Gender has become a hot topic, with many media outlets having their own spin on the discussion of gender. I have many views & thoughts surrounding the gender topic. So, I thought I’d share my views as a cisgender woman but as well, an advocate for the LGBT+ community. I want to start off in addressing that my views are my own. What I believe in may be different to you, but please refrain from telling me as it’s ok that we hold different opinions.

 

Is Non Binary a Trend?

 

Identifying as non-binary is not a trend. But, I admit I can see why an outsider or even people within our community may feel it’s a trend. Media outlets, magazines, TV shows, social media, the news, have all been getting involved in the gender topic. This roar of attention will have positives as well as negatives. I have witnessed myself the older generation stating that Non Binary is a phase because that’s what they’ve seen in the papers.

Although these media outlets may try to be educating society & I’m aware that this will be helping some understand, it’s having an backlash effect & our generation is seen to be jumping onto a new fad. To some, non-binary is a generational thing & will be seen as the youngsters going through a phase of their life. But, this isn’t the case and identifying as non-binary is a very real and valid identity label. What non-binary individuals go through is so tough and it’s so important to respect that what they’re experiencing is something we can never imagine.

Why people don’t understand the concept of non-binary

 

I’m very aware that many people my age, younger or older may consider non-binary as a crazy concept. For years, gender has been male & female and talks of another gender have been suppressed. Only now, people are talking about how gender is a spectrum. So I can sympathise with those who can’t fathom the idea of more than two genders.

But, the truth is…. gender is a spectrum. For many non-binary individuals they don’t identify with either male or female ideologies. Without living a day in their shoes, you have no idea how it feels, so how can you comment? I believe we lack understanding because of 3 reasons:

 

  1. Lack of education – Without the knowledge behind their opinions, people have formed ridiculous statements such as non-binary individuals are trying to ridicule gender. Which, isn’t the case at all. We are seeing more & more people saying outrageous comments without one ounce of research.
  2. People are just ignorant – Sometimes, we can’t help that people are just ignorant and have very closed minds. They just can’t get past the concept that there are only two genders & sadly… we can’t help them understand.
  3. False media – With media outlets forming their own opinions on what it means to be non binary, the truth is clouded & people are forming opinions on false assumptions and lies.

But…

I want to address the other side of the argument. After hours & hours of research into identifying as non-binary, I came across many YouTube video’s of youngsters coming out or explaining why they’re non-binary. It’s important to understand, we’re not invalidating anyone’s emotions or identity. But I do believe that some of these individuals are using the label for attention or hopping on the bandwagon for the fun of it.

I feel awful for saying this, as I don’t want to offend or sound like we’re bashing someone’s identity. But, there are individuals who are using the label for motives unknown. I believe for some the non-binary label is being used to identify confusion & they may not truly understand what is going on. But then it opens the door to a secondary argument, that it’s allowing them to experiment & challenge the binary to find their true self.

So, what is the answer to help people understand?

Honestly, there is no quick fix and acceptance & understanding will only come in time. Recently, I came across this video with Miles McKenna talking out his own experiences. This short clip taught me more about identifying as non-binary than ever & I’ve developed a further in-depth understanding.

It’s okay to admit & say, I need help & I want to learn more. We aren’t expected to know everything & anything, so let’s work together and help each other grow.

What does the non-binary community think?

As we’ve spoken on behalf of the community, I wanted everyone to get an insight to what non-binary individuals truly believe around identifying as non-binary. So below, is a live Instagram feed, where you can get involved in all of our conversations surrounding non-binary topics.  As well, a statement made from Jude who identifies as non-binary.

Jude 

Being non-binary is not just a hot trend, it’s a valid and very real gender identity. Trying to water down our gender as a hot trend, isn’t seeing the full picture. For me, being non-binary is existing. My name is Jude, I wasn’t born with that name but the name is now mine. When people ask me why I changed my name, I give them the simple answer. “Every time someone calls me Jude, I hear them saying I love you”. Finally, my friends see me for who I am & that feels magical.

I believe that gender is simply an expression of the soul, not a category or box someone is born into due to their anatomy. The non-binary community is full of unique and amazing individuals.

What does the future hold?

I truly believe that gender one day will be seen as fluid. Non-binary will be accepted and others will understand that gender isn’t just male and female. But at the same time, I do believe there may be an internal fight within the community. We are seeing more & more people using new identity labels to justify their identification. My honest feelings are, when will it stop? Will gender just become one big blur or will we use non-binary as an umbrella term for those who feel anything else but male and female?

Who knows, at the end of the day we have to remember. We are all human & have to respect each other to live in harmony. Just because you may not fully understand others, you can’t discriminate. Instead, sit down and read articles and try to understand. Non-binary individuals aren’t going away, so instead let’s look at ways we can support and help those around us.

Charlotte Summers

Writer

This post was a very interesting yet hard post to write. Gender is a hot topic & everyone is worried about offending each other in case pronouns are used incorrectly. But it’s important to realise we are all human & make mistakes. With non-binary individuals becoming increasingly seen in the media, I believe this is where the concept of the trend comes into play. But identifying as non-binary is very real & valid.

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