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A Little Nonbinary Back Story
As a nonbinary person, that is, someone who’s gender exists outside of the gender binary, I’m not male or female. Not a boy or a girl. My gender is a mixed bag of characteristics that I don’t believe need to be defined by male or female social constructs. My gender is deeply personal. Which makes things a bit complicated when you take into account that this deeply personal aspect of my identity is so frequently defined by others. I’m misgendered every single day of my life. To combat this binary nonsense, my partner and I created Pronoun Packs.
Think about it, the general public loves gendered language.
“Have a great day ladies!”
“What can I get you guys?”
Women’s clothing section. Men’s bathroom. Boys club. Bride and groom. Aunt and uncle. Its everywhere. And I’m nonbinary, my pronouns are they/them/theirs. I want people to refer to me as if they don’t know what gender I am. Because there isn’t one easily constructed box that you can find me in. You can’t neatly tuck me away alongside your manly men or your feminine women. I am unexpected, unplanned, and unruly.
The amazing thing is that, amidst this painful daily ritual of gendered nonsense, there are so many other nonbinary people out there. I don’t think the non-queer public understands that. A quick google search will show you that nearly a third of the transgender population identifies outside of the gender binary. There’s almost one million openly identifying trans people in the US. So…that’s a lot of nonbinary folks.
Every time we go out to eat, see a movie, attend a family event, or just, like, exist out in public, someone refers to me as a girl or a boy. While I’m proud of my identity as a nonbinary babe, it’s also so scary trying to correct people. I’ve spent a lot of my life not wanting to be a burden to anyone. I don’t want people to feel bad. I don’t want people to be afraid to even try using my pronouns. What’s even scarier, is trying to explain something so out of the box…to people that I barely know and may never see again.
Wouldn’t it be easier if service workers and strangers just stopped gendering customers altogether? How do we bring this to their attention in the simplest way possible? We wanted to create a way to gently encourage folks in those moments to use nongendered language.
Each Pronoun Pack has 20 of these cards included. Getting these in the hands of other trans and nonbinary folks would be incredible!
Pins and Other Goodies
Wear your pronouns with pride! Show the world who you are. Oh, you’re an ally? Even better. Wear your pronoun pin to let other folks know where you stand on pronouns. Further, it helps trans and nonbinary folks like me feel safe and know that you’re going to not only understand my pronouns, but you respect them. You value them. You value us. It’s been so wonderful seeing allies display their pronouns in their bio on social media. Why not take it a step further? We need to see you doing this out in the world!
Get the convo going! Put the buttons and stickers that are included in your Pronoun Pack in your work place, office, on your bag etc. They’re cute and do so much good for the queer community. You can check out the rest of the Pronoun Pack here.
We Need Your Help
One of the most vital parts of these Pronoun Packs is ally participation. Trans and nonbinary folks desperately need allies to step up and start getting conversations going about pronouns. Using a person’s correct pronouns is a crucial way to create a safer, more loving, and accepting world for trans folks. Imagine a world where we just stopped assuming the gender of others, and just let them tell us.
In a time when it’s still terrifying and sometimes dangerous to come out as trans or nonbinary, the people we need to step up are the ones who are safest to do so. Its an unfortunate truth that many people who do not understand pronouns, gender, etc…would be more open to hearing it from their cisgender friends. From people they already know and respect. From people in power.
I’m proud of this identity. I’m proud to be nonbinary. Trans and nonbinary folks are beautiful. We are important. Help us get the word out that pronouns are mandatory and they matter.
Let’s make it normal to talk about pronouns.