In this guide, we will discuss what does it mean to be non-binary and some tips about how to start your gender identity journey.
Am I non-binary: How do you know?
“am I non-binary?”, you may be wondering.
Non-binary people may describe themselves as being bigender or trigender, meaning they may identify as having 2 or more genders, having no gender at all, meaning agender or nongendered, genderfluid, meaning they move between genders or have a fluctuating gender identity or “other-gendered”.
We have learned since we were kids that there are only two genders and you either belong to the “female/woman” or “male/man” categories.
This is culturally and socially imposed by our society and accepted as the only way of identifying someone.
However, some people don’t identify with any gender.
This is where non-binary comes into place, it is the most commonly used term but it is not the only one.
Other terms include genderqueer, agender, bigender, among others.
Even though they are not necessarily referring to the same thing, they express the necessity to break the male/female mold.
But, where does the term “non-binary” come from?
Well, basically, computers operate under a numeric system that only uses two digits, 0 and 1.
They only use these two numbers to perform calculations and store data, in boolean logic a single binary digit can only represent True (1) or False (2).
These then will represent the dichotomy and differentiation between the established two genders.
Now, going back to our term, if someone identifies as non-binary means they just simply don’t share the same established categories for people’s gender identity and do not identify with one or any of them.
As we have discussed so far, it is considered normal in this era that you are not conformed with the biological sex you were born with, this doesn’t need to limit your feelings or your personality, you are free to experience and try new things until you are certain of how you’d like people to see or perceive you.
Moreover, the most important thing is how you’d like to see yourself and feel from now on.
We have discussed so far how we get to live in this binary world and how there is a need for some people to put a label they can relate to or identify us.
However, imagine you have lived your life with the uncertainty or the discomfort of identifying yourself as male or female just because that was what your parents have said “you were born this way” your entire life.
Now, that you are having second thoughts about just needing to conform with the norm and the rules society has imposed upon who you get to be you realize that you don’t feel whole or that there is something that doesn’t feel right.
Also, you have seen how boys and girls are meant to behave a certain way and dress with certain types of clothes but you feel good wearing both and you feel your behavior has been classed as “weird” or “not appropriate” because that way you get to be whoever you want to be, and that is totally fine. We shouldn’t let anyone tell us something different, you need to do what makes you happy.
Your gender is a tickable box in a form, it is how you present yourself to the world but that doesn’t actually define who you are.
It can be scary to have that uncertainty, it can make you feel confused and give you that sense of “not belonging” anywhere but let me tell you that at the end of the day the most important person that needs to accept who you are and how you get to live is you.
How can I know if I am non-binary?
People are always in a constant transition throughout their lives, some people cut their hair or let it grow, some get piercings, others get tattoos, some dye their hair a different color every 2 weeks or month, some get plastic surgeries, etc., and that is because we, as human beings are always wanting to do what makes us feel happy with ourselves and our bodies.
So, if you are looking to make a change that is not necessarily physical or noticeable to the world you would want to know where to start.
First of all, embrace what you are feeling and accept it, you are beautiful and exist either way.
This is not an easy journey, you are the only person in the world that can take the first step into discovering who you are and who you want to be, only you.
Take it slow, like any journey, it can take some time.
Give yourself the opportunity of exploring and expressing yourself how you are feeling in the present moment without holding back.
This is the only way of knowing how you feel the most comfortable about yourself and also get to discover what you like and don’t like.
Let yourself make mistakes.
Even if you make mistakes along the way it is part of the journey and you will learn even more when making mistakes than figuring it out the first time, keep a receptive mind and open yourself to all the possibilities.
Only then, you can start learning and documenting yourself about non-binary and other gender terminology.
Make a list of any terms you feel connected to, this will set the basis to start diving into them in-depth later on, it opens a range of possibilities and that will be your guide, in the end, you can choose the one term or some of them that match what you are looking for.
Now, it is time to ask yourself about whether you feel comfortable how people perceive you either as a man or a woman or maybe in a more “fluid” perspective.
