- People don't really respect or use the correct pronouns for me and misgender me quite a lot because they just see how I appear and they just presume that I go by she/her, when I actually feel a lot more fluid at my gender. It's very frustrating when society tries to put you into boxes, when gender is a social construct that doesn't actually really exist. Then if I tell people that I'm queer and that I'm gay, they just try and put me into a category when... what's the need of labeling?
- Labeling is something that annoys you?
- Yes, because there isn't really much point.
- So how does it feel for you, to be non-binary?
- It's... quite confusing. From like a very young age. We're told that if you have this genitalia you should like these things and that boys can't wear makeup and girls can't be masculine or have like body hair and just these very unrealistic expectations which are just like... well, people expect you to look like this or that, and that's just not how a lot of people are.
- Yes... it's very cultural actually. In the example of body hair that you mentioned, well, it's like very recent in history that some people shave...
- Yeah! And like, I have not shaved in like quite a long period of time and I feel a lot more like myself, like with armpit hair and leg hair. I also shaved my head quite recently, and I feel a lot more myself in that way. I am choosing to grow my body hair because it's my body so it's my choice and no one can control that. I shaved my head earlier this year and when I first did it, I felt like I was like kind of reborn and I felt like definitely a connection to my gender, like euphoria having short hair because I feel a lot more comfortable. And I also got a binder earlier this year, and I really like bending the gender norms and like... if I had the makeup that I did yesterday, you would understand a bit more because I like doing like... I like a fake moustache because I find moustaches and facial hair really intriguing, and I wish I could have that but at this point in time I can't.
- Okay. How do you feel when someone calls you "she"?
- It just frustrates me when I say that I'm non-binary and they just continue referring to me as a woman, when at times I feel a lot more comfortable being referred to he/him pronouns. So fuck people who are judgmental to others for expressing themselves and being themselves, because I do not support others that just bring people down for their gender identity and their expression. Also, I just quickly want to speak about my personal experience if it's okay... so, I just spoke to the police recently about how I was assaulted like a month ago and the police officers that I spoke to were very like « Oh, you didn't tell him to say no, you didn't say stop, you should have done that you should have made your boundaries clear... » when he didn't get my consent to do what he did to me. And the police officer that I spoke to the other day who is a woman, and I was with my friends here that day, said to me « Oh yeah, he was just a horny teenage boy who was just doing like, his animal urges, like he couldn't control it... », which is bullshit because everyone has control over what they do to someone, and consent is so important, and I feel like it's a really a big issue that teenage boys get away with this, because he's not getting charged. He has been spoken to by the police but he's not getting in any trouble when he should, because that could happen to someone else, and that isn't okay. The police do not support victims whatsoever, and the system here in Edinburgh is built in a way to protect white cis straight men, and it's just very unfair. They also haven't given me any kind of support as a victim of sexual assault and rape. I spoke to the police about my other experiences and they haven't done anything, which just has kind of forced me to accept what happened to me when no one should go through that. But so many people go through it... it's just disgusting how in society nowadays, it's just normal and you have to get over it when it shouldn't happen to anyone.
[The interview has been interrupted by a phone call that the participant received]
If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, please find a local or national organization that can support you through this ; they exist for nothing else but to help the victims, whether they provide emotional support, help you with legal advice, or anything else that you might need. Please make a search like "sexual abuse organization [you country]" and call or write to them, okay?