Nonbinary

Terms for being nonbinary.

Alok has an interesting post up on Instagram about the term nonbinary, saying that it is unsatisfactory because it is a negation.

I liked genderqueer or genderfluid but those terms are very specific, and I could never decide which one was me. I feel like I don’t really know what my gender is; as soon as I try to define it, it slips away.

I think of nonbinary as being an umbrella term like queer. It helps me to feel safe from people going “yes but what do you mean by genderqueer?” This is a very invasive question, as it is asking me to spill my complex and nebulous feelings around gender. I mean the same as everyone else who identifies as that — that’s kind of the point of words.

You can always ask “what does genderfluid mean?” The people who ask “what does it mean to you?” seem to be asking in a hostile way. If you give them the dictionary definition of it, they go “yes I could look it up online but I want to know what it means to you.” Why can’t they just accept the agreed-upon definition?

I agree with Alok that we could do with a term that’s not a negation but I feel that it is apophatic in a way. (The apophatic or negative way of describing the divine stresses its transcendence and unknowability.)

Gender is a landscape or an ocean, not a spectrum.

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