Using binary pronouns as a non-binary person

Note: This post’s perspective may be a bit off because despite running this blog, I’m actually not out to anybody in my life yet. (I’m going to change that soon, though.)

I currently use the pronouns they/them. This is a fairly common choice. However, I have sometimes seen non-binary people say that people can use binary pronouns on them as long as they switch what they use sometimes (i.e. sometimes use she/her, sometimes use he/him). This is usually in addition to a non-binary pronoun.

I can understand the appeal of this. As a person with a non-binary identity that has multiple genders (I’m genderfluid; this can apply to bigender, pangender, etc. too), I can empathize with the desire to have them individually recognized by others. (I was AMAB, and I’ve been misgendered as female exactly once, which was a moment I actually quite liked because it felt like the female part of my identity was being acknowledged when a lot of the time it’s suppressed.)

However, I can see some flaws with this that could arise with some people. (Don’t let me or anyone discourage you from using any kind of identity.) For one thing, if you’re genderfluid, the pronouns people use on you might not always align with how you’re feeling. Also, this method could cause confusion with you and others knowing when you’re being referred to as opposed to someone else. This is negated a lot by people’s ability to use context, though, which makes a larger difference than one might think.

Overall, this approach to pronouns has positives and negatives. I obviously can’t predict how well you would like it, but if you found out something new that you like, that’s great. I personally don’t do this right now, but I’m quite heavily considering it.

I’m Ari (they/them), and I would love to hear your comment.

The importance of listening to communities for definitions

I don’t usually swear on here, but as a bisexual person, it irritates the f*ck out of me when I read the “definition” for bisexual as being “sexually attracted to both men and women.” It irritates me because then people will tell bi people like me that that’s true, and that what we define bisexuality as is not valid.

This doesn’t just happen for bisexuals, of course. Dictionaries (and, by extension, their readers) seem to have a habit of defining sexual orientations and gender identities independently from what the people that identify as them actually have to say.

For example, look at the definition of genderfluid on Google. It says a genderfluid person is “a person who does not identify themselves as having a fixed gender.” This seems okay at the first glance, but then you realize that it never actually claims that it’s a gender. Alas, Google says gender is “the state of being male or female.”

Meanwhile, a blog titled “Genderfluid Support” has a definition of “the feeling of fluidity within your gender identity; feeling a different gender as time passes or as situations change; not restricted to any number of genders.” Note that this says “within your gender identity,” and thus is not denying that it’s a gender like Google is.

And this, unfortunately, happens for almost every single identity. If it’s not even in the dictionary, it happens when people talk to each other and spread false ideas about what some of these words mean.

The lesson that people need to learn from this is that when it comes to identities, one needs to listen to the people that actually identify as them.

I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments. I’m Ari, they/them.

How to respond to people saying “there are only two genders”

Some a lot of closed-minded people on the internet and in person like to go around saying the false statement that there are supposedly only two genders. If you happen to be interacting with someone while they’re saying this, here’s more or less what you could say to refute them.

You can start off with remind them that gender and sex are quite different. If they refuse to accept this, you can tell them about how gender identity exists, and is not a new concept. If they agree, but say that gender and sex are the same, you could either compromise and conclude that it’s a difference in terminology, or you could show them examples of people using the terms to mean different things.

After that’s been established, you can prove the main statement that there are more than two genders, in a few ways. Firstly, you can say that because there are people that identify as non-binary, their existence disproves the person’s point that there are only binary genders. Secondly, you can talk about how physical sex is quite obviously not binary (tell them to Google “intersex”), and mention how if sex isn’t binary, it doesn’t make sense for gender to be binary. Thirdly, you can mention how there is no reason for a mental construct such as gender to be binary.

The person you’re talking to likely won’t accept a lot of these arguments, but if they do, you can take pride in the fact that you helped another person realize that non-binary genders exist. If they don’t, at least you know that you’re right and they’re just not accepting facts.

I’d love to hear anything you have to say about this post, its subject matter, or anything connected to genderfluidity or non-binary genders in the comments section. I’m Ari and my pronouns are they/them.

Are non-binary people trans?

This question seems to be answered quite differently depending on who you ask. However, my standpoint is that non-binary people are transgender.

