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Non-binary - serious question

Schweddy

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What does non-binary mean? I'm requesting more than a Google definition please.

If you are a person that identifies as a non-binary, would you enlighten?

Is it an internal struggle, an unwillingness to be labeled or maybe a public cry for help?

Context: Someone very close to me has recently decided they are non-binary and I very much want to understand.
 

maquiscat

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What does non-binary mean? I'm requesting more than a Google definition please.

If you are a person that identifies as a non-binary, would you enlighten?

Is it an internal struggle, an unwillingness to be labeled or maybe a public cry for help?

Context: Someone very close to me has recently decided they are non-binary and I very much want to understand.
Non-binary means that you are not limited in the self (as opposed to the body) to the concepts of male and female. While masculine and feminine are social constructs, male and female are the objective items that they are applied to. However there is a problem that there is a disagreement as to what exactly are the objective criteria for male and female. Genitalia, chromosomes and genes don't necessarily match each other. With that said, and understanding that a change in concept and knowledge requires a shifting of language, sex (referring to the body) and gender (referring to the self) are becoming distinct words, no longer synonymous. Likewise, male and female are no longer synonymous with man and woman, respectively. This particular lingual shift, however, is meeting with more resistance than the previous. Such is the nature of language evolution. Keep in mind that non-binary is different and separate from transgender, which is where the sex is opposite the gender.

Most people know whether they are a man or woman, even as children, regardless of whatever gender expressions (also social constructs) they present. Thus one can present all of the gender expressions of women, have the genitalia of a female, and still know that they are a man. Now, statistically speaking, the vast majority of people have their sex and gender match. But some contain a mixture of both genders (as opposed to sex, which people can have a mixture of those traits as well), in varying degrees and not necessarily in a fixed ratio, or in some cases, neither. These are your non-binary people. For those whose point along the line shifts, they are typically labeled gender fluid, or gender flex. The later tend to stick to one point or the other, but not always, hence flex vs fluid. Some are neither. In all cases, they may utilize gender expressions from both of the current societal expectations. This includes people whose gender and sex match. As a man and a male, I can decide that skirts are more comfortable than slacks and decide to wear them instead. I'm not trans, or non-binary or anything like that. I am simply not following the social construct. That is how fashions changes across time. High heels were initially a male item. Every type of clothing out there (which the possible exception of skorts, which are relatively new) has been worn by both men and women at one point or another in history, even if they had other names to try to distinguish them from the rest. Face it, a kilt is a particular style of wrap around skirt.

Something else to keep in mind is that their gender, be it either pole or non-binary, has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. The labels for those are rather messed up especially once we account for the issues of gender vs sex. I find it better to think of attracted to men or women or males or females (the difference can be key in many cases). Usually a person who is attracted to women to start with, and then transitions into the opposite sex, is still attracted to women. Their orientation itself doesn't change. The label for it does, but not the attraction.

As far as your loved one goes, they may be truly non-binary. Or they may simply be bucking the current gender expressions, and being labeled as non-binary, even if not truly so, makes it easier to explain, or cope with or both.

For context, I am not non-binary myself, but I am part of the poly and kink communities and deal with a large (relatively speaking) number of transgender and non-binary people. The above is what I have learned from them, both in conversation and observation.
 

Lisa

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What does non-binary mean? I'm requesting more than a Google definition please.

If you are a person that identifies as a non-binary, would you enlighten?

Is it an internal struggle, an unwillingness to be labeled or maybe a public cry for help?

Context: Someone very close to me has recently decided they are non-binary and I very much want to understand.
If a person is non-binary it means that sometimes they feel more female and then sometimes they feel more male or androgynous. It's the gender equivalent of being bisexual.
 

Aunt Antifa

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What does non-binary mean? I'm requesting more than a Google definition please.

If you are a person that identifies as a non-binary, would you enlighten?

Is it an internal struggle, an unwillingness to be labeled or maybe a public cry for help?

Context: Someone very close to me has recently decided they are non-binary and I very much want to understand.
Have you asked them?
 

calamity

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What does non-binary mean? I'm requesting more than a Google definition please.

If you are a person that identifies as a non-binary, would you enlighten?

Is it an internal struggle, an unwillingness to be labeled or maybe a public cry for help?

