Re: [Special guest] Twenty10 talks about coming out.
"When expressing gender fluidity externally (clothing which changes between the two ends of the gender spectrum) others will sort of see you are not a binary gender, without telling them. How do you cope with that sort of coming out, without actually disclosing to people your situation?"
Hey that’s a really interesting question. There are so many ways of being true to who you are, and playing with and challenging those prescribed expectations of gender expression. Your question about coping with that speaks to me of an internal strength while showing the outside world what you think. People may become curious and ask questions, and maybe one thing you can do is think about what kind of response you would like to give them before it happens. It is totally within your right to choose who you disclose to and when and how. Your experience and gender expression is unique to you and perfectly valid.
"How do you explain your gender fluidity to your workplace?"
Explaining your gender fluidity in the context of a workplace is uniquely up to you and your gender expression. Some people may seek the support of a supervisor or coworker who they can trust to start an initial conversation. You may ask people to use particular pronouns for you that feel more appropriate, including simply using your name.
"Where can you find more information about non-binary gender identity? Most stuff I find it related to trans experiences where people have ""always felt like they didnt fit"" with their biological gender, so transitioning seems like a natural fit for them. I feel stuck in the middle, not wanting to change completely but not wanting to be assumed to be completely one gender. How do you explain to people how you are feeling now, when previously you always were comfortable in being a single gender?"
There is often a dominant narrative of transitioning from one gender to another and that doesn’t account for so many non-binary experiences. There can also be expectations that surgeries may need to take place in order to validate that experience, which reinforces the gender binary instead of celebrating all experiences between and outside of that spectrum.
One young person made a website to facilitate others’ understanding of their experience of being genderqueer, with a bunch of resources at the end:
OMG I'm trans has some good non-binary content like "why passing is bullshit" and tips and stories around coming out, and playing with your look.
There may be some relevant information here though it is a little dated
And this is a resource from the US
Dark Matter are incredibly and powerfully articulate about this stuff too
"How do you explain to your parents that you are non-binary gender when you always (happily) presented as your biological gender and seemed to fit, but more recently you are feeling like you want to move between and around genders?"
How you explain your experience of gender is completely unique to you, and completely up to you. Some people write letters, to have time to clarify thoughts. Some people have conversations by introducing the ideas slowly - it takes time and is a process. You may like to invite your parents to act supportively by using your pronouns she/he/they or using a name that reflects who you are. Some people provide information and resources to support people to understand. Some people choose not to invite people into that understanding, and that is ok. There is no right way. Everyone experiences change and growth in their lifetime and gender is no different - it is dynamic and constantly shifting.
"When I first started questioning my gender, I mentioned it to a couple of people who I thought would be pretty accepting. Their responses weren't positive. I'm wondering if the best idea would be to try to forget the whole thing, because I don't want to any more of a disappointment than I already am."
That sounds super disappointing for you, that the people you entrusted with that knowledge were not there for you. There are lots of expectations and pressures to be a certain way especially performing the coded forms of gender. It can be really hard to challenge those social constructs. Noone is entitled to your gender narrative. You are uniquely you and it is so important to be yourself. You may like to access services that are supportive of LGBTIQA+ young people like Twenty10, to meet other sex and gender diverse young people and be able to be accepted for who you are. There is a community out there waiting to embrace and support you.
"If I ever came out, I'd be worried about being rejected by friends, family, and having issues with trying to get work in the career I want to pursue. What are some ways to figure out whether coming out would have a negative impact on your future?"
There is a lot of pressure to come out as part of a rite of passage in LGBTIQA+ communities. By reframing this idea as ‘inviting in’ we can have more choice in who and how we invite people to know us better. You may like to seek out spaces where you can be yourself and be safe, including Twenty10 to have time to understand and accept yourself. It can be a difficult and painful process, as well an opportunity to discover those around you who truly accept you.
"Is it better to do a big come-out and tell everyone at the same time or slowly tell people one by one?"
Everyone’s way of coming out is unique to them. Perhaps one by one allows more time and space to have some in depth conversations with people. Also the coming out process may be ongoing as your experiences and identity may change over time. You don’t owe everyone access to your sexual/gender identity.
"im happily out with my sexuality, but for some reason i find it hard to talk to anyone about the struggle im having with my gender. i dont know if its something i should even tell people. "
What are the things that make understanding your own gender and or telling other people about it harder? It sounds like it may be helpful for you to process those thoughts more deeply within a safe relationship, such as a counsellor who is skilled and experienced working with LGBTIQA+ people to explore that. You may like to call QLife, an anonymous specialised phone counselling service. Whatever gender identity you are you deserve a space to be that gender.
"If you are involved in something (like a job) where there is another person who identifies openly as trans, how do you indicate to others that you are non-binary and in the initial stages of questioning your gender, without looking like a try-hard or having others undervalue your experience because you move between the ends of the gender spectrum?"
It sounds like you are worried that coworkers may judge you or imagine your gender experience is less than another type of gender experience. All experiences and narratives of gender are valid! You may find it an advantage to be working alongside someone who may have similar or different experiences that you can learn from each other. If you are in the initial stages of exploring this stuff, do some of the processing with yourself first, before involving other people in your gender journey.
Things to check out:
Ask a question for next week's live discussion: Navigating the Mental Health System
Check out the discussion on Self Positivity here!
Share your thoughts in our Special Discussion on Recovery!
Seen something fantastic on the forums?