Here’s a question no one has ever asked me, but that I feel like answering anyway.
On my Facebook profile and to a large extent in my blog posts, my gender identity is non-binary. Which means to me, that my gender is essentially irrelevant.
This is not the same as people who become triggered in pain and anger, about others labeling them in a way that they don’t identify.
But my choice to identify as non-binary is a direct response to the pain and anger that people experience because of other people’s apathy, complacency, and ridicule about gender identity.
One of the most insulting things I’ve ever heard on this topic, is the view that identifying as a gender that was not assigned at birth is a form of mental illness.
Anyone who thinks that way just does not grasp the gravity of what other people are going through. I can only assume that those who deem this a mental health problem have never formed close, meaningful relationships with the populations that they are generalizing.
I get it. I didn’t pop out of the womb with an intellectual framework for comprehending diversity in the world. It’s been a process for me. Whenever I’ve been uncomfortable with a lifestyle different than my own, the cure has been simple exposure.
When we collaborate with, build relationships with, and allow ourselves to cease judging others, it’s often the inevitable conclusion to realize fully and deeply that we are all the same. #WeAreOne.
Do you like being told that what you’re all about makes you delusional or mentally ill? Your religion? Your faith? Your traditions? Your perceptions of yourself and others?
Do you enjoy having your main struggles in life trivialized, generalized, and demeaned?
I’ve been dear friends with people whose core struggle in life is coming to terms with their gender identity, and then having to face pure and utter backlash from their family, colleagues, authorities, and strangers.
Amazing, loving, sweet, creative, brilliant, beautiful people, using up so much energy just fighting for their right to be treated like human beings.
The more pain I saw associated with gender identity, the more thought and reflection I put into my own views.
And that’s what led me to identify as non-binary. Because honestly? My gender doesn’t matter. It never did. When I consider my own experience with life, I am not even convinced that gender objectively exists.
The binary way in which society perceives gender is a harbinger of inequity.
I was recently filling out a university entrance application. One of the questions, of course. Am I male or female?
Have you ever really asked yourself: Why does it matter?
If not, ask yourself now. Why does it matter? Of what relevance is anyone’s gender to an academic admissions process?
My gender is not anyone’s business until we’ve reached a consensus that no one’s gender is inherently anyone else’s business.
I couldn’t give a single air biscuit if you call me a man, a woman, a leopard, or a tree.
But beneath all of the concepts, stigma, and misunderstanding, human beings are hurting. Deeply and madly. And that is what matters. That is worth standing up for. It’s worth changing the world for. And changing the world always starts within.
Also published on Medium.