If we look at the definition for “transgender,” it says a trans person is “a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.” Non-binary people’s genders are obviously different than their birth sexes (unless you’re intersex and you consider that your gender).

Also, believing that you have to go from one binary gender to the other to be transgender seems like a form of gatekeeping. Gatekeeping is most certainly what you don’t want to be doing, as there are countless blog posts showing.

Judging by the fact that the definition doesn’t place this restriction of binary genders on being trans, one can tell that yes, non-binary people are transgender.

I would love to hear your comments, thoughts, experiences, suggestions, etc. in the comments section below. I’m Ari, they/them.

How genderfluid and bigender are different

Note: this is from the perspective of someone who identifies as genderfluid, and is completely subjective, as is anything trying to define identities.

This is actually going to be rather short, as this is a fairly simple difference.

Genderfluid people’s gender changes with time, no matter how fast or slow, and no matter what or how many genders it goes to.

Bigender people are two genders, and it may change with time.

Genderfluid and bigender can be very similar. The key distinctions are that genderfluid people’s gender is changing in all instances, and bigender people’s gender is two genders in all instances. (bigender people, please correct me if I’m wrong about this)

In my case, I’m genderfluid, but with that, I’m bigender at some times. For me, when I’m bigender, I feel male and female simultaneously. (There is really no way to explain how it feels.) People who identify as bigender can feel two genders simultaneously like that, or drift between the two, similarly to genderfluidity.

Hopefully, I explained this well. Leave any comments you might have in the comments section, including any corrections you may have. I’m Ari, they/them.

Gendered bathrooms

I personally never use public bathrooms unless I absolutely have to. I absolutely despise how filthy they are, and would rather hold it in than use one.

However, there are certainly a whole lot of people that have to go to the bathroom, and only have access to a public one. (Otherwise, they obviously wouldn’t exist.) And, not all of these people are cisgender! How shocking! In all seriousness, if you’re reading this blog, you certainly already know about the whole thing about trans people and bathrooms. However, I would like to take this opportunity to remind everybody that non-binary people go to the bathroom too.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I personally go between bigender and male as a genderfluid person, meaning I “lean male,” and as such, I am not too uncomfortable in being in a binary gendered bathroom. (In terms of the gender printed on the door. Many public bathrooms are inherently uncomfortable anyway.) However, the issue of having to fit oneself into male or female every time one wants to go to the bathroom is quite a big issue for a lot of non-binary people! The solution that I suggest every single time is to simply have gender-neutral bathrooms.

Gendered bathrooms don’t only affect trans and/or non-binary people, but they have other effects. Assuming that men and women need to be kept apart in order to presumably not be having sex with each other in a public bathroom or locker room (!) is quite homophobic, because it completely ignores that people of the same gender can do that with each other too. This obviously isn’t a very tangible effect, but it’s still bad.

In addition to this, I have yet to hear a good reason to separate genders in bathrooms! (Aside from urinals, which I have never understood the point of.) Overall, it seems very reasonable to conclude that gender-neutral bathrooms are the way to fix all of these issues, and the others that I didn’t mention, in the future.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, suggestions, experiences, feedback, or constructive criticism in the comments. I’m Ari, they/them.

I swear I’m trying to keep some kind of posting schedule. (If you have a suggestion for a post, I’d love to hear it!)

All of this post except for me complaining about bathrooms’ lack of cleanliness also applies to locker rooms.

No, “he or she” is not valid

People apparently are getting into quite the debate over whether singular “they” is grammatically correct, despite the fact that oftentimes those against it use it regularly, and that it’s been part of the English language for millennia.

However, the debate over “they” vs. “he or she” has to also include non-binary people. Quite obviously, “he or she” just doesn’t include everybody! I am a strong believer in the power of language, and for that reason I think that this is important. Additionally, many non-binary people, myself included, use “they” as their pronoun. To say that it’s grammatically incorrect makes it impossible to refer to these people correctly.

Overall, not only is singular “they” valid and correct, but “he or she” is clearly invalid.

I apologize for not posting yesterday.

As always, I would love to hear anything you have to say relating to this or any topic connected to genderfluidity in the comments section. You can call me Ari and my pronouns are they/them.