“Where is your makeup?” “Why is there a boy wearing a skirt?” “Girls can’t have short hair!” “Boys can’t wear heels!” “Are you a boy or a girl?” We hear these questions and statements every day, every hour, every minute, and every second. We can’t escape them, especially when we are Non-Binary.
Non-Binary. Also known as Enby, is the Gender Identity used to describe people that don’t identify as either male or female, a gender beyond greater than male and female, or a gender in between. Often, these people will use gender-neutral pronouns, the most common ones being they and them.
Often we are quick to judge people based on their looks and quite often we assume someone’s gender based on how they act and dress. Although we often feel bad for doing so, it’s human instinct. We are taught at a young age how we should dress and act based off of our assigned gender at birth. We see these gender stereotypes all around us everyday; we see it in movies, tv shows, videos, pictures, and in magazines. Some of those, we prefer thinking outside of the closet. Common gender stereotypes include women wearing makeup and acting in a nurturing matter and men are seen to be aggressive and dress masculine by wearing suits or watches.
Being Non-Binary gives us a sense of freedom from the gender stereotypes created within society, gives us a chance to express who we are as a person rather than a limited gender, it makes us unique. We can combine these stereotypes and turn them into our own style, our own stereotype to say the least. For example, if someone were born as a male but identifies as Enby, a short abbreviation for Non-Binary, they could possibly wear makeup and wear high heels while still wearing a suit and have a beard, maybe even learn ballet rather than playing football. Someone that was born as a female but identify as Non-Binary, they could possibly have an undercut hairstyle and wear dresses with the stereotypical men’s watch, maybe even hunting and fishing rather than learning to bake.
As a Non-Binary teenager, I had my fair share of judgement and questions. I heard everything from my hairstyle all the way to how I acted on a daily basis. I first came out as Non-Binary when I was fifteen years old. As someone that was born as a female, it took a while to break away from the gender stereotypes. I wore dresses and took the time to put my hair up. I went to the mall occasionally to shop and I took the time to learn some baking skills. I felt trapped doing these. I preferred to go fishing over shopping, I preferred cutting my hair into a pixie cut rather than keeping it waist length and putting it up. I preferred to play volleyball and write my own stories rather than learning to bake and learning to use makeup. I felt more alive, more confident, like I finally found a way to be myself once I came out as Non-Binary, being able to express how I felt everyday as someone who doesn’t identify as either male or female. I was me. I was my own person. I loved combining the stereotypes and creating my own style based off of it.
Sometimes we are too quick judges. Sometimes we just need to think outside of the closet and make our own story, our own identity, and our own stereotypes. Don’t limit yourself to a single stereotype. Combine them and make up our own. Become your own person. Become your own style full of freedom, expression, emotion, and desire.
Written by Larissa Ewing
My name is Larissa Ewing and I am from a small town in Ontario Canada. I am a Pansexual and Non-Binary teenager and I use gender-neutral pronouns like they and them. I love reading and writing, fishing with my family, and I love music and horror movies. This article was based off what I had learn through my experiences of breaking away from the gender stereotypes while learning I was Non-Binary.
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