*Content Warning: Mental Health, Transphobia

“You’re not really trans.” “This is just for attention or to seem interesting.” “You’re either a man or woman.” “I’m okay with trans men and women but none of this non-binary stuff.” “If you’re medically transitioning then you can’t be non-binary.” “They/them pronouns are too hard for me to use for you.”

I’ve heard all this (and more) time and time again when I talk about being a non-binary person. Add in that my specific gender is a cultural gender identity and as you can imagine, I am well acquainted with having my gender identity dissected and disbelieved by strangers, community members (unfortunately transphobia against non-binary people and racism are alive and well in the larger LGBTQIA and even trans community) and loved ones alike. People like boxes, and as a multiracial, bisexual, non-binary person I fit in none of them.

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t one “correct” way to be trans or non-binary. Each one can look many different ways. For me, non-binary often looks like long hair and facial hair, bright lipstick, dresses, Doc Martens, and a big love of floral print and big earrings. It also means curves, broad shoulders, a (surgically altered) flat chest, hormone replacement therapy, a name that feels as fluid as my gender is, all existing on my bigger brown body.

I don’t fit the image often presented for non-binary people. I am not thin, not white, and I wouldn’t call myself masculine-presenting most of the time. None of that makes me any less non-binary.

That’s the beauty of it for me. I can wear anything that feels comfortable, present any way that feels right and it’s all non-binary because I am, and proudly so. I love existing outside of the confines of male and female. It’s my happy place. It feels like freedom, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

This piece was written by one of the ICLA eFriend Peer Support Workers. eFriend is an online platform where you can connect with a trained peer support worker whom has their own lived experience of feeling lonely, isolated, stressed or worried. You can speak to your eFriend Peer via video or phone call. Your eFriend Peer will listen, validate and provide hope. If you like, they can also assist you to identify any other services you may like to try or help you create plans to improve your personal well-being. Or they can simply listen.

To book your first call visit: https://my.efriend.org.au/preregistration/https://my.efriend.org.au/preregistration/