference is binarist. i wouldn’t give a fuck, but they always have awesomegrumpy mx. punk is grumpy petitions i want to sign– which i can’t sign without misgendering myself. in order to sign petitions, you need to sign in (or register) and choose a binary gender and a gendered prefix (unless you choose “dr.”).

i was so upset that i couldn’t sign this particular petition, i sent an email to them about it. who knows if they’ll ever get back to me, but here it is:

i would love to create an account with care2 make a difference. unfortunately, you’ve chosen to force people to choose between male and female when creating an account. you’ve also chosen to force people to choose a gendered prefix while signing petitions (unless the person chooses “dr.”). this sucks because lots of people (ok, a few people) are 1) neither men nor women or 2) they’re both.

for example, i’m a nonbinary trans* person; i’m neither a man nor a woman. how the hell am i supposed to create an account here or sign petitions? i refuse to just lie and erase myself. you’re implicitly excluding nonbinary people from your site, whether or not you mean to.

please consider allowing people to forgo choosing a gender and a gendered prefix. alternatively, you could add “mx.” as a prefix option (a non-gendered prefix) and “nonbinary” as a gender option.

i’d create a petition about this, but i’d have to misgender myself in order to do it. i challenge you to care to make a difference.

sincerely,

mx. punk

i know, i know. i probably shouldn’t care about this one little petition site. there’re tons of other petitions for me to sign. i know. i guess their whole “human rights” / “make a difference!” thing got to me.  cuz they only appear interested in human rights for certain people, i guess.

but who knows. maybe they’ll email me back and be all like, “whoa! we didn’t know there were more than 2 genders!gold ally star holy shit, we’ll fix that right away! human rights for everyone!” cuz that’d be rad and i would award them the coveted gold ally star. and who the fuck wouldn’t want to be awarded the gold ally star, right? that’s what i’d like to know.

*   *   *

also, my partner and i are moving (houses, not blogs) to a cabin in the forest on an even smaller island! with a bigger vegetable garden! and my partner and i can actually afford it! (srsly, wtf.) and it’s crunch time at school and we’re moving on april 1st, so holy shit we’re freaking out. yeah.

so i have lots of post ideas, but not much time for posting (except i have a few almost-finished posts i might finish soon). stick around, though, my lovelies. <3 school’ll be over halfway through april; be ready.

stay splendid, cats. <3 and don’t eat too much glitter!

belonging-ful

so cats keep asking me how i know i’m nonbinary, mostly cuz they’re questioning their own genders. i’ve sorta touched on this in the past (here and here), but i want to write about it again.

to be clear, i’m not searching for “validation” through writing about knowing my gender. i want to write about it cuz i was a very confused kid, my relevant writings here are a bit contradictory, and i’m still maybe a tad confused as to how i know i’m nonbinary.

also, it’s not like society exactly leaves a shit-ton of space for this kind of thing. it’s no fucking wonder this shit is confusing, right? i think i just want to tell “my story” ™ over and over and over again til i can peel away the bullshit and the hurt.

i guess i want to say more than simply, “i just knew!”  maybe it’s time, ya know? i’ve been thinking and growing; maybe i have some insights i didn’t have before. i’m not expecting to answer any huge questions by writing this post; maybe i just have an itch to scratch.

to start with, i feel comfy in a group of nonbinary cats. this is something i’ve learned from hanging out with nonbinary cats in my qsa. i’m ok with being lumped in with them, gender-wise. even if we all express our genders differently, even if some of us are dfab and some of us are dmab, i still feel like a member of the murder (nonbinary cats come in murders, you see). i feel like i fucking belong on a fundamental level.

if gender is at least somewhat social, if gender is, as natalie puts it, a communicative function, i feel comfortable saying what other nonbinary folks are saying. we can say it together and i don’t feel the need to make myself really stand out. i don’t feel the need to emphasize our differences. well, i guess i don’t feel the need to emphasize our differences gender-wise, though i have great respect for our other differences.

it’s not like our other differences disappear, obviously. my experiences as a white dfab nonbinary person will never be the same as the experiences of a first nations dmab nonbinary person, for instance. but when i’m around nonbinary people, i’m very aware of what we DO share. it’s like this piece of me that doesn’t otherwise belong anywhere gets to feel at home. i think that sense of belonging is an important clue.

still, it’s not like i didn’t know i was nonbinary before i joined my school’s qsa. i did know. maybe i just knew i where i didn’t belong. maybe i had an idea of how it would feel to be around other nonbinary folks: belonging-ful.

i feel like gender is about belongingness and communication. well, i feel like my gender is about belongingness and communication.  i bet this shit is different for everyone, though. thoughts?

anyway, i’m pretty sure this is a worthless exercise. i didn’t end up writing anything more than “i just knew,” did i? regardless, i’ll probably post this cuz i haven’t posted anything in awhile and i just wanna post something. there’s a moral, though; mx. punk should probably stop writing posts about this. they always end up saying very little. bleh.

