Excellent and highly recommended response to the flawed NY Mag Agender article from The Frisky:
It’s a common assumption that non-binary people were all assumed female at birth, i.e. born with the body parts we typically associate with girls. With the exception of Pejic, who doesn’t have a pronoun preference and has de-emphasized the importance of gender in interviews, there are few visible examples of assumed-male-at-birth non-binary people. Kopas explained how this narrow POV can harm assumed-male-at-birth people and others who fall outside the typical presentation:
It seems that we’ve started treating the most visible examples of non-binary people as if they represented the full range of ways of being. […] Who does this leave out? People of color, fat people, male-assigned people… As a male-assigned non-binary person, it’s sometimes felt like a struggle for me to have that part of my identity recognized even by other gender-variant folks. People want to place me as either as a man because of my physical features, or a woman because of how I dress or because I’m on [hormone replacement therapy]. But there’s no non-binary uniform or medical regimen — nothing says that someone can’t dress femme and still identify outside of a gender binary. So if non-binary is to mean more than a particular kind of androgynous expression, then we need to talk about the range of ways that it can look and feel.
In short? “Agender” may sound like a tidy little label — but that would be an underestimation of every agender person that you meet.
The feature article in today’s New York Magazine is on agender, nonbinary and neutrois experience. The article is generally positive, presenting three different people’s experience in their own words.
Debate has ensued on Twitter about the journalist (or editor)’s choice to focus more on bodies than lives and to only feature people coercively assigned female at birth and not comment on the disparity.
Is there are barrier on CAMAB agender or nonbinary identity (or disclosure) that this article’s editorial decisions perpetuate or is it simply voyeuristic and intrusive to focus on the narrative of transition, birth assignment, surgeries and bodies?
A new article about agender / neutrois people came out. I’m featured in the article as Micah. All I’ll say is, it’s tougher than I expected to put yourself out there. Thoughts?
“I didn’t really want nipples,” Cory said, running a hand through a mop of bleached blond hair. Born female, 23-year-old Cory uses the pronoun co—and asked that we refer to co that way, too—and got elective surgery to remove co’s breasts last year. But co is not transgender in the traditional sense, transitioning between female and male. Co wants neither gender. So co joined the ranks of the agender—or, in a more florid recent coinage, the gender neutrois.
“You read stuff on Tumblr about how us nonbinary people just want to be special snowflakes,” explained Cory, who is special but made of sturdier stuff than a snowflake. Was Cory’s desire to remove co’s secondary sexual traits a ploy for attention? A reaction to internalized sexism? The result of sexual repression? “I tackled all that stuff with my therapist. We came to the conclusion that I was not okay with this part of my body. Regardless of where that came from, it was there.” Co has neither breasts nor nipples now.
“It is so perfect,” Cory said. “For me this is what neutral looks like and feels like.”
I found Cory through the #nonbinary #agender #neutrois tags on Tumblr. The social network has become an unofficial home for the gender neutral. Though most group themselves with the transgender community, they reject the narrative of a person born into the wrong, oppositely-gendered body. All five neutrois individuals I spoke to have no need for masculinity or femininity at all.
Full article: NY Mag: Neither Man Nor Woman: Meet the Agender
Excellent trans* and genderqueer-friendly article on gynecomastia in The Guardian, exploring what cultural attitudes to ‘moobs’ say about society’s binary view of gender:
Matt Cornell grew up with gynecomastia, a harmless condition that made his school days a misery. From the bullying to the surgery that followed, he looks back on what ‘moobs’ meant to him
This article was very interesting due to Matt’s analysis:
This fixation on “man boobs” reveals our culture’s obsession with binary gender, but we have all the evidence we need that biological sex and gender are not as rigid or fixed as we imagine. There are intersexed people. There are transgender people and genderqueer people. There are millions of men and boys like me with gynecomastia, a medically harmless (though socially lethal) condition. The prevalence of gynecomastia in adolescent boys is estimated to be as low as 4% and as high as 69%. As one article notes, “These differences probably result from variations in what is perceived to be normal.” You think?
The Nonbinary.org wiki is now upgraded, improved, completely cleared of spam users and pages, and set up to prevent future spam registrations!
If your account had never been used to edit or create pages linked from another page, I’m afraid you’ll have to create it again as it’s been deleted along with eight thousand spammers and 2.1GB of spam.
I’ve installed Wikipedia-style message boxes and citations on the request of editors. Please let me know if there are any other extensions that would make your life easier.
Enjoy clicking ‘Random Page’! :)
Signal boosting. Are you nonbinary and live in Glasgow, Scotland?
I’m being interviewed for a study on being trans in Glasgow, the person conducting the study is looking for 2 more people, age ranges early 20s and 50+, non binary identities please! This is her explanation of the study;
“My research is looking into the lived experiences of four transsexuals in Glasgow. I recently interviewed a transwoman who had made Glasgow her new home for another piece of research and arising from this interview I wanted to explore this area more. I really want to get a sense of how transsexuals have created and continue to manage their new identity and overcome the many barriers that society places. The reason I have chosen Glasgow is that it still tends to have a tough image with strong sectarianism in football and a working man’s image of work hard play hard so it can be considered unforgiving with anything and anyone that is considered against the”norm” so to speak. Whether the people I interview are transmen or transwomen I want to explore if Glasgow and Scotland’s culture and history has helped or hindered their transition. I don’t have an end goal in mind I just believe and hope that the more information that is out there about such matters can help educate and hopefully reduce discrimination.”
