We are here, and we are going to stay here. All around the world, cultures have people who are not men or women. Children who have never met a visibly nonbinary person or heard of the concept still sometimes grow up to be nonbinary. (Hello, it’s me!)
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Even if we are ignored, vilified, or bullied by our communities, we are still nonbinary. Even if we are the “and” in “ladies and gentlemen,” we are still nonbinary. And if we find our wonderful, supportive, loving community who sees us for who we are, we are still nonbinary.
Being nonbinary can mean very different things to different people. Some people might see themselves as having both aspects of being a man and a woman. Some people might not feel a strong sense of gender. Some people might describe their gender as being off the binary male-female spectrum entirely.
Sharing our trans and nonbinary joy seems appropriate for International Nonbinary People’s Day. All the little things count. For example, one person who sees who you are, whether that person is an in-person or online friend, or even just yourself. Do you have a fun new shirt, or a great hat or shoes? Have you done something to relax and take care of yourself lately? All causes for celebration.
Here’s my #transjoy to celebrate International Nonbinary People’s Day:
I visited another martial arts aikido dojo for the first time since the pandemic started. I trained with six other people, from a white belt beginner to black belts who have been training for decades. The mats were big enough to do big rolls: running, jumping, and rolling. It was an incredible feeling to be back in the wider Aikido community and feel so welcomed. My partner was throwing me hard, pumped up with the energy of a new space, and I was absorbing the momentum using muscle memory to survive hard falls. My body was performing well, I had not forgotten how, and it was like I had never left.
This is what we do: we show up in community spaces that likely have binary gender roles. Sometimes we change ourselves to fit the space. Sometimes we change the space to fit us. But most importantly, we sometimes find joy in what we do. By being our authentic selves, we can teach and encourage others to be more inclusive.
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