If being classed as man or woman makes you feel uncomfortable or anxious then it is time to look on those terms you have written down and keep asking yourself how they fit into the description or the image you would like to project about yourself.
There is no right or wrong answer
This is not a quiz or an exam where you need to choose one of the questions and wait to see if it is right or wrong.
Gender expression doesn’t have a set of rules or a way of living, this you need to set it yourself.
If keeping a journal and documenting every step of the way helps you keep track then do it.
Write down whatever comes to your mind, every feeling and sensation you have when interacting with other people, maybe some of them that are going through their own journey, this will make yours easier.
Try out new clothes, haircuts, names or even pronouns.
It is totally valid to change your mind as many times as you need while you identify how you feel the most comfortable with yourself.
Allow yourself to dream and fantasize to have a fresh perspective, potentially allowing you to become who you’d like to.
Let others inspire you and connect!
Sometimes, we can let other people share their experiences and cast a light over the darkness we are experiencing.
This way we can stop feeling awkward and different, knowing that there are other people out there that have felt the same way you are feeling and how their stories can actually help write yours empowering every step of the way.
Instead, we can feel validated, understood and fill that void that makes us feel like we are alone.
How can you do this?,well, there are a lot of people ready to connect with you, to chat and help you go through your process.
Now that we have gone through the explanation of what does being non-binary mean, now you can answer the quiz “Am I non-binary?”, we consider it can be really helpful, but remember that the result does not define you, it is just a guide for you to keep exploring the gender identity you feel the most comfortable with. Click here.
Why is this blog about “am I non-binary” important?
We have discussed so far how the binary way of describing people have limited your identity, the option and possibility to experience and explore by yourself who you are or who you would like to become without being tied up to the category of “male” or “female”
This blog about the question “am I non-binary?” is important for those who feel they have been living in the shadows, feeling strange a not conformed with their assigned sex at birth.
This is a useful guide to discover by yourself your real gender identity and with this, it doesn’t mean that it needs to be static, it can also change as many times as you see fit.
The main idea here is to start expressing yourself freely.
If you have decided to start this journey then remember to document yourself, talk to other people and write about any sensation or feeling you may have at a certain time or place.
This can help you think about it more in-depth at a later moment or stage.
Please feel free to comment in the comments section below!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about “am I non-binary”
What is a Nonbinary person?
A nonbinary person is someone who does not identify themselves with the sex or gender assigned at birth and also does not fall into the typical category of being exclusively male or female.
What does it mean to be binary?
The meaning of binary related to gender is the classification or distinction made between two categories opposite to each other as it is the case of being male or female, this imposed by culture or following what is has been established in a particular social system.
What is a pansexual Demi girl?
A pansexual demi girl (demi woman or demi female) may be described as someone that is attracted to others regardless of their gender identity or biologically assigned sex (pansexual) and identifies partially as a woman, girl or feminine independent of their assigned sex.
Is Bigender nonbinary?
Nonbinary is a term used by those who feel their gender falls outside of the traditional established conceptions of being strictly male or female because that is how they were born.
Additionally, some other related terms include agender, genderqueer, gender fluid, bi-gender or pangender, among others.
What does it mean to be Cisgender?
Cisgender is said to be used to describe someone whose gender is the same or matches the one assigned at birth (born a girl, meaning female) and it is believed to be the opposite of the word transgender.
- Genderqueer and Non-Binary Genders (Critical and Applied Approaches in Sexuality, Gender and Identity)
- They/Them/Their: A Guide to Nonbinary and Genderqueer Identities
- Trans Love: An Anthology of Transgender and Non-Binary Voices
- Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships
- The Voice Book for Trans and Non-Binary People: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Authentic Voice and Communication
What we recommend for Relationship & LGBTQ issues
- If you are having relationship issues or maybe you are in an abusive relationship then relationship counselling could be your first point of call. Relationship counselling could be undertaken by just you, it does not require more than one person.
If you are dealing with LGBTQ issues then LGBTQ counselling may be a great option for you. Maybe you are confused as to your role and identity or simply need someone to speak to. LGBTQ counsellors are specially trained to assist you in this regard.