If you want to get involved, you can contact Fiona at - 1103350K@student.gla.ac.uk
Please share! Thanks.
Despite having 111 legitimate pages created by 13 users, Nonbinary.org wiki has become overrun by spam bots. Unfortunately this problem wasn’t nipped in the bud in time and there’s now 2GB worth of spam pages and user registrations filling our webspace.
As such, desperate measures are required! Please check this link for lists of all the legitimate pages, files and users I’m aware of on the site. If your wiki username or one of the pages you’ve created, edited or read are missing from the lists, please let me know before all the others are permanently removed.
Meanwhile, the wiki has been locked to prevent new spam registrations and only users on the trusted list have editing rights. My apologies for any inconvenience this has caused and I’m doing my best to get this resolved and install measures to prevent this from happening again.
The study, A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels, and OtherWise in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, was just published by the LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Harvard Kennedy School. It examines the experiences of genderqueer individuals and others who clearly identified as neither a man nor a woman.
You can find the summary and full report at the link above or at the Williams Institute website.
I want you to lie for me. If you’re a woman, say “I am a man.” If you’re a man, say “I am a woman.” Say it out loud. Say it to your reflection. Do you feel that little disconnect there, where the sentiment you’re articulating doesn’t match up with the reality you experience? You know you’re lying. Even if someone else comes up and says “Hey! That’s right! That’s definitely what you are,” you will still know you’re lying.
I can’t speak for everyone, but that’s what happens to me when I try to place myself as either male or female. I could stand up and say “I am a man,” and know, to my bones, that I was lying. Just as I’d be lying if I said “I am a woman.”
It’s not a matter of thinking, “I can’t be a man/woman if I want to do or like these things.” I know that as a woman, I could still have a career, join the military, roughhouse, be athletic, be great at science – all those stereotypically male things. I know that as a man, I could still stay at home, raise kids, bake, knit, show my emotions easily and often – all those stereotypically female things. My gender identity is not about what I want to do, it’s about who I am.
This is not a new idea. Cultures across the globe have acknowledged more than two genders, from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt to the Lakota of North America, from Mayan civilization to the Siberian Chuckhi. References to persons neither male nor female date back to some of humanity’s most ancient written records, such as the Sumerian creation myth, and survive in seminal religious texts such as the Ramayana and the Halakha.
If you want to learn more, the citation list on Wikipedia’s article on “Third gender” has links and references to scholarly articles, books, studies, and excerpts which might help you get an idea of the nature and history of various non-binary identities. Or you can look at more contemporary accounts, such as Neutrois.com, or the discussion on AVEN’s site on “What it feels like to be trans, genderqueer or genderless”. Remember that no single narrative will be able to represent all people, and different nonbinary people may have different preferred terms, explanations, and experiences.
The challenge: Don’t use any gendered bathrooms or change rooms for the month of April.
What are “gendered bathrooms”? Gendered bathrooms are designated for “men” or “women” by a sign. This challenges includes ALL multi-stall and single-stall washrooms, and the bathrooms at work, schools, libraries, bars/restaurants, and everywhere, really.
There are multiple purposes for this challenge:
1) To give people who don’t find going to gendered bathrooms a difficult/unsafe experience a small idea of what it is like for trans and gender variant people to navigate this world. Hopefully, with some real life experience, you will have a broader understanding of how gendered this world really is. But,
DOING THIS DOES NOT GIVE YOU AUTHORITY TO SAY WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE TRANS OR GENDER VARIANT.2) To inspire people to fight for more gender neutral bathrooms.
- Don’t drink a lot of liquid if you are leaving the house for long periods of time
- Try to figure out where some gender neutral bathrooms are in your town/city, and plan your day around using a gender neutral bathroom.
- Remember, you can use gendered bathrooms again in May. Some people can’t.
And, even if you really have to go to the bathroom, try to not see gendered bathrooms as a possible place to go.
If you are interested, feel free to write your experiences down and send them to email@example.com. With your permission, they will be included in a zine on the topic of gendered bathrooms.
We also recommend fighting for gender neutral bathrooms in one (or more) public space(s). Often the fight for this aspect of bathroom accessibility is only fought for by trans and gender variant people; It would be nice if other people fought for it too.
(There’s also a Facebook event:https://www.facebook.com/events/209510742488108/)
PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST!
It would be an interesting caveat to add if you can’t find a gender neutral bathroom, you have to use the one you normally wouldn’t use, but that could cause some actual violence (which happens to trans* people on a regular basis, obviously, but for a thing like this that’s probably not the best ever)
I guess if you want the full experience you could add that to it?