Up Next: Non-binary Gender Identities as Part of The Trans Family


I finally got around to watching the Bruce Jenner interview which is now available for viewing on Hulu. I echo the praise that has been made about Bruce’s courage in revealing the truth about himself and look forward to the time when he wishes to be addressed as she and herself. I also think Diane Sawyer did a good job with the interview and the side pieces that were part of the special.

I was struck by one exception to the otherwise comprehensive overview, (which was understandable given time constraints). At one point Diane Sawyer stood in front of a large video backdrop with all the identities that fall under the Trans umbrella. Right there on the top shining back at me through the television screen was the word Agender and nearby was the term Non-binary. I thought, oh great those identities are going to be included. That, alas, was not the case and it seems we got honorable mention in that trans identities word montage alone.

I do think that a discussion inclusive of other trans identities needs to occur. I think what people understand about transgender people is set in a binary gender construct. For most people it is the narrative that transgender means you are either a woman who’s core sense of self tells that women that he is actually a man or a man who’s core sense of self tells the man that she is actually a woman. That was my understanding for decades as well and is why I didn’t think there was any name for what I felt.

All that changed relatively recently for me when I first heard the term genderqueer and then the term agender. The only reason I learned of that identity was because an agender youth had their skirt set on fire while riding a bus in the Berkeley/Oakland, California area, (Just put Sasha in my search to find the stories). Now agender is a very specific non-binary gender identity. Agender is quite literally the absence of gender – being neither male or female. You can read more about agender in this previous post.

In addition to agender and genderqueer, (which is used as an umbrella term for non-binary genders), their are bigender, neutrosis, demigender, (demiboy/man or demigirl/woman), androgyne, epicene, intergender, gender fluid, pangender as well as the numerous terms used to describe a third gender by aboriginal/native people’s around the world. There is an overview of these non-binary identities and other terms here.

It quickly becomes apparent that educating the general public about all trans identities – about everyone whose gender identity doesn’t match their gender designated at birth – is a major task. In the days, months and years ahead the stories of more trans people will be told. Some of those will be people with non-binary gender identities. Telling those stories will be more and more imperative as more Millennials enter the work force. Why?  Well, if you enter any one of those non-binary gender identities listed in the previous paragraph, (or the term non-binary), into a search field on tumblr, (a blogging platform disproportionately used by Millennials), you will soon see why. There are tumblr blogs devoted to nearly all gender identities; often several per identity. You will also see many posts by individuals sharing their own unique non-binary gender stories. Right now the majority of individual stories are from people designated female at birth (dfab). Why there aren’t more stories from those of us designated male at birth (dmab), I could only speculate. I will leave that as a topic best handled by having a discussion within our communities. What I will say is, it’s my belief that as more and more people, who don’t feel comfortable in their designated gender, discover a name for who and what they are, the ranks of people identifying with a non-binary gender identity will continue to grow.

A discussion has begun about being trans in this country and indeed around the world. That is a very positive development but it is imperative that we keep the discussion growing. Each of us will face a choice to add our story to that discussion. Inevitably their will be a well-known person who comes out as non-binary and that will increase the number of discussions taking place. Some of the issues raised by non-binary gender identities will complicate the politics of Trans rights. It will, I hope, broaden the bathroom debate to push for more gender neutral restrooms in addition to the right of trans men and trans women to use the bathroom appropriate for their gender identity. It may also look at increasing the number of sports open to all genders. Sure the discussion will get a bit messy but that’s life.

We who claim non-binary gender identities are challenging the notion that every thing is either male or female, just as bisexual and pansexual people challenge the notion that sexual orientation is either gay or straight. We are saying to society that the experience of being human is a fabulous mosaic. Basic human dignity tells us that all of us are deserving of equality but we are not all the same. We are the human equivalent of a fabulous quilt, each of the panels is unique and beautiful in its own right, but see us all together and WOW do we make a fabulous work of art!

– Fairy Jerry aka Agender JerBear

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A Newly Proposed ‘Intolerant Jackass Act’ Would Infuriate Anti-Gay Bigots


Love this!

Originally posted on UPROXX:


There’s a definite sea change happening in terms of the rights of LGBT Americans, with the fact that same-sex couples can marry in 36 states and Washington D.C. today, when only six states allowed it just three years ago. Even certain X-Men are coming out of the closet to be who they (fictionally) truly are. With all of this change, however, opposition has also risen to keep things the same, or, in the case of such controversial laws like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana, make everyday life harder for those citizens.

