Author Topic: Coming Out as Nonbinary  (Read 568 times)

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Offline Dani Rae

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Coming Out as Nonbinary
« on: August 12, 2017, 03:19:34 pm »
I know there is coming out forum, but since this is specifically about nonbinary identities, I thought it fit here. So coming out is already hard enough, but I think coming out as nonbinary is trickier. Most of my experiences have involved trying to explain the concept of gender and even being asked to justify my nonbinary identity. To be honest, most of the time when I come out I tell people that I am trans and let them make whatever assumptions they want. I know  I'm not telling my truth but it is just so much easier. So how do other people handle coming out as nonbinary? Any suggestions about doing so?

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Offline Lady Lisandra

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 04:12:01 pm »
I first came out as trans girl. Now I'm considering that I might fit somewhere under the non binary. I dress rather androgynous, and altough I love my female identity, I don't mind people identifying me as a man, or asking wheather I'm a boy or a girl.

I never talked to anyone about this. I just act the way I feel, and people accept me. Nobody ever asked me why I use male cothes if I identify myself as a woman.

I think saying you are trans is fine. I think non binaries also fall under the trans umbrella, as it's not a polar gender, it's somewhere between, it's a transition gender. So you wouldn't be lying.
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Offline Dani Rae

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 05:10:05 pm »
I didn't really mean I was lying. Not telling my whole truth is more accurate. It is generally accepted that nonbinary identities fall undet the trans umbrella and I do identity as trans as well. I just feel conflicted. Sometimes I want to share my whole truth and sometimes I just want to do what's easier.   

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Offline widdershins

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 05:25:42 pm »
There are times I just say I'm trans or FTM for the sake of convenience. I'm on HRT, so I don't consider this to be inaccurate by any stretch.

That said, I came out as non-binary at work and was actually pretty shocked by how accepting people were. The people my age and younger didn't bat an eye. I even had a couple people ask what pronouns I used. And even the older folks generally seem to grasp the idea that I'm "in between." (Though it helps that I'm in a fairly liberal workplace.)

 

Offline Dani Rae

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 07:58:23 pm »
I think it has as much to do with internal stuff as people's reactions. The comment about work made me think. I'm out at work. Some people kinda understand nb but everyone is accepting of me as a person. I still sometimes doubt the validity of my experience and compare myself to binary trans people. I even think of them as "normal transgender people." So its more that i have trouble consistently accepting myself. Thanks for sparking that.

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Offline Aisla

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 12:59:05 am »
I first came out as trans girl. Now I'm considering that I might fit somewhere under the non binary. I dress rather androgynous, and altough I love my female identity, I don't mind people identifying me as a man, or asking wheather I'm a boy or a girl.

I think non binaries also fall under the trans umbrella, as it's not a polar gender, it's somewhere between, it's a transition gender. So you wouldn't be lying.

While I agree that non binary may be a transition gender for some, for many it is our destination and our truth.  Like you I really don't mind how how I am gendered as hrt has given me peace and relief from dysphoria.  Presenting as Andro has done the rest.

If folk ask, I say that I am trans and explain that I am dysphoriic and do not see myself as fitting with either the common definition of male or of  female and that I am andro with some fluidity.  That I am seeking authenticity.  That I don't see myself as limited by the binary and that my truth or my identity is that I am Aisla, nothing more and nothing less.

Safe travels

Aisla
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 06:37:41 pm by Aisla »

Offline markie

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 07:57:51 am »
I didn't really mean I was lying. Not telling my whole truth is more accurate. It is generally accepted that nonbinary identities fall undet the trans umbrella and I do identity as trans as well. I just feel conflicted. Sometimes I want to share my whole truth and sometimes I just want to do what's easier.   

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[/quote

I think I understand  what you mean I'm only starting to head towards  where you are now... It is a quandary!
For myself I think androgynous  is what I want and bow I would like people to understand  me as  I (not want to be misunderstood but at the same time it could be a considerable  effort to educate others  ...however that is important  if we ever want to visible and understood  I guess  it would  be easier to just fit the mold but it's better to break it  😉]
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Offline Dani Rae

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 07:09:10 pm »
Markie, thanks you for mentioning visibilty. It almost seems like when I fail to come out as nonbinary I am failing the community. I feel a responsibility to try to increase visibility. So I feel guilty when I take the easier way.

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-Dani Rae

White, middle class, well-educated, physically able, genderqueer riot grrl in long term recovery from addiction just trying to live my truth.

Offline Dena

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 07:44:21 pm »
Be visible only if you want to be visible. Many who fully transition go stealth and vanish into the wood work. Nothing requires you to be public and in some ways it can be healthier to blend into the population instead of stand out.
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Offline widdershins

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 07:58:17 pm »
Be visible only if you want to be visible. Many who fully transition go stealth and vanish into the wood work. Nothing requires you to be public and in some ways it can be healthier to blend into the population instead of stand out.

Agreed. I'll admit that even a lot of my visibility is for selfish reasons: I do it because it's the only way people won't assume I'm a binary gender, and it's less stressful to be out than constantly misgendered.

It's noble to fight for your rights, but at the same time, it's not really something everyone is able to deal with. It's something the majority of people will never even have to deal with. For the sake of your own health and safety, you sometimes need to focus on what's best for you in the moment.

