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Old 09-07-2019, 06:20 PM
China Guy is offline
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Recommendations for "gender fluid, non-bianary" introduction links


Title kinda says it all. I want to educate myself in order to speak without inserting foot in mouth with people near and dear to me identifying as "gender fluid, non-bianary." Would appreciate if you can share some informative, relevant links.
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:30 PM
rsat3acr is offline
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you could ask them
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:41 PM
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A Young Adult fiction book that helped me to wrap my brain around the concept a little bit is Symptoms of Being Human - Jeff Garvin
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:00 AM
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I don't have any links about it. I know about it from living it and basically being immersed in it culturally. At it's core, which you've probably already realized, is that everyone just wants to be treated like normal people. To me interacting with genderfluid, non-binary people is quite easy as I already don't make many gender-based assumptions. However, if you find that you are quite rigid in how you grew up in gender roles, you may have to spend a lot of time thinking about what constitutes a biased assumption and then try not to bring those things up. The first thing to understand is that they don't want to be defined by roles.

For example, since they're genderfluid, that usually means some days they feel more girly (feminine/femme) or boyish (masculine/masc) than other days, and they may dress to match. Don't make comments about what they've changed from day to day as it only serves to highlight how they're different and will make them uncomfortable. Ask what pronouns they would like you to use. Don't comment about it, even if you have hangups about they/them. Just try your best to use the requested pronouns and apologize and move on quickly if you mess up. If they're young, they may be on the defensive and take compliments as veiled assumptions, (i.e. you say "Your hair is pretty today" when they're dressed as a girl, but they get mad because "That means you think my hair is ugly as a boy and you want me to be a girl!!") Try not to take it too personally. They have probably been hurt by people about this stuff before and are just scared. Nonbinary adds on that they probably believe that genders basically don't matter. So they wouldn't appreciate sentiments like "painted nails are a girly thing" or "boys shouldn't care about makeup" or "all dresses are women's dresses". Assuming that they specifically want a boyfriend or a girlfriend might also fall into this area, unless you already know their sexuality.

So, you can probably tell there's a lot of pitfalls for people who grew up with more rigid gender roles. All you basically have to do is try and let that kind of stuff go, and not talk about it much. It's more about finding out what they personally enjoy rather than assuming what they would or worse, should enjoy based upon their gender.

There's also the case where they may feel like nothing matches them and they don't know what they are. Maybe they barely feel human, or they don't want to transition to anything or be anything specific. In that case, the gender thing is kind of secondary. They may call themselves genderfluid and nonbinary while looking like a mostly normal girl/woman or boy/man all the time. That can be confusing, but all it means is they feel uncomfortable with their gender's lot in life and they want to be bigger than the box they've been put in. It comes back around to them just wanting their friends/family to be nonjudgmental. They just want to be a human among humans, recognized as the individual person they are. If you treat them as an individual and don't make a lot of assumptions about their needs/wants, you'll probably do just fine.

Anyway, since I don't have any links, I hope that helps. You can ask me specific questions.

Last edited by Macca26; 09-08-2019 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:00 AM
China Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by Radcliffe View Post
A Young Adult fiction book that helped me to wrap my brain around the concept a little bit is Symptoms of Being Human - Jeff Garvin
Thanks for this. I saw some reviews and ordered it both for myself and for my 14 year old.
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:02 AM
China Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by rsat3acr View Post
you could ask them
If you're not being snarky, it was a directive "look up gender fluid, non-binary" then we can talk. This is what I'm doing, and as part of that reaching out to Doper wisdom. Either some good links or voice of experience. YMMV
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:16 AM
China Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by Macca26 View Post
There's also the case where they may feel like nothing matches them and they don't know what they are. Maybe they barely feel human, or they don't want to transition to anything or be anything specific. In that case, the gender thing is kind of secondary. They may call themselves genderfluid and nonbinary while looking like a mostly normal girl/woman or boy/man all the time. That can be confusing, but all it means is they feel uncomfortable with their gender's lot in life and they want to be bigger than the box they've been put in. It comes back around to them just wanting their friends/family to be nonjudgmental. They just want to be a human among humans, recognized as the individual person they are. If you treat them as an individual and don't make a lot of assumptions about their needs/wants, you'll probably do just fine.