*   *   *

also, i’m back! yay! i had a reallyreally relaxing holiday. my partner and i are still cut from (most) of his side of the family (i should really update you cats on the family shit), so christmas wasn’t the same as before. it was the first year he didn’t see his parents and siblings on christmas, but we managed to start some fun traditions of our own. also, we spent a shit-ton of time together. yay! and i came out to some people! basically, i was too busy to write posts.

but i think i’m back. i have scads of post-ideas; i’ll get on writing some shit for you lovely cats to peruse. huzzah!

silly nobinary folks! accurate pronouns are for binary people!

there’s this thing that sucks really hard: binary folks basically telling nonbinary folks that asking for respect (asking for our nongendered pronouns) is asking too much.  it needs to stop, cats.  please.

we don’t need binary folks to tell us how fucking hard it is to get other people to respect our nongendered pronouns.  we already know that.  we LIVE that.  so when well-meaning binary folks come along and tell us (kindly, in my experience) that the thing we’re asking for is going to make work for other people—don’t.  we already know.

i’m not saying you should be all like, “yeah!  i bet if you just tell everyone, people will automatically start applying your nongendered pronouns to you without any fuckups!  yeah!”  cuz, you know, that’d come off as kinda sarcastic.

but you could be all like, “yeah, i’ll do my best.  please correct me when i slip up and i promise to be graceful about it.  do you want me to help you teach other people your pronouns?”  something like that.  cuz honest support would be rad.  thanks, cats.

for a small sampling of receipts, check out the comment section of gender-neutral pronouns presenting a problem [TRIGGER WARNING: binarist asshattery].

every day is coming out day for someone wearing a gender tag

it’s true, cats.  i field questions about my gender and my pronouns almost every day, mostly cuz of my totally rad gender tag.  yay!  so coming out day (yesterday) wasn’t really a big deal to me.  still, here’s a belated coming out day post cuz coming out day is rad.  huzzah!

k.  so i guess i should share some coming out stories, right?  k.

*   *   *

coming out at school:

so i came out as a nonbinary trans* person at school this year by sending this email to my teachers in september.  i was fucking terrified the whole time i was writing the email, my sweetheart had to make sure i hit “send” rather than just deleting the email, and i was nervous nigh unto pissing myself for weeks.

i only received one reply via email, but it was a pretty awesome reply.  basically, my teacher said he’d do his best and he advised me to just correct him when he fucked up.  that was fucking rad cuz i happen to give a shit about his opinion.  he’s one of those people who seem kind and safe and who are fun to have conversations with, so i was actually really worried about what i’d do if he got all weird on me.  but he didn’t, so yay!  a couple days ago, i talked to this same teacher about nonbinary gender.  it went really well; he asked some questions, said some interesting stuff, and said he’d keep working on it.  he’s getting pretty good at not misgendering me and i’m stoked.

my private lessons teacher (everyone in the music program takes private lessons at school) didn’t reply to my coming out email, but we’ve been talking about pronouns and he’s been trying really hard.  which is fucking rad cuz i wouldn’t be able to spend another year taking private lessons from someone who didn’t respect my gender and my pronouns.

some of my other teachers have been awkward around me, but at least nothing really bad has happened.  also, lots of students notice my gender tag and are cool about it.  coming out as nonbinary at school has been pretty splendid.