Offline Dani Rae

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2017, 08:50:51 pm »
Be visible only if you want to be visible. Many who fully transition go stealth and vanish into the wood work. Nothing requires you to be public and in some ways it can be healthier to blend into the population instead of stand out.

To be perfectly honest I have some issues, both personal and philosophical, with that statement. Personally, I do not want to fit myself into another restrictive gender box. Trying to be a woman when I'm not isn't that much difference from trying to be the man I'm not. I can compromise on some areas. For example, I'm okay with she/her pronouns and I would rather be seen as a woman because it's closer to the truth. But it is not the truth. To "go stealth" and try to pass would be erase my identity, so that is not desirable. Philosophically, I think that the desire to pass is rooted in our cis-heteronormative society. If it was accepted and it was safe to be out, would there still be the desire to go stealth? I also think going stealth does nothing to change the rigid gender system that negatively affects all of us. While I respect an individual's freedom to do this, it isn't for me. I don't want to fit into the binary gender system. I want out of it.

Agreed. I'll admit that even a lot of my visibility is for selfish reasons: I do it because it's the only way people won't assume I'm a binary gender, and it's less stressful to be out than constantly misgendered.
I do not think that is a selfish reason. I see nothing selfish about wanting to have your truth seen and acknowledged. 

For the sake of your own health and safety, you sometimes need to focus on what's best for you in the moment.
Thank you for the reminder. I do tend to be bad at acknowledging my own needs. I shouldn't feel guilty for not having the time or emotional energy to educate people.
-Dani Rae

White, middle class, well-educated, physically able, genderqueer riot grrl in long term recovery from addiction just trying to live my truth.

Offline markie

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2017, 09:16:12 am »
Well spoken,  there is the safety  of blending  in... myself theres no chance  of that so I'll..just deal with it on the fly
but I do  understand  the need to be acknowledged  as the being one is....
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Offline kellb

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2017, 07:28:06 am »
Just to add my experience to it - I came out to my family as non-binary by treating it as a medical problem.  I explained that my brain doesn't process testosterone properly and responds to estrogen instead, and also that my bodymapping screwed up... but I don't /feel/ like a woman.  My family has a biochemist and a nurse in it, so it's a bit easier in that regards and they were understanding, even (even though they're biblical fundamentalists, bizarre!).

I would say "tell your story".  Labels can't ever convey enough detail.
One day they woke me up; so I could live forever.

Offline Rowena_Ellenweorc

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Re: Coming Out as Nonbinary
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2017, 08:58:06 am »
I just recently came out to my mother, and coming out as non-binary is DEFINITELY even more confusing to a seventy 72 year old religious woman. So I completely agree with you that coming out as Non-Binary is trickier.

I am without a doubt non-binary in my mind, AND transmasculine.  Am I a man? I have no idea yet.  But I know I'm DEFINITELY way more masculine than feminine. That's why I identify as non-binary.  I want male attributes so desperately, to use he him pronouns, but to deny femininity entirely feels wrong too.  But when I come out to people, why some transfolk may say non-binary isn't really trans, especially if you don't transition at all, I will still say I'm transgender.

Trans just means, 'on the outside of' and then add the word gender.  So to be anything outside the gender you are assigned is literally the definition.  Cisgender means on the same side of gender. So you identify as the binary gender you were assigned.  So while Cisfolks and even some transfolk might not understand that definition, calling yourself trans when you identify as NB is perfectly fine.

I don't particularly feel like doing so invalidates your identity as a non-binary person. Another thing to remember is your audience.  Like my 72 year old mother... I said I was transgender to her, but then explained that I am still figuring out what that means to me, but I know it means I'm not female.  Will I take hormones? Who knows. Will I physically change myself? Probably at least the top half. But non of that will change the person she knows, and that's really what matters.

And when you have an audience that may understand, then you can say something when they ask a question like, 'So you feel... (hold on, scrolling to see if you mentioned your assigned gender) female?' Then you can say, 'No. I don't.  I fall somewhere in between, though probably more on the feminine side.  My gender is non-binary.'  Own it ... use the word non-binary for what it is... a gender marker like male and female.  And then let them ask questions about it. Explain what you've said here.  That you just don't feel like you need to fit into one of the binary genders.  You're just being you.

As for failing the community if you don't disclose your non-binary status, you aren't.  Its just a matter of knowing your audience when you come out.  Knowing your own comfort levels.  Knowing what's safe to say.  Just like a person might not disclose that they were born a different gender when introducing themself to a stranger, or a non-transitioning person might not tell people they are trans at all.... None of that is failing their community either.

Also, agree with previous poster about presenting it in a medical format.  I've done that myself to the people I've come out to, even online.  Granted, I do feel like I'm transgender in a medical sense because I do have a gender dysphoria inducing medical condition anyway.  Again, its all about knowing your audience and what you are safe to say.
~Ren

Born May 1989 - Assigned Female
October 2016 - Came out to self/online
Feb/March 2017 - Officially came out to husband
April 2017 - Realized I'm Non-Binary
June 2017 - Started Therapy
August 2017 - Came out to parents
October 2017 - modified FB profile

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I am done crying over not being feminine.
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I will be me.
And that's a non-binary being.
I am... ME!

....

This... is MY story
The story of a girl trapped in a guy's body.
A boy trapped in a girl's body.
No.  Its the story of a... human being.
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