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Non binary folk


Undefeated Steak
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I've been called 'stupid' and 'close minded' because I said I struggle to understand why somebody would identify as non-gender. Apparently I need to educate myself on it. I'd like to think of myself as liberal and open-minded but I'm struggling here. Anybody care to explain what gender-neutrality is all about. FWIW, I totally understand why people would get behind movements to bridge the gap between the genders or stand against marketing and advertising that might degrade or sexualise a gender, but I'm specifically talking about an individual identifying as non-gender, and why they would? Thanks. 

Edit: To clarify, I'm not trying to be judgmental here - was genuinely hoping for someone to explain why someone might identify as non-gender and decided to ask here as it's usually a level-headed and progressive place. 

Edited by Undefeated Steak
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4 minutes ago, SuperBacon said:

Up to them. Why do you care?

This is the attitude I normally take and it's not necessarily that I do care. I've re-read my post above and it does make me sound like a dick - I don't mean for it to. The conversation I had went from me casually asking why someone would feel like they want to identify as non-gender. I'm really not expecting people to have to explain their choices, but I also feel there must be some kind of reason for somebody to decide they're identifying as non-gender.

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I didn’t think you were being judgemental and I wasn’t being combative. I genuinely meant that: why do you care?

Everyone has their reasons: a couple I know (both transgender men), are raising their baby gender neutral. I’ve never once thought to ask why, or what the reasons are, as that’s their personal preference and I’m sure if they wanted to elaborate more, they would. 

There are always reasons for people deciding to be gender neutral, or anything else to be honest. I feel like it’s not up to us to ask why, it’s up to us to just understand, without having to understand, if that makes sense.

Otherwise it quickly descends into people saying they identify as an attack helicopter and no one needs that again.

 

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That's bullshit. It's perfectly valid to want to know reasons. No, you aren't entitled to know why or go around demanding peoples' reasons. But if that was a couple I knew, and I was actually friends with them, I'm sure I would ask in a respectful manner. And this is a total non answer. Steak is asking what some of the reasons might be because it's a phenomenon he simply doesn't understand.

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55 minutes ago, Undefeated Steak said:

I've been called 'stupid' and 'close minded' because I said I struggle to understand why somebody would identify as non-gender. Apparently I need to educate myself on it. I'd like to think of myself as liberal and open-minded but I'm struggling here. Anybody care to explain what gender-neutrality is all about. FWIW, I totally understand why people would get behind movements to bridge the gap between the genders or stand against marketing and advertising that might degrade or sexualise a gender, but I'm specifically talking about an individual identifying as non-gender, and why they would? Thanks. 

Edit: To clarify, I'm not trying to be judgmental here - was genuinely hoping for someone to explain why someone might identify as non-gender and decided to ask here as it's usually a level-headed and progressive place. 

Part of the reason why transgender or non-binary people are so discriminated against is because people in your position are always looking for a blanket, generalised reason why people may identify as one thing, the other, or neither. Everyone has their own reasons. You need to understand their stories individually rather than looking for a catch-all answer.

I also think this should be split into its own topic, really.

Edited by Devon Malcolm
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46 minutes ago, Chest Rockwell said:

That's bullshit. It's perfectly valid to want to know reasons. No, you aren't entitled to know why or go around demanding peoples' reasons. But if that was a couple I knew, and I was actually friends with them, I'm sure I would ask in a respectful manner. And this is a total non answer. Steak is asking what some of the reasons might be because it's a phenomenon he simply doesn't understand.

I didn’t say it wasn’t valid to wonder why. Steak is quite within his rights to ask what he wants if he so wishes to, as is anyone else. 

Just simply giving my opinion thats all. 

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I think to shut someone down who is genuinely interested in the why's and where's of all things LGBTQ is counter productive. (I know that's not what's happening here).Obviously it depends on the question and how it's asked but i think its a converstaion people are quick to turn in to a battle because the loudest voices on both sides are usually the most militant in their viewpoints. 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, SuperBacon said:

I didn’t say it wasn’t valid to wonder why. Steak is quite within his rights to ask what he wants if he so wishes to, as is anyone else. 

Just simply giving my opinion thats all. 

I don't think that's what you did though. Your post sounds a lot like you are saying he is wrong to ask, especially with that attack helicopter line you threw in at the end.

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That was a complete throwaway line as a joke mate. There was no offence intended to Steak. 

I even said at the start of the paragraph that I knew he wasn’t being judgemental. I’m in no position to tell others how to behave, I was just giving my two cents, that’s all.

I’m all for hearing how others approach subjects. That’s what this board should be for. 

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A few posts here and yet no-one’s even attempted to give @Undefeated Steak an example of why someone may identify as non-binary. I’m not an expert but it could be for various reasons. One example could be that someone doesn’t feel right as either wholly male or female, they may feel more comfortable being androgynous/ambiguous because either neither gender feels right or that the identify with both at once.

Another reason for being non-binary may be more of a political/sociological choice in not wanting to conform to the accepted versions of either male or female. This would be more along the lines of the example above of a couple raising their child non-binary. There are a lot of norms and values associated with being male or female - how you’re expected to behave, traits, characteristics, how you look/dress. For example, if you don’t want Aunty Betty to keep buying pink sparkly dresses because ‘little girls are meant to be pretty’ and telling off a little boy for crying because ‘boys don’t cry’ then you avoid your child being obviously male or obviously female. It’s all about breaking gender stereotypes.

These are two examples of why someone might identify as non-binary. They’re not definitive and everyone will have their own reasons but I hope that gives you some idea of the thought process behind it.

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26 minutes ago, Monkee said:

A few posts here and yet no-one’s even attempted to give @Undefeated Steak an example of why someone may identify as non-binary.

I haven't because I don't want to appear like I'm speaking for non binary people when I'm not one myself, I suspect many others are doing the same.  I thought Devon was spot on.

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Well, I guess let's just close the thread then, huh?

I do take the point that you and others are making though now. Monkee's post is pretty unsatisfying as there's no scope for follow up questions and it's so broad that it doesn't really help that much. Not a slight on her, but more an acceptance that speaking on behalf of others is really no substitute.

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13 minutes ago, Chest Rockwell said:

Well, I guess let's just close the thread then, huh?

I do take the point that you and others are making though now. Monkee's post is pretty unsatisfying as there's no scope for follow up questions and it's so broad that it doesn't really help that much. Not a slight on her, but more an acceptance that speaking on behalf of others is really no substitute.

I don't really know why you're finding any of the answers here unsatisfactory. I think Monkee's post covers some good ground but I still think that approaching these matters on an individual basis is the absolute most important thing of all.

SuperBacon was right with his very first post in this thread, in a way. Too many people place searching for reasons underneath understanding. If a person's first response to someone telling them they're transgender or non-binary is, "Oh, why's that then?" then that's the wrong approach.

Of course, if it's a loved one or a very close friend, they would expect you to ask questions and will usually be happy to answer them. But sometimes they actually don't know a reason why! It's often just a feeling, and more than anything they just want support.

Edited by Devon Malcolm
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