Tag Archives: past chat topics

Gendered Spaces

At the time of writing, I’m sitting at a charity boxing match (or rather, a couple of dozen boxing matches): It’s billed as white-collar boxing, and the idea is that ordinary (albeit, it seems, impressively fit) white-collar folks get up and fight other ordinary people with all the proceeds going to Cancer Research. It’s a noble cause, and though the speakers immediately behind this table are putting me at serious risk of going deaf, an enjoyable night.

But this, of course, is just one of many thousands of gendered spaces (and that’s sidestepping the classist implications of ‘white-collar’ boxing existing in the first place). The whole arena is dripping in testosterone; there are the stereotypical ‘ring girls’ with the “Round 2”  cards in bunny-girl leotards and six-inch heels; there are both male and female fighters, but paired on their assumed genders. And I dare bet if one of the assumed females had said she’d rather fight an assumed male boxer, she wouldn’t have been allowed.

And that’s to say nothing about training. I’m thinking this looks sort of fun, and maybe a good way to get in shape – but could I handle training in a segregated team based on my genitals? (Could I make myself get over that if it’s for charity?) And now I’ve started wrapping myself up in all sorts of confusion about binary sexism and why are they split out this way anyway, which is… tangentially relevant, but probably wasn’t my point.

This, plus a reader suggestion about feminine spaces – which we’ll cover in more detail in a future chat – has led to this week’s discussion topics. As ever, they’re just there to get you thinking…

Q1) Do you voluntarily exist in a ‘gendered’ space, such as a gym, club, perhaps even profession (per stereotypes)?

Q2) If/when you have to exist in a gendered space, how do you handle it? Pass? F*** expectations? Other?

Q3) Is there ever a need for gendered spaces (especially in sports), perhaps for safety or fairness reasons? Or not at all?

Q4) Do you have any anecdotes or advice for navigating such things which you could share?

Staying in… and coming out

#NBFolks Twitter Chat Sunday 27-09-13 20-00 BST (1)

Topic for 27th September 2015: Staying in… and coming out.

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


You’ve come out once at least, nonbinary friends – to yourself. Even if you’re not 100% certain what label (or labels), if any at all, is or are quite right for you, you’ve figured out one important thing and, hopefully, internalised it. You’re nonbinary in some way. Awesome!

Now the hard part… Telling everyone else.

Some of us are lucky to have really supportive friends, work colleagues, or family (jackpot if you hit all three). Some aren’t so lucky. And for some, it’s downright unsafe to be themself.

This week’s topic is coming out – or staying in: we’ll discuss safety, practicality, maybe even morality and if Lex gets lucky, a little bit of philosophy.

One thing to bear in mind, perhaps more so in this chat than our usual weekly get togethers, is that what you post on Twitter is public. If you’re in the unfortunate situation that being out may be unsafe, please, please think before you write. You can contact chat mod Lex via email or DM any time if you’d like to talk privately.

Here’s this week’s discussion topics. As always, they’re really just there to get you thinking – we’ll cover thus and much more on Sunday…

Q1a) If you’ve come out to at least one other person, how did it go?

Q1b) If you haven’t, do you have a plan for how to do it?

Q2a) If you’ve come out, what was the best experience you’ve had?

Q2b) Whether you have or not, have you thought about how to keep yourself safe and sane when you do? Share any advice!

Q3) Trigger warn if you feel it’s necessary: What was your worst coming-out experience?

Q4) Do you have any advice or suggestions on how we can help ourselves, eg by helping others understand nb genders, etc?