Coming out as Non-Binary, but in a vague, slightly unsure way.
Do you come out as Non-Binary? How do you know if you are, or not? Can I get a sponsorship deal after mentioning talking about my genitals so much?
All these questions and more, answered with a resounding "I don't know. Sit down and have a biscuit."
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Aaaah, this one took some writing! Are ya you ready? I’m ready, let’s go, let’s do it! YEAH!
I’ve been rolling something around inside of me for a while now… Oh, that sounds wrong, doesn’t it? Like I bought a Gentleman’s Appliance from Wish, and then the first time I used it, part of it got stuck up there.
What a fun sentence. We’re off to a good start, aren’t we? Welcome back, everyone - NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
Anyway. The big hard idea I’ve been shoving into my brain hole at every opportunity is how, for the longest time, I’ve not really felt like I fit in. When I was younger, I didn’t fit in with the straight guys, turned out dick tastes really nice. Something of an acquired taste, but I have been acquiring it for a while now and I can thoroughly recommend it. Most of the time. I mean, would it HURT to maybe wash a bit more thoroughly? It’s not like we don’t all enjoy playing with it, just… Do that in the shower, too. I don’t want it to be entirely without flavour, but… maybe just one day’s worth of stank, instead of five. If it were on a menu, you’d want it to have maybe one little chilli, so you know it’s not tasteless, but not three chillis. It’s a dick, not a vindaloo… Anyway. Not the point.
So! I was gay. Righto. But… I also don’t fit in with a lot of gay guys. The ones I went to uni with were all skinny and bitchy and far too white and middle class. Which is fine, for them, I suppose. But it didn’t really work for me. I tend to identify as queer now, rather than gay, because it’s not just about who I love, but how I see the world. The two are related, but they’re not the same. For example, you can be a gay man and also a Tory. Although why you’d want to is beyond me. Anyway. Me. Big ol’ queer man. Except… How do you define a man? It’s not m’penis. Although it is lovely. God, I love it. It’s great. Anway. Having a penis doesn’t make you a man. And not having one doesn’t make you not a man. Same with women.
The same goes for all the other things I have, like facial hair, and big sexy muscles and, did I mention my dick? I did. Ok, cool. God, I love my dick. Maybe the muscles are part of my attempting to prove to myself how totes masc I am, like “Oh, I must be a proper man, look at the size of my biceps!” and all the time, there’s part of me inside going “proper man? What? What does that even mean? Shut up and have a biscuit. In fact, fuck it, have three.”
And I’ve talked before about how hard it is to pin down what it means to be masculine, to be ‘manly’ except that it seems pretty toxic and repressed and not much fun a lot of the time.
And this is what they mean, I think, when you hear people say “Gender is a construct” all that means is that none of this is innate. It’s all learned. The same way we learn table manners, and how to stand on the right on the escalators for fuck’s sake… It’s the same with learning what it means to be A Man Or A Woman. It’s not built-in, Over thousands of years, society decided how certain people should behave, and Boys Don’t Cry, That’s Not Ladylike, blah blah
And… it doesn’t fit. It doesn’t work. So I’m not. I have seen this gender binary and want nothing to do with it, thankyou. So I”m going to explore what it means to be non-binary for a while. Maybe in six months or something, I’ll go “well, that was interesting, but actually now I do feel like I can identify as a man. Mmm, patriarchy!” or maybe I’ll go the other way, and realise that, actually, I identify more strongly with being a woman… OR maybe neither. Or both. I don’t know.
I don’t know.
I don’t know.
And, maybe that’s ok, maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves, and each other, to always know, to always have an answer. And no one wants to admit to not knowing.
I’m 38 and I had to google this shit. And I’m still not 100% on half of it because it makes my eyes cross. So maybe it’s ok if none of this makes sense.
So, I’m not really sure how this is going to And that’s still ok. And whatever happens in the future is fine, too. Right now, I’m doing this. And that’s cool. Because that feels right, right now. I am privileged enough to be in a place and a time and a situation where I can do this without being beaten to death or stoned or generally ostracised, and that’s amazing. I am a very lucky boy… person. Oh, that’s gonna be weird. Remembering not to refer to myself as a boy. Does anyone else just forget sometimes? Maybe that’s how I can tell I’m not non-binary, that sometimes I’m like “Oh yeah!” Maybe if I were a REAL enby, it would be burned across the sky for me to see so I could never forget it… I don’t know.
