Navigating Binary Society… without going nuts

#NBFolks Twitter Chat Sunday 20-09-13 20-00 BST

Topic for 20th September 2015: Navigating binary society… without going nuts (ideally).

8pm BST, Sunday, using #NBFolks Twitter hashtag. 😀

I’m seeking a co-leader for this session as I’ll be at an in-person nonbinary meet-up at the time of the chat – I’ll still be there, but on my phone and perhaps not quite as much as usual, so some support would be great! It doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment – unless that’s something you want – but someone to post the questions every ten minutes or so and keep an eye on the conversation, retweeting great contributions and initiating further discussion points, would be amazing.

Email me, DM me or comment on this post if you’re interested.

Edit: The spectacular @moriings stepped up and will be leading this week’s session. Thanks a million, Morgan!


It’s annoying, inaccurate and often outright hurtful, and it pains me to say it, but the fact is that most of us have to navigate a society which is based on a binary model every day.

How we deal with those challenges defines us to the people with whom we interact, often to an unfair extent. Politely asking for the right pronouns might be seen as challenging, awkward or rude, for example. And let’s not even start on gaining access to hormones, surgery, appropriate counselling services, or anything else with a medical gatekeeper (no, that’s wrong, let’s start on exactly that).

This topic was supposed to be last week’s discussion theme, but in the wake of the UK government’s response to Ashley’s petition we talked about our specific detriment instead, letting off some steam about how much of a betrayal the government’s stance that we face “no specific detriment” is. We’re bringing it back this week because the two nicely tie together. The #specificdetriment debacle is not over, and we can’t allow the Twitter tag to die, but this week I’d like to broaden the conversation in #NBFolks to chat about how we personally cope with the binary society we’re in.

Whether you’re in or out, out to just a few, or still figuring out how to define yourself to come out – if defining it at all is even right for you! – all nonbinary people are welcome to join the chat at 8pm BST on Sunday 20th September. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and support one another; the points below are no more than jumping-off points to set you thinking. It’s unlikely you’ll get your full answer to some of them into one tweet, in fact, so pick and choose as much as you’re comfortable with sharing!

This week’s questions:
Q1. In what, if any, circumstances do you always state your gender? When, if ever, would you absolutely not?

Q2. How do you tackle people asking you questions about it? Do you take the stance that you’re not a Nonbinary 101 class for their personal benefit, or are you happy to help?

Q3. What challenges do you face in your day-to-day life, such as work, school, or home?

Q4. What challenges have you faced in accessing services, such as the library, doctors, dentists, counselling or other support for any reason (not just gender-related, if you’re comfortable sharing such details), police if you’ve ever needed their assistance or been approached for any other reason, etc.

Q5. Recommend a product, service, online store or real-world location which you think has dealt with nonbinary issues in a significantly good way. What did they do?

Q6. If you could give your younger self, your future self, or a fellow nonbinary person (pick any or all that are appropriate to your circumstances!) one piece of advice for navigating a depressingly binarist society, what would you say?

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