Image for post
Image for post
Image by Etapatra Aranyani on Unsplash

Think about the term non-binary, with respect to gender. Does it seem rather like it hinges on the idea of an existing gender binary by meaning genders outside of it? If so, that’s because it is. Because the gender binary has repeatedly been enforced, society has often come to view binary genders as the only valid ones. The term ‘non-binary’ subverts the gender binary but at the same time, reinforces the fact that it exists.

For this reason, some gender-diverse people prefer not to identify with the term. Similarly, some reject the label ‘third gender’ as it has roots in western colonial reinforcement of the gender binary in some countries. Western colonization has, at many times, enforced the gender binary on people of various cultures who do not identify within it. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash

Chances are, if you’ve read science fiction with non-binary characters, you’ve come across the idea of non-binary aliens. While on the surface it may seem harmless to write non-binary aliens in fiction, it tends to signal an issue when no human non-binary characters exist in the work(although this is only applicable when binary-gender humans are in the work).

There are various examples of this trope, ranging from somewhat problematic to trans-affirming. One of the examples that comes to mind is Ursula K. Le Guin’s book The Left Hand of Darkness, in which there is a species of humanoid aliens known as the Gethenians, who switch biological sexes from time to time and have an androgynous sense of gender. What I initially found problematic about this is that the story is told from the perspective of a cis earthman who, at first, regards the gender of the Gethenians as appalling and difficult to comprehend, but eventually comes to understand the way the Gethenians engage with gender. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Many systems in our world are entrenched in cissexism, which ends up harming trans people. The healthcare system is no exception, and this is a call to action for people who have influence in the healthcare sector(when it is safe to take action on this issue).

Making healthcare more trans-friendly helps create a world in which trans people are accepted for who they are and provided adequate support. I will detail some ways in which people who work in the healthcare field can better provide support to trans people.

1. Allow people to disclose their pronouns and gender identities if they want to, but do not coerce anyone into revealing this information:

This ensures that if, for example, a patient is okay with disclosing their pronouns and gender identity to a healthcare provider, they are allowed to do so and their wishes are respected. Additionally, a provider should not disclose this information to other people such as caretakers or other people in the healthcare field unless the client explicitly stated that they are okay with that information being disclosed to certain people. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

What comes to mind when you think of fanfiction? For me, it’s queer representation. Fanfiction provides a way for lgbt+ people to explore and discuss their identities. Many of us find solace in lgbt+ headcanons or canon queer characters in a world that can often be against us. Whether it’s a pridefic or a coming-out story, queer fanfiction tends to give us hope. Hope for inclusivity and taking pride in who we are.

Many people who read and/or write queer fanfiction aim to find or create a vision of LGBT+ safe spaces or explore our queer identities and our experiences of being queer. Some queer fanfiction is written via headcanons of presumably non-LGBT+ characters as queer, while others incorporate existing queer characters, and yet others involve both. …


Image for post
Image for post
Non-binary flag with trans symbol

To me, it was freeing to cast off the gender identity I was assigned at birth in favor of the non-binary gender identity that fits me better. It was a strange experience to me at first, coming to terms with the fact that I don’t truly identify as my AGAB. The concept of gender identity didn’t make much sense to me either because I didn’t feel like I truly identified as any gender. But at the same time, I didn’t want to rush to conclusions about my gender identity.

At one point I figured that since at the moment I feel like I’m agender, and my feelings about what my gender is don’t really change much, that is likely my gender. Realizing this allowed me to acknowledge an aspect of who I truly am. Additionally, I realized that the pronouns that I prefer are the singular they/them. …

About

Etapatra Aranyani

(They/them)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store