All about non-binary people
Many Bang2writers tell me that they are interested in writing transgender characters, but maybe they don’t know much about non-binary people … Enter Ugla!
Ugla is not binary and is the co-director of My genderas well as an author and trans lawyer. These great insights into what it means to be non-binary, its history and context will help you on your way.
Ugla and her partner Fox are currently collecting donations for their documentary Inverness or bust. Make sure you look at the project at the end of this post and share it with your friends and followers. Now to Ugla …
1) Non-binary refers to people who do not identify exclusively as men or women
This means that they can identify as both, a fluid between or somewhere outside of the binary construct of sex. MORE: 3 top tips for writing fantastic LGBT characters
2) Non-binary people are not a new phenomenon
They have been around for as long as modern human civilization! There are many representations of non-binary people throughout history and in different cultures worldwide.
3) Gender identity and gender expression are two different things
Gender identity refers to who you are and how you experience your gender, and as a gender expression you choose to express yourself externally, ie in a feminine, male or androgynous manner. Everyone can play with expressions like makeup and clothing, and that doesn’t change the way they experience their gender identity.
4) Not being binary is different from denouncing stereotypes or being gender-neutral
A gender identity is not binary, just like a man or a woman. Anyone can denounce stereotypes, express themselves differently, and do things that are normally not related to their gender – none of which erases how they experience their gender and which gender suits their experience.
5) Non-binary generally falls under the transgender umbrella
This refers to those who do not have the gender assigned to them at birth, although there may be individual non-binary people who do not identify themselves as transsexuals. It is important to remember that everyone is different and to respect what suits everyone! MORE: How do I write better LGBT characters
6) Don’t be afraid
When writing about non-binary people, it is important to determine why the figure is there and how you can make its representation as authentic as possible. Check out some non-binary people, listen to their experiences, get in touch – involve them in your process! This will make your writing so much better and reflect non-binary people.
7) Remember diversity
The stereotype of a non-binary person is often a thin, white, powerful, androgynous person who crosses the sex barrier in terms of expression. But not being binary is so much more than that, and it is important to remember that non-binary people of all shapes and sizes come like everyone else!
8) Non-binary people often use gender-neutral pronouns
This is usually the singular they have existed in English since the 13th century. Make sure you set this correctly and underline the importance of recognizing different pronouns.
9) Non-binary people can have a medical transition and still be non-binary!
Medical transitions are not only for transgender men and transgender women. Everyone has a different journey and relationship with their body.
10) Be nice!
Non-binary people need a more positive representation. So if you can help to amplify our voices in a simple, positive and light-hearted way, it means so much to non-binary people and enables the reader to get an insight into our lives. MORE: Top 10 links to help you characterize
Wow, thanks Ugla!
Some brilliant information for writers there. Check out the Ugla and Fox film below. I think it sounds fascinating and important. Please donate if you can … But if you can’t, please share this article with your profiles and sites to help spread the word and achieve your goal. Thank you so much!
About the film
Inverness or bust is a documentary of a road trip that a group of transgender people took in the 1970s to visit a likeable doctor in Inverness, Scotland.
The group had heard that the head of an institution in Scotland wanted to put together a medical team to help transgender people. They decided to go out on the street and meet with him.
In this documentary we set off again and take a trip back in time with some of the core members. Along the way, they will remember what it was like to be transgender in Britain in the 1970s, what this trip meant for them, and think about how far we have come, what has changed and what still needs to change.
Preserving transgender history is more important today than ever because our stories are rarely told and preserved. This year has been 45 years since this faithful journey. The original members of the group are mostly over 70 years old, some of whom have already passed away. We want to honor their memory and preserve this part of transgender history by taking the trip again and allowing different generations of transgender people to connect and share their stories.
Contribute here and / or please pass it on to your friends and followers.
Thank you so much!
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