Outside the Box
We live in a world built on binaries. Man or woman. Gay or straight. Cats or dogs. Chocolate or vanilla. But it’s not always that simple, that cut and dry. There’s a whole world of possibilities outside of these binaries society imposes. And a lot of people don’t realize that. They don’t realize that not everyone fits neatly into one of the two boxes society says we have to fit into. I am one of those people. I am non-binary.
Simply put, non-binary means I am neither a man nor a woman. For 21 years, I identified with being a woman. That’s what society told me, so that’s what I thought was right. Or any doubts I did have, I shoved down and didn’t deal with. I never looked any further. When I chopped all my hair off in the 9th grade, my parents told me I would look like a boy, I got called sir while I was working my first summer job, and it never bothered me. At the time I couldn’t tell you why it didn’t bother me to be misgendered, but it didn’t. As I got older, I strayed even further away from this idea of what a woman should be. I can’t define for you what it means to be a woman, but I can tell you it’s not me. I’m just here, I just want to live my best life, and for me that is accepting that I am non-binary, that I exist outside this arbitrary binary. For me, it means I present myself as androgynously as possible. Some days it means wearing a button down shirt and a backwards hat. So it’s very hard to gender me based solely on my looks. Some days it’s binding my chest so it looks flatter, wearing a dress and sneakers and not hiding my short, vaguely masculine haircut under a hat. It means that I correct people who use the wrong pronouns for me. It means that on my social media I am open about the fact that I am non-binary.
Over the past 7 months, I’ve found that the best rebellion against societal roles is to just exist, and exist outside of them. Not letting predetermined roles define how you live your own life.
Kobabe, Maia. Gender Queer. p 175.