Context: Someone very close to me has recently decided they are non-binary and I very much want to understand.
Someone groov'n in whatever skin feels right at the moment. Sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes both, sometimes neither. It's a person truly lacking a gender identity as defined by society, but it's an identity that fits them perfectly. For many young people, it is just a phase. For others, it persists through adulthood.
 

Aunt Antifa

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Fair question. I have not talked to them about it because I don't understand.
I do not want to give myself an oppurtunity to say something stupid, demean or devalue our relationship.
I’m not being facetious: to avoid the latter, you should do the former. If you are open and sincere, I’m sure they will understand and answer your questions. And they should be the source of your answers. No one here can tell you what they’re thinking or feeling or have been through.

I”m not playing thread scold. Just sayin.
 

Lisa

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Fair question. I have not talked to them about it because I don't understand.
I do not want to give myself an oppurtunity to say something stupid, demean or devalue our relationship.
Its great that you want to learn and protect your friendship.

My daughter's college roommate came out to me as non-binary because she knew that I was LGBT supportive, unlike my daughter who is a conservative Christian.

 

RAMOSS

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Non-binary means that you are not limited in the self (as opposed to the body) to the concepts of male and female. While masculine and feminine are social constructs, male and female are the objective items that they are applied to. However there is a problem that there is a disagreement as to what exactly are the objective criteria for male and female. Genitalia, chromosomes and genes don't necessarily match each other. With that said, and understanding that a change in concept and knowledge requires a shifting of language, sex (referring to the body) and gender (referring to the self) are becoming distinct words, no longer synonymous. Likewise, male and female are no longer synonymous with man and woman, respectively. This particular lingual shift, however, is meeting with more resistance than the previous. Such is the nature of language evolution. Keep in mind that non-binary is different and separate from transgender, which is where the sex is opposite the gender.

Most people know whether they are a man or woman, even as children, regardless of whatever gender expressions (also social constructs) they present. Thus one can present all of the gender expressions of women, have the genitalia of a female, and still know that they are a man. Now, statistically speaking, the vast majority of people have their sex and gender match. But some contain a mixture of both genders (as opposed to sex, which people can have a mixture of those traits as well), in varying degrees and not necessarily in a fixed ratio, or in some cases, neither. These are your non-binary people. For those whose point along the line shifts, they are typically labeled gender fluid, or gender flex. The later tend to stick to one point or the other, but not always, hence flex vs fluid. Some are neither. In all cases, they may utilize gender expressions from both of the current societal expectations. This includes people whose gender and sex match. As a man and a male, I can decide that skirts are more comfortable than slacks and decide to wear them instead. I'm not trans, or non-binary or anything like that. I am simply not following the social construct. That is how fashions changes across time. High heels were initially a male item. Every type of clothing out there (which the possible exception of skorts, which are relatively new) has been worn by both men and women at one point or another in history, even if they had other names to try to distinguish them from the rest. Face it, a kilt is a particular style of wrap around skirt.

Something else to keep in mind is that their gender, be it either pole or non-binary, has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. The labels for those are rather messed up especially once we account for the issues of gender vs sex. I find it better to think of attracted to men or women or males or females (the difference can be key in many cases). Usually a person who is attracted to women to start with, and then transitions into the opposite sex, is still attracted to women. Their orientation itself doesn't change. The label for it does, but not the attraction.

As far as your loved one goes, they may be truly non-binary. Or they may simply be bucking the current gender expressions, and being labeled as non-binary, even if not truly so, makes it easier to explain, or cope with or both.

For context, I am not non-binary myself, but I am part of the poly and kink communities and deal with a large (relatively speaking) number of transgender and non-binary people. The above is what I have learned from them, both in conversation and observation.

I take it that non-binary is very similar to 'gender fluid'.
 

maquiscat

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Fair question. I have not talked to them about it because I don't understand.
I do not want to give myself an oppurtunity to say something stupid, demean or devalue our relationship.
As long as you approach them with the admission that you are coming from a place of ignorance, then anything inadvertently offensive or demeaning should be dismissed by them as a teaching moment. After being told as much, that's different, but a true friend will be willing to forgive a slip when you have already noted that you don't know what you don't know.
 

Redress

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What does non-binary mean? I'm requesting more than a Google definition please.

If you are a person that identifies as a non-binary, would you enlighten?

Is it an internal struggle, an unwillingness to be labeled or maybe a public cry for help?