In California, however, a proposed ballot measure called the Sodomite Suppression Act aimed to outlaw homosexuality outright and even make it punishable by “death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method,” among other outrageously offensive claims. The act, proposed by Huntington Beach attorney Matthew McLaughlin, will likely never make it to a…

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John Oliver Hosted A ‘Monty Python And The Holy Grail’ Cast Reunion — Here’s What Happened


What I wouldn’t have given to be in this audience!

Originally posted on UPROXX:

"Monty Python And The Holy Grail" Special Screening - 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

On Friday night at the Beacon Theater on New York City’s Upper West Side, the Tribeca Film Festival hosted a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in celebration of the film’s 40th anniversary. In attendance were the five surviving members of Monty Python – John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin (Graham Chapman passed away in 1989) – and John Oliver, who hosted a quite rowdy Q&A after the screening.

First of all, I hadn’t seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail in its entirety in a very long time. I just remembered that, in junior high, I loved that movie. You know how it is, you see bits and pieces here and there over the years, but I hadn’t taken the effort to just watch the movie in an embarrassingly long time. Good grief, that movie is still so hilarious. And what a…

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Newly Married Same-Sex Asylum Seeking Couple Grateful for Outpouring of Love


An asylum seeking same-sex couple gets hitched…

Originally posted on O-blog-dee-o-blog-da:

By African HRC, April 24, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 11.43.19 AMAfter years of persecution, Mari and Cara, a lesbian couple from Angola, whose real names have been withheld to protect family members in Africa, made their way to the Bay Area, San Francisco, where they were married on Friday April 17th. The couple, now applying for asylum in the hope of starting a new life in a country where they can live equally, safely and as their authentic selves, are expressing gratitude for all the help and outpouring of love which they have received from people in the Bay Area, California. At the same time, while thanking donors such as Kimpton Hotels and many who came forward with time, venues and services,  the organization advocating for the couple is noting that a fundraiser, imperative to their survival, will expire in 4 days.

Executive Director of African Human Rights Coalition who helped to organize…

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An Interview with Krishna Istha


An interview with an up and coming artist…

Originally posted on Beyond the Binary UK:

With Krishna Istha and Jade Fernandez

Krishna Istha​ is an artist and performer that focuses their work on queer theory, feminism, drag and gender politics. They have worked on various scales with the National theatre, Battersea arts centre, Soho Theatre, New York International Fringe Festival, Duckie, Arts Admin, Arcola theatre and Victoria and Albert museum.

When you were younger, did you feel that you wanted to be a performer, and how did interact with being non-binary?

I didn’t want to be in front of people when I was younger – I hated it – I didn’t want to be in front of anyone! I was creative; I would make stuff, but I couldn’t be in a room with people. I think that came with the fact that I was very uncomfortable with my body. I didn’t want anybody looking at me, and I covered myself up. But as I got…

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See the Sweet Way a Straight Teen Asked His Gay BFF to Prom


In case you missed this heartwarming story…

Originally posted on TIME:

The Internet is buzzing about Jacob Lescenski of Las Vegas Desert Oasis High School, who asked his gay best friend and Student Council president Anthony Martinez to prom in front of the whole school.

Here is a photo of how he asked, which has racked up thousands of retweets and favorites:

‘Tis the season for “promposals,” in which high schoolers ask each other to prom in elaborate ways, from the massively successful stunts shown on Jumbotrons in sports arenas to the massive fails like fake bomb threats that lead to week-long suspensions.

(h/t Logo)

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5 Challenges Atheists Face


The challenges multiply when you’re atheist and disabled and queer and trans/agender like me and even more challenge are faced by many people of color who are members of additional disenfranchised communities and happen to be atheist…

Originally posted on TIME:

Yesterday was Openly Secular Day and Tom Krattenmaker used the opportunity to bring up five challenges atheists still face.

I wanted to summarize his points and add a few thoughts of my own:

1) Even though we’re despised in some parts of the country and discriminated against in some ways, we don’t really get bullied or picked on. That makes it harder to gain sympathy for our views.

Krattenmaker is right (and I’m glad he is, because the alternative would be awful). We often make a lot of comparisons between our movement and the LGBT movement, and this is one area where that just falls apart. LGBT individuals have it much worse than we do on this front. (For that reason, I don’t buy the notion that the treatment of atheists is “America’s last prejudice.”)

That said, how do we make people more likely to trust us…

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