Nonbinary beyond a third gender

What do you think of when you imagine a nonbinary person? Hopefully if you’ve been reading my work for awhile you know that doesn’t mean slim, white, and “androgynous” as in indeterminate.

You may think of it as a third gender. But I believe it’s really important to make the distinction that it isn’t a unified single gender. It is a broad category that we use in a colonialized Western culture to define ourselves in opposition to the boxes we were given.

In many ways, it is a temporary placeholder word that we are using to gain recognition. A way to make it obvious to people who have never questioned gender that we aren’t the same as them. Genderqueer was another umbrella term that many of us originally adopted to describe ourselves in opposition to “traditional” genders.

Ultimately these are all simplifications that we use for the benefit of cisgender people and as a shorthand so that we don’t have to explain ourselves to everyone. If you were a fly on the wall in conversations that enbies have among themselves, you would see that we are an infinitely diverse group. We exist in hundreds of genders that exist in far more than a spectrum between masculine and feminine.

The language is still evolving to accurately describe the various aspects of our identities. And words mean different things to different people. But I hope what you take away from reading about my experiences and others is that we are not a single gender. We are an experience!