Context: Someone very close to me has recently decided they are non-binary and I very much want to understand.
There is no one good description when you leave the realm of the clinical(and even then, no good definition). For some people the basic "normal" labels man, woman, gay, straight, bi just do not work for whatever reason. The more exact answer changes based on the person. Asking the person, respectfully, and making it clear you don't understand but do want to be respectful is usually the best thing to do. I have found with trans people if I ask respectfully "what pronoun should I use" does not offend.
 

maquiscat

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I take it that non-binary is very similar to 'gender fluid'.
I actually used the term "gender fluid" in my post. GF is one type of non-binary.
 

Checkerboard Strangler

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Fair question. I have not talked to them about it because I don't understand.
I do not want to give myself an oppurtunity to say something stupid, demean or devalue our relationship.
All sexuality is on a kind of continuum.
That said, most in the species tend to congregate "kind of" along binary lines, mostly straight or mostly not, but as with anything there are exceptions, and the same goes for whether one "feels" male or female. Most men feel like men and most women feel like women but we all seem to carry a wee bit of the other.
Our pets all love each of us very much but my daughter's voice is a very special gift to them, because they definitely concentrate on her when she speaks to them in her "special way" and it's adorable to watch them laser focus on what she is saying.

Then when you hear a sixty-three year old swarthy looking guy with five oclock shadow trying to mimic her "animal speech mannerisms"...after you stop laughing, you may wonder if that's just me getting in touch with my feminine side.
Hey, I figure they respond better, so I don't mind humiliating myself a little if it gets results.
So I try to talk to them the way she does, and it works, no matter how silly I feel doing it.
 

Thom Paine

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What does non-binary mean? I'm requesting more than a Google definition please.

If you are a person that identifies as a non-binary, would you enlighten?

Is it an internal struggle, an unwillingness to be labeled or maybe a public cry for help?

Context: Someone very close to me has recently decided they are non-binary and I very much want to understand.
Serious question:
Someone you feel close to shared a change of attitude.
You, as a caring individual feel you must understand ... what? ... why ?
Cannot a caring friend accept the declaration and continue the friendship as it was; not putting your friend in a defensive position, because you will, maybe unknowingly.... oops ... there goes the relationship.
Accept the situation and continue as usual.... in due course you will understand as much as you need.
Grist for your mental mill.
great day atcha' schweddy.
 

Schweddy

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Serious question:
Someone you feel close to shared a change of attitude.
You, as a caring individual feel you must understand ... what? ... why ?
Cannot a caring friend accept the declaration and continue the friendship as it was; not putting your friend in a defensive position, because you will, maybe unknowingly.... oops ... there goes the relationship.
Accept the situation and continue as usual.... in due course you will understand as much as you need.
Grist for your mental mill.
great day atcha' schweddy.
This person is a very close family member. Is not part of exceptance - understanding?
 

Aberro

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What does non-binary mean? I'm requesting more than a Google definition please.

If you are a person that identifies as a non-binary, would you enlighten?

Is it an internal struggle, an unwillingness to be labeled or maybe a public cry for help?

Context: Someone very close to me has recently decided they are non-binary and I very much want to understand.
Means nothing, a person is born a male or female, that’s what you are. Deal with it. Your friend has a mental problem, avoid it in the future.
Yes a .00000000000000000001% are hermaphrodite, it’s rare.

just because I self-identify as a cow does not make me one.
 

Schweddy

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Means nothing, a person is born a male or female, that’s what you are. Deal with it. Your friend has a mental problem, avoid it in the future.
Yes a .00000000000000000001% are hermaphrodite, it’s rare.
I appreciate your opinion but it doesn't really answer the question.
 

Thom Paine

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This person is a very close family member. Is not part of exceptance - understanding?

No... understanding is not necessarily a part of acceptance. You have a relationship already, and I am assuming that it is a close relationship, thus the emotional bond is already there. Your understanding does not make you any closer to her/him, nor change the relationship (at least it shouldn't, if it's a stable relationship).

I have personal experience with a similar situation, except that it is a close family member who is about 30 years younger than I. Her revelation had no bearing whatsoever on my bond with her, emotionally, mentally, or intellectually. Do I understand? No. I do not. I CANNOT understand, because I am not in her shoes, and never will be in her shoes. Since I love her regardless, and she knows that I do, my understanding, OR my inability to understand, has no bearing on the relationship. I don't feel any need to understand, because it doesn't matter. It just IS. It's part of her identity, and makes no difference to me either way.

