I now don’t like saying “non-binary gender”, even though I get what it means and I know thousands of people identify using this term.
This is why I don’t like saying non-binary gender:
First, when I say “Non-binary gender” I am admitting there are only two binary genders: man and woman.
Us humans can have any gender identity. People born with intersex bodily variations can have any gender identity. We can be a man, woman, both, or neither. It is important to stop conflating biological bodies with gender identity. They are not one and the same and they do not always match what is common. An intersex person can have the gender identity of a man or a woman and their genitals do not have to match binary notions.
I truly believe that the male/female binary system is a social construct and myth that erases intersex existence. The male/female binary system is the human construct of a patriarchy that is penis obsessed and wants to make sure girls don’t get to penetrate. Intersex bodily variations have existed since humans have walked the Earth.
The “female” penis and the “male” vagina is nothing new, in other words. A person that appears masculine or identifies as a man can have a vagina. A person that appears feminine and identifies as a woman can have a penis. Some people won’t identify as men or woman, and they have the right to call themselves nonconforming or non-binary. It may or may not have anything to do with their genitals too. However, I now will never refer to myself as non-binary again. I like to now call myself an intersex, nonconforming, androgynous gay man.
Here is my TEDx Born Intersex: we are human, where I share more.
I write more about this topic here:
I am Proudly the First in Colorado to get an Intersex Birth Certificate
These Ten Human Rights Organizations and many more say it is time to Stop IGM.
Trying to belong to a binary-only world: My Biological Sex, My Legal Sex, My Gender Identity, My Gender Expression, and My Sexual Orientation.
Five ways I show that the Male/Female Binary is a Myth, and a Social Construct. Nature has always Created Sexual Variety and Diversity.
A Male/Female Mosaic Brain Proves We Need the Self-Determination of Gender
When a MAN wants to KEEP HIS VAGINA
The Female Penis & The Male Vagnia
Poem: Parts are Parts, and Venus and Mars can get over it.
Here is Judi Herring, M.D.’s TEDxTalk that talks about the above quote:
6 thoughts on “Why I don’t like saying “non-binary gender” anymore.”
I have a question, if you’re willing to answer it. When I call myself non-binary I’m referring solely to my gender identity–i.e. I am not a man or woman. But from a sexual identity standpoint I’m endosex born (presumably AFAB), and I recognize that biological sex also does not exist on a binary. In this sense–meaning, if non-binary only referred to gender identity and not sexual identity–would you accept the use of non-binary? If not, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.
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The way that I see it, I now like to say Nonconforming Gender identity instead of “non-binary”. I used to say “non-binary” all the time. I think this shift happened due reading books, and my being violated when they assigned me female, and my true biological sex, intersex, was noted as a diagnosis and a “disorder”. As you know biological sex is either Endosex or Intersex, and it is apart from our gender identity. I feel the two should not be conflated as the same and matching. Too many people do not match this social construct. As you know due to your own existence, both Endosex bodies and Intersex bodies can be any gender identity. That being man/boy, woman/girl, both in some way, or neither. I think my section on “Gender identity” shows how diverse it can be; way beyond demonstrating a binary even: https://anunnakiray.com/2gender-identity/ These options, showing me that the binary never existed at all; and that our gender identity has nothing to do with our genitals, hormones, chromosomes, or reproductive system. That gender identity is literally a social construct brought on by the medical complex and government. A social construct that tried to erase a good part of human existence. Erasing us by pathologizing us as having bodies that are a “disorder of sex development”, or diagnosing us with “gender dysphoria” if we do not agree and conform with our birth certificate. Thus, the problem of conflating biological sex with gender identity, mixed with the belief that everyone should be heterosexual too. That even gay, lesbian and bi-sexual people are breaking these social rules. I hope that made sense. Thank you for asking. If calling yourself a “non-binary gender identity” works for you, please own it for yourself. I truly feel that our Self-determination is our human right. Human diversity is vast and beauitful.
This book might interest you: Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex. By Alice Dreger. http://alicedreger.com/medical_invention
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Thank you Anunnaki, that was a very helpful response; my apologies for getting back to you so late. I agree, I also feel that our self-determination is a human right, and I love how widely varied and diverse humanity it — it truly is beautiful. Thanks also for the book suggestion, I already had it on my wish list but I’ll have to see if I can’t pick that up some time in the near future.
This is a very interesting point. I (currently) identify as non binary / gender fluid I LIKE non binary because it emphasizes the fact that there is more than JUST binary options. I do see the problem in defining in relation to a non existent binary but I feel that until the majority catch up with our existence that is probably helpful. You are always an inspiration so thanks for this perspective. I’d be interested in your reply.
My physical existence, as an intersex person outcasted me from existing in society, and lead me to much medical neglect and malpractice even. At my birth they didn’t even have a way to document it accurately, so they crammed me into a female box and in therapy taught me that I had to be a girl. Every form to this day does not even acknowledge my physical being. With a legal birth certificate, I will now challenge this system to include my physical being as being born intersex and not simply a male body or female body. It is very concerning to me to even acknowledge a male/female only binary system that does this to other infants and children as well. Most know that gender identity is a social construct. Well, much evidence proves that in the late 1800’s the medical complex and government also constructed sex to being only about typical male bodies and typical female bodies. Thus, at our birth giving us only two options now on all legal documents. This literally erasing the existence of intersex people. From that point forward the medical complex would now call us a disorder, syndrome, or a birth defect. When we are a bodily variation of a human we would now be forced into nonconsenting surgery as children to enforce this social construct of sex. As an intersex activist and educator, I represent some of the worse human rights violations on this planet. Those being nonconsenting genital unnecessary corrective surgeries done on infants and children, the abortion of intersex fetuses, and forced sterilizations. My form of intersex is now suggested to be aborted by some genetic experts, along with Klinefelters and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. All this, I would say makes a good argument for eugenics and genocide. Intersex erasure is profound, especially when our LGBTQ allies might be guilty of it, and innocently so. I am not saying you are doing this, but it could bring pause to using the word “non-binary” again if you realize it very likely is harming innocent intersex infants born to this world. Please see the United Nations’ Intersex Fact Sheet: https://unfe.org/system/unfe-65-Intersex_Factsheet_ENGLISH.pdf