"Is that a boy or a girl?"
We hear it all the time. So I decided to address a few things non-binary and gender-fluid people are really very bored of hearing.
Beware, this article is very blunt, if you're easily offended then I'd say stop reading this article now.
A quick note on what is what:
Non-binary: Any gender identity that isn't specifically fixed as male or female
Gender-fluid: A form of non-binary gender; people may feel specifically male, female and non-binary but they 'flow' between each one naturally.
I'm not lumping gender-fluid/non-binary into the same category, but I'm addressing the most common questions we are asked...nearly all of which just so happen to be the same.
So here are 10 things gender-fluid and non-binary people are tired of hearing...and why.
"I'm so tired of hearing about how everything is non-binary or gender-fluid!"
Why? We have to hear about cis heterosexuals all the time and you don't hear us complaining. We don't care if you're cis, non-binary, gender-fluid, trans - we only care that you're a decent person.
"Are you a boy or a girl?"
We know the game here. You're either trying to use this as a snarky insult because you feel uncomfortable that someone doesn't fit into your pre-conceived boxes of 'boy' and 'girl.' Or you feel highly anxious about how we look and you feel the need to try and tick off 'male' or 'female' in your mind because it would make you feel better.
The most likely answer you're going to get is a simple 'yes' or 'probably.' But if the person you're asking is feeling mischievous it will be 'lemonade rainbow cats and a packet of unicorns' - because, you know, "ask a pointless question..."
"So, lemme get this straight, on Wednesdays you're a man and on Fridays you're a woman?"
Yes. All gender-fluid/non-binary people create a spreadsheet at the beginning of the month detailing what gender they will be on particular days. Some assign each week to a gender and others even assign individual hours to being a gender (3pm on a Tuesday is my 'being a macho man hour'). Goodness no, gender fluid people don't pick and choose when we want to be a particular gender - it comes naturally, hence the term 'fluid.'
"Just because you're gender-fluid/non-binary, it doesn't give you the right to be offended."
The only person offended here is the person saying this to a gender-fluid or non-binary person. We're not offended if you don't like the way we look or who we are, we're just a bit disappointed that you're the offended one.
"Gender-fluid/non-binary people think they're all special snowflakes."
Gender-fluid/non-binary or not - aren't we all special snowflakes? But seriously, we don't think we're superior to cisgender people at all. Sure, you're gonna get both gender-fluid/non-binary and cisgender people who think they're god's gift, but that's called arrogance and isn't directly related to a gender identity. The mistake a lot of people make is thinking that every gender-fluid/non-binary person thinks they're special, but in reality they're just really happy they can finally be themselves. Happiness isn't a superiority complex.
"Gender-fluid/non-binary is just a trend."
Or how about we've always felt this way and it's only now that we've felt able to tell people we're gender-fluid or non-binary. The only 'trend' here isn't the 'sudden' occurrence of gender-fluid/non-binary people, it's that more people are more open to it and ready to start a conversation about it.
"Gender-fluid and non-binary people are trans people who can't make up their minds."
First of all, don't belittle trans people. They're all incredibly brave for coming out as trans and we applaud their decision to be their true selves. Gender identity is also one of the key ways a person can be their true self. Male, female, mix of both, none - you do you.
"It's just a cry for attention"
Believe us, the only attention we want is acceptance. If we wanted attention we would just ask, it's less effort.
"It's a mental illness."
Nope. But unfortunately, gender-fluid and non-binary people tend to be at higher risk of depression, anxiety, self-harm, agoraphobia and more. This is largely due to the amount of hate we receive on a daily basis, as well as self-confidence issues because society constantly tells us we are stupid or disgusting. So, drop the 'offended keyboard warrior' act and just ask use to educate you - we're more than happy to!
"Gender-fluid/non-binary people are so aggressive with their views."
Yeah. I guess we are a little annoyed at people who harangue us. Wouldn't you be if someone was constantly telling you that you can't be yourself. And before you say "but what if my true self is a serial killer?" Then get out of the pool, bucko. You know as well as I do that being a serial killer majorly affects others, but someone being gender-fluid or non-binary doesn't affect you in the slightest.