My name is Deni, I’m 32 and I identify as non-binary and gay. When Mamamia asked me to write this article for their audience I jumped at the chance. Raising awareness and shining a light to the non-binary experience is a passion of mine, however doing so for you, my darling reader – is particularly special.
Most of you reading this will identify as cis-gendered women and it is you who have been my greatest allies. You have cheered me along every step of my gay existence and as I begin to enter my second year proudly identifying as non-binary, it is you I want to take along for the ride.
Watch: Dating as a trans woman. Post continues below.
You are raising the next generation of humans and with self-education and awareness comes new levels of empathy, understanding and compassion. An understanding that it is time to defy gender-norms and raise a generation of forward-thinking, inclusive humans. This article will merely skim the surface of what being an ally to my community encompasses, but it’s a great place to start.
So let's dive straight in!
Let’s start with the basics.
1. Understand the subject matter.
What does non-binary even mean?
To understand the non-binary experience, we must first begin with the word binary. A binary system or construct consists of two things, in which everything is either one thing or the other. So in this case, gender has for much of western civilisation consisted of male or female.
Therefore, those who identify outside of this binary structure, identify beyond the gender binary. They are non-binary. Whilst this terminology and language may seem new, there are examples of non-binary humans throughout the course of history. Dating as far back as Native Americans, Ancient Egypt and Rome and historical figures like Joan of Arc, who like me identified as gender-non-conforming.
2. Non-binary is an umbrella term and gender identity is fluid.
Beneath the non-binary umbrella sits a variation of gender identities. Common variations you’ll hear are gender-non-conforming (GNC) which is what I identify most closely with.