*   *   *

coming out to my family:

so i came out to my family last year.  my mom was all like, “what about your (presumed heterosexual) partner?  she was weird about it til she watched this video and (i shit you not) came around immediately.  she fucks my pronouns up sometimes, but she’s getting much better.  plus, she corrects other people!  and that’s just neon.

my dad doesn’t count cuz he’s outta my life (i can’t believe he’s just letting me walk away; it’s too good to be true).

my sister moved across the world and is mostly outta my life (for now?), but she took it pretty well.  also, my little nephew, who is more awesome than space ninja dinosaurs, stopped calling me auntie ____ and made up a non-gendered name for me.  yay!  (i fucking miss that kid with all my bones and salt.)  so my sister either had a hand in getting her kid to stop calling me auntie ____ or she at least supported my nephew’s decision to do so.  so victory and yay.

i haven’t come out to my grandmothers.  one of them can’t grasp that i’m even queer (i’ve come out as queer to her at least 3 times and she keeps “forgetting”), but i should probably talk to the other one.  also, the grandmother who can’t understand basic queerness pays my tuition.  i’ll let you know how it goes with the other one, though.

my partner’s family didn’t take it very well.  i came out to them last xmas by passing out sheets of paper with brief explanations of nonbinary gender on them.  some of them widened their eyes, puffed out their cheeks, and never acknowledged me again.  one of them explained how very ok with it she was– and then never really spoke to me again.

it’s ok, though, cuz i removed my awesome self from that toxic situation.  except now my sweetheart is on uneasy terms with his side of the family and that’s not cool.  but they were assholes anyway.  but i still feel bad.  bleh.

*   *   *

at work:

cats, i work for my mom.  i’m cheating, basically.  i used to work for someone else and i was worried she’d fire me for being trans*, but my mom bought the business and is now my boss.  so i’m cheating cuz that’s one fewer person to come out to.  also, i have no co-workers.

*   *   *

tl;dr i’m out to basically everybody and i expect the people in my life to try to get my pronouns right.  some people are assholes, but some people are awesome.

also, coming out is a fucking privilege and not everyone is in a position to do so.  not everyone even wants to come out.  either way, we’re pretty splendid cats.

(what a shitty post.  i hope nobody reads it.  maybe i’ll fix it in the morning when i’m not sleepy.  maybe i’ll leave it here so my next mediocre post will seem spectacular by comparison.  maybe i’ll like this post when i reread it in the morning**.  am going to sleep now.)

**i don’t.  this post is still poorly written.  i’m gonna leave it that way, though, cuz lazy.

coming out as trans* at school

school will be starting soon; i’ll be returning to university on september 4th.  i’m really fucking nervous.  like, i’m losing sleep and not really taking care of myself (not spending enough time outside, mainly).  i keep promising myself that i’ll be fine once school actually starts and i’ll start taking care of myself at that point, but i’m feeling pretty shitty.

so i’ve decided to start taking care of myself NOW by going outside more often, writing scary fairy tales, and telling you cats about my silly nervous tummy.

i totally didn’t mean for that to sound so cute.  sorry, folks.

anyway, i’ll be wearing my gender tag to school and insisting on non-gendered pronouns.  last year, i was out to everybody i managed to bring it up with and i used the non-gendered bathrooms exclusively, but this is gonna be different.  and that freaks me the fuck out, folks.  like, i’m having nightmares about it already.

last night, i had this nightmare where this teacher who i really look up to went all radscum on me cuz his partner is a radfem and my dream-brain thinks he must be total radscum.  even though i have no idea how he feels about trans* people and it’s never even come up.  but it WILL come up on the first day of school.  i’ll be sitting right in front of him wearing my gender tag and i won’t let him misgender me without protesting loudly.

i’ll have to be loud about my nonbinary gender around the other students, too.  most of them don’t know me at all cuz i tend to keep to myself.  i USED to be all social at school, but my increasing social dysphoria really shut me up last year, so i’m gonna be that weird, withdrawn person who only comes out to correct misgendering.

cuz the thing is, once somebody knows i’m nonbinary, THEY WILL NEVER GET AWAY WITH MISGENDERING ME AGAIN.  EVER.  that’s like, part of my self-respect policy, paragraph 11.  so i’m intimidated right now.  i’m intimidated by all the standing up for myself i’m going to do at school.

also, i need to plan out what i’m going to say to people.  i think just telling people my pronouns are “they/them/their” should be good enough.  cuz i already have trouble when i try to explain nonbinary gender to peoples unless they’re specifically interested in it.  thoughts on this?

i don’t know what i’m scared of specifically, but i just wanted to talk about it in the open with you lovely peoples.  thanks for reading, cats!

how do you deal with dysphoria/misgendering at school?