As far as I am concerned, all this "need to understand, or need to accept" is essentially an intellectually vapid attempt to elevate something to a level where it does not belong. Don't concern yourself with being the intellectually and socially correct individual....concern yourself with being real, and being sincere.
 

CLAX1911

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What does non-binary mean? I'm requesting more than a Google definition please.

If you are a person that identifies as a non-binary, would you enlighten?

Is it an internal struggle, an unwillingness to be labeled or maybe a public cry for help?

Context: Someone very close to me has recently decided they are non-binary and I very much want to understand.
I'll hold off on my personal views because you are dealing with this.

It's basically a gender identity which is the modern way of saying feminine and masculine. A person that identifies as non binary might exhibit very masculine traits with regard to certain things and very feminine traits regard to others, as well as not exhibiting either.

Strictly academically speaking but I take it to me when someone says they are non-binary is they don't fit the standard of feminine or masculine.

Non-binary is it label so it absolutely is willingness to be labeled. And I think that's the most important part is fitting that label. They don't want to be considered girly for liking pink or unicorns and they don't want to be called boyish for liking hunting and things typically associated with boyhood.

The thing to remember is personally said this to you they are in a different than they were before, and you shouldn't treat them differently.

Largely I think it's a fad.
 

CLAX1911

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No... understanding is not necessarily a part of acceptance. You have a relationship already, and I am assuming that it is a close relationship, thus the emotional bond is already there. Your understanding does not make you any closer to her/him, nor change the relationship (at least it shouldn't, if it's a stable relationship).

I have personal experience with a similar situation, except that it is a close family member who is about 30 years younger than I. Her revelation had no bearing whatsoever on my bond with her, emotionally, mentally, or intellectually. Do I understand? No. I do not. I CANNOT understand, because I am not in her shoes, and never will be in her shoes. Since I love her regardless, and she knows that I do, my understanding, OR my inability to understand, has no bearing on the relationship. I don't feel any need to understand, because it doesn't matter. It just IS. It's part of her identity, and makes no difference to me either way.

As far as I am concerned, all this "need to understand, or need to accept" is essentially an intellectually vapid attempt to elevate something to a level where it does not belong. Don't concern yourself with being the intellectually and socially correct individual....concern yourself with being real, and being sincere.
I understand the idea of someone wanting to understand sometime they are close to. It's not necessary for acceptance but a person wishing to understand had likely already accepted it they wish to understand the person and why they feel this way. It's part of loving someone.
 

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Have you asked them?
It is difficult to bring up a subject like this with a person directly. There are several reasons for this. For me, it is the fear that I may offend them personally and the fear that, by my asking, I may subject myself to some sort of retaliation.
 

CLAX1911

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It is difficult to bring up a subject like this with a person directly. There are several reasons for this. For me, it is the fear that I may offend them personally and the fear that, by my asking, I may subject myself to some sort of retaliation.
Tell them you don't mean any offense, you just want to try and understand. If it's someone close to you that you care about and that cares about you, this shouldn't be offended by you wanting to understand in fact that's a good thing how this issue goes from being this elephant in the room we have to tiptoe around to just another thing.
 

Brutal

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Tell them you don't mean any offense, you just want to try and understand. If it's someone close to you that you care about and that cares about you, this shouldn't be offended by you wanting to understand in fact that's a good thing how this issue goes from being this elephant in the room we have to tiptoe around to just another thing.
I do not know anyone who is nonbinary. Even if I did, I would be reluctant to ask. That is by no means an indictment on them, it is just my pointing out my own reticence.
 

CLAX1911

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I do not know anyone who is nonbinary. Even if I did, I would be reluctant to ask. That is by no means an indictment on them, it is just my pointing out my own reticence.
It depends on who it is for me. If it's someone I'm really close to but yeah I would want to talk to them about it if it was someone who I wasn't that close to I probably wouldn't even consider it.
 

Aunt Antifa

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It is difficult to bring up a subject like this with a person directly. There are several reasons for this. For me, it is the fear that I may offend them personally and the fear that, by my asking, I may subject myself to some sort of retaliation.
Retaliation? For asking a question? Either you only know psychopaths or you ask questions via punching people in the nose.
 
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