Non-Binary Visibility Matters

To celebrate Non-Binary Visibility Day, here’s a blog post from one of our Non-Binary members.

I remember growing up feeling like I don’t fit. That I didn’t fit with the girls or the boys. I have modelled a lot of who I am as a person around who my father was and how he interacted with the world. I remember shaking in fear when at 21 saying to a friend “I feel like a hermaphrodite in a woman’s body” (please excuse the very poor language, I didn’t have better language 20 years ago). I pushed that thought down so very hard although my friend’s reaction was caring, I wasn’t ready to go there.

I remember when in the 00’s Oprah etc. would have transgender folk including occasionally non-binary folk and me getting mildly distressed because I couldn’t emotionally go there, but now having some awareness that I wasn’t alone. At one point I had a conversation with my mum about what I’d seen on tv and she said something like “those poor people, imagine not fitting either gender” and I remember screaming in my head that’s me but not being able to say it out loud and pushing it down again. A few times over the following decade I had the urge to come out but didn’t have the words just knew I wasn’t totally alone in feeling this way.

Then suddenly the term Non-Binary started becoming more commonly used, I started seeing friends’ teenage children come out as non-binary and some of my friends and suddenly I wasn’t alone, but still didn’t have the ability to come out, I was terrified.

At a similar time I gave birth and my partner and I decided to raise them without gender and being in Canberra we were able to have “gender unspecified” on their birth certificate.

A couple of years later after a brief not very clear conversation with my beloved about us both being happy to use she/her or they/them pronouns I did a big coming out post on facebook (Learn from me make sure your beloved people know that is what your about to do it did cause some distress as she’d not understood that I was saying I was non-binary in our brief chat. All is good now).

The last few years I’ve been working as a Learning Support Assistant in a high school (previously to that I was in a primary school) and watching kids come out and be themselves has been healing to the kid in me. Visibility matters. Without visibility, without labels, you can’t see the options, you can’t see who you can be, you just feel like a freak and not in a good way. Go out be and be your beautiful self.

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