Maybe I’m just slipping back into old habits of thinking. there’s a ton of stuff to unlearn, too: Do I really think this? Or is this just what I’ve been conditioned to think and believe throughout my life? What happens if I don’t think like this?
I don’t know.
I look at gorgeous non-binary people like Alok Vaid-Menon and Radam Ridwan and Shivani Dave and think “Wow, they’re all so sure. They really know what they’re about and so confident and certain and… I’m not.
I don’t know.
I tried talking about this with my mates, but it was surprisingly difficult. With the cis ones, anyway. My NB and trans friends were lovely and patient and helpful. Quite a few of my cis male friends just wanted to have opinions about it, which I think tells you a lot about cis men. One said I was doing it be ‘political’, whatever that means, someone else called me a pretentious nobhead and I’m like “...yeah… But that’s not to do with this. Also, shut up.” My point is if you want to talk about these things, find people who are going to be accepting and will listen, not just dickheads who want to have an opinion at you. I think we’d all be a lot better off if a lot of people stopped assuming they need to have an opinion about everything and just shut the fuck up for a bit.
Hey, Scott, yes, random dickhead? So does this mean you’re going to start wearing girls clothes now? Nope, I’ll wear my clothes, same as usual. What you mean is, “will I be wearing skirts and dresses?” If I buy skirts and dresses, they are not girl’s clothes. They’re mine. I own them. I can tell because instead of some money and no dresses, I now have no money and some dresses. Capitalism, innit. I even have a bit of paper explaining the transaction, in case I change my mind.
Girl’s clothes? Some pretty binary thinking there sweetheart, but never mind. Do try to keep up.
What you mean is “Will I be wearing feminine clothes, and things that would traditionally be sold to and for female bodies? Things like dresses, skirts, shit like that. Maybe. But then I used to do that and pose on Instagram when I still identified as male, sooo not really much of a difference.
Besides, my body is 6 feet, 8 inches (that’s two measurements), a barrel-chested slab of pure muscle, and the only clothes for female bodies that tend to fit me are in the “Fat lass tries to look sexy. Bless her.” section. This is one of the things that confused me for a while as I’ve been exploring this - when I wear a dress, I don’t feel sexy or feminine, I feel like some rugby player who’s borrowed his girlfriend’s least favourite outfit for a pub crawl or whatever it is straight people do.
Maybe I’m looking for clothes in all the wrong places. I’m sure there are brands out there that would happily dress me in their non-binary finery, and they are welcome to get in touch. Maybe I’ll be a brand ambassador for them - “Yes, I can bench-press 100kilos, yes, my chest is hairy and my testicles pendulous, but when I go out, I wear a dress from <INSERT SPONSOR HERE> and I know I look gorgeous.”
I wear false nails sometimes and have done for years, so again, not really a change. They help me stop biting my own nail, y’see. And they look kinda sexy. Although going from no nails to quite sharp ones can be a bit jarring, and there’s certain manoeuvres that can go quite disastrously wrong if you don’t remember to change your grip accordingly.
And a couple of hundred years ago, men wore makeup and wigs and tights and really extravagant robes and all that bollock and women went mental for it, frothing from every available orifice. It was the height of ‘manliness’.
Something I want to tell you, though. If I paint the nails on my hairy-knuckled fingers, I’m not doing it to make a point about gender. If I wear pearls on a night out, or even just down to the shops, I am not trying to blow the mind of any straights I might encounter. If I wear a dress, it’s not because I’m making a political or social statement... I wear these things because I look good.
Pronouns! Fuck! Yes! I need some of those. I don’t… I don’t mind? As long as you’re not being a duck about it, call me he, she, they. Incidentally, everyone! If you’re not sure how someone wants to be addressed, use ‘they’ and ‘them’. It's neutral and will do until you can ask them to make sure. No one finds being referred to as they or them offensive, except the kind of people who buy testicles to hang off of their bikes or their cars, they’re the only ones who get offended by ‘they’ pronouns. The kind of person who will say things like “Did you hear about that guy from the coffee shop? He uses ‘they/them’ pronouns” That guy does, does he? Fucksake.
So yeah, I don’t mind what pronouns you use for me now that I’m identifying as non-binary. Unless you start being a dick about it because then I’ll identify as a problem.