Non-binary folk face discrimination on several fronts: health care, workplace, anti- discrimination laws, gendered segregated areas, documentation, and erasure.
Non-binary folk have a difficult time receiving health care from either general practitioners or gender identity clinics. Usually gender identity clinics are used by binary trans individuals, many of which discriminate against non-binary individuals. This can come in the form of calling the NB folk by the wrong gender and sex segregated wards. Sex segregated wards especially make non-binary patients feel like there is no place for them.
In many workplaces, non-binary folk accept being closeted and misgendered. tHey fear coming out because they could be mistreated or fired. Unlike binary trans people who can go “stealth,” when people respect you gender and not know that you are trans. For non-binary folk, you are either in or out of the closet.
When the anti-discrimination laws are effective, many of them only protect binary individuals. In addition, many police persons refuse to see non-binary related discrimination as a hate crime.
For non-binary folk who dress in an androgynous way, they are often turned away from public places and gender divided areas. Gender divided places include
- Clothing stores
- Changing rooms
- Locker rooms
- Public bathrooms
People harass non-binary folk in both the men’s and women’s areas so there is no safe restroom except all gender/gender neutral restrooms. These gender segregated areas add to the risk of non-binary folk being violently attacked and/or raped.
Organizations with Identifications (Ex. schools/libraries)
Non-binary people struggle with the limited titles and gender markers. Often their identity may not match on all the documents because of how expensive it is to change them all and the hastle. Non-binary people can’t use any service without being misgendered and some services even refuse them in any case.
Changing Gender Markers
Some regions allow a person to change their gender marker on documentation. However, there is rarely more than M or F. If a non-binary person has enough money to transition, then they may be suck with documents that don’t match their gender identity.
This comes from the idea that there is only 2 genders: woman and man. This idea is very harmful to non-binary identities because it makes it difficult for them to get recognized and validated.
If you were to meet the physical reincarnation of Non-binary Erasure then the person would act like this…
NB Erasure: “There are only 2 REAL genders.”
NB Person: “I’m a non-binary person and agender.”
NB Erasure: “Hahaha XD, You must be joking. You people always like pretending. Or maybe you’re just confused. You’re so mistaken, you are really ____.”
This Non-binary Erasure makes it difficult for many to imagine genders outside of man and woman could be like. It is usually enforced starting at birth and many grow up being taught that there are only 2 gender options which directly correlate with your sex assigned at birth.
Examples of Non-Binary Erasure…
- Refuse to use pronouns besides he and she
- Organizations that refuse gender neutral title person or legal gender neutral markers
Some easy ways to fight this is to use gender neutral language. (Ex. instead of saying firemen, say firefighters) Another way is to recognize non-binary folk in paperwork and to use campaigns and petitions so organizations let people use gender neutral titles.
Overall Source: Huffington Post “When Being Trans is Not Trans Enough”
(If you are interested in more discussions and resources about Non-Binary Erasure contact us or comment below. We would also love to hear your opinions on the other forms of Non-Binary discrimination.)
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