Anyway, since I don't have any links, I hope that helps. You can ask me specific questions.
Appreciate you writing this out and this is helping to provide some insight. It's one thing when theoretical, it's another when it's someone near and dear. Anyhoo, my goal is to be as support and drama free as possible. Thus far, I'd probably grade myself a "C" for no obvious mis-steps but still clueless. Being a punk rock back in the early 1980's gave me a preview to many alternative lifestyles that are a lot more mainstream today.

Just as an aside, Names are relatively easy, but it's easy to slip on pronouns for someone that has been x for 20 years and now is y.

In the Chinese spoken language, it is straight forward as the same term is used for he/she. Also the key players in this have Chinese names that are non gender specific.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by China Guy View Post
Appreciate you writing this out and this is helping to provide some insight. It's one thing when theoretical, it's another when it's someone near and dear. Anyhoo, my goal is to be as support and drama free as possible. Thus far, I'd probably grade myself a "C" for no obvious mis-steps but still clueless. Being a punk rock back in the early 1980's gave me a preview to many alternative lifestyles that are a lot more mainstream today.

Just as an aside, Names are relatively easy, but it's easy to slip on pronouns for someone that has been x for 20 years and now is y.

In the Chinese spoken language, it is straight forward as the same term is used for he/she. Also the key players in this have Chinese names that are non gender specific.
Yes, it's a bit difficult to cover all the bases because "genderfluid" and "non-binary" are not strict terms. They may mention some others, "genderqueer", or also, "agender". These are all similar concepts and many of them mean "I just don't know how I fit into society's idea of gender" in regular layman's terms. They're for the people that don't really feel like society's idea of a woman or society's idea of a man 100% of the time. So every person who uses these terms is different and has their own personal take on what these words mean to them. I can't give a lot of blanket statements because some of them won't be true.

I too find the pronoun thing hard for people I have known for a long time. Some didn't ask for a change until after they turned 30. That's a long time for me to have used one word and now have to move to a different word. It's way easier with fresh, new people. It's just a thing you have to work at and eventually it'll become reflex to use the correct one. But all you need to do if you slip up is just do a quick apology, use the right pronoun, and move on. A big show about apologizing is just uncomfortable. I think what means the most to people is using the correct pronoun/name when you aren't talking to them. When you're talking to someone else entirely and you use the correct pronouns. That means you're not just doing it for show when the person in question is around. Not "talking behind their back" so to speak. Word gets through the grapevine if uncle says "she" to your face but says "he" to your mom, and that hurts.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:35 AM
China Guy is offline
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Macca26, again, appreciate you adding this level of detail.

I may slip occasionally on pronouns, but not guilty of using the correct pronoun to someone's face and then being a passive aggressive dickhead that deliberately uses the wrong pronoun behind their back. I can only imagine the feeling of betrayal and level of hurt that would convey.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:36 PM
China Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by Radcliffe View Post
A Young Adult fiction book that helped me to wrap my brain around the concept a little bit is Symptoms of Being Human - Jeff Garvin
Appreciate the recommendation. It was a pretty good YA page turning read. Gave a perspective on the concept.

I going to discuss with my eldest if the assault scene might be too disturbing for younger sister to read. Regardless, it was helpful for me to read at least.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by China Guy View Post
Appreciate the recommendation. It was a pretty good YA page turning read. Gave a perspective on the concept.

I going to discuss with my eldest if the assault scene might be too disturbing for younger sister to read. Regardless, it was helpful for me to read at least.

There is a fair amount of pretty decent YA out there dealing with trans related issues. It might not interest you so much, precisely, but perhaps the kids.

Here is another book I really liked. This one is more so "gender nonconforming" than what you specifically asked for, though.

Girl Mans Up - M E Girard


Best wishes on the continued search
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