independent

Wednesday 29 January 2020

First it was 'bi', then it was 'gender fluid', now thev've come up with 'binary'

Justine O'Mahony.
Justine O'Mahony.

By Justine O'Mahony

When did life become so confusing?

There was a time when a white person was white, a black person was black, a girl was a girl and a boy was a boy. Everybody was, who they said they were. You weren't accused of racism, sexism, homophobia or bigotry if you said it as it was.

And just as I'm coming to terms with the whole complex gender issue of being gay, straight, bi (and I'll be honest the latter took me a while to get my head around), gender fluid, (which I still haven't gotten my head around) they've thrown another spanner in the works and I'm hit with the words "non binary."

I only did pass maths for my leaving cert and I still count on my fingers but I always thought the word binary had something to do with numbers and then I opened the papers last weekend to discover a female (oops not supposed to call her that!) student had come out to President Barrack Obama as being non binary at a question and answers session in London.

First of all I had to google it because like I said, I thought it was something to do with maths. So according to the great power that is google, non binary people can have an androgynous gender identity, feeling both masculine and feminine or have a neutral or non existent gender identity. I'm glad that was cleared up!

The second thing I thought was-why did this student feel the particular need to 'out' herself to the President of the United States, when she (he? Whatever!) hadn't even told her (his) parents? And why did she (he) think that President Obama would be remotely interested?

I'm no expert but I don't think any of us are 100% male or female. We are all, to some degree a cocktail of both gender traits with some more dominant than others. That doesn't mean we have to be labelled as one or the other.

As far as I can see the only people making an issue of something that really isn't an issue is the those people themselves who feel the need to tell everyone they don't identify as either male or female. Being brutally honest, I don't think anybody really cares. I don't go around telling everyone I'm straight, my gay friends don't go around telling everyone they're gay. None of us would ever dream of being defined by our sexuality or gender.

Don't claim to be oppressed because you're not. Most of us didn't even know you existed so how could we oppress you? Be yourself. Be whoever you want to be. Get on with your life and enjoy it. Believe it or not no one is judging you.

Wexford People

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