By Danielle Oliver, Support Worker
Today marks the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) and every year the global community of sexual and gender minorities identifies one specific focus issue for the celebrations.
This year’s focus is on alliances for solidarity.
This serves as a reminder of the need for solidarity within the communities of sexual and gender minorities, as the rights of one specific group cannot be solidly secured if the rights of other groups are left unchallenged.
This gives us a great opportunity to focus on fluidity of gender, and more specifically non-binary identities which means neither identifying as male nor female.
To a lot of the population and even within the LGBT community this can be a foreign concept. However, to a lot of younger people the gender lines are dissolving and concepts of what is and isn’t masculine and feminine are also disappearing. This can only be good.
For future generations, the challenges of the past will not be there and the old binary gender stereotypes can look forward to working within non-traditional roles creating a more diverse and balanced workplace.
This can lead to relieving the pressure faced by many in the world who feel they are not living up to the binary stereotypes of the past. The old adage of fitting people in boxes is being shattered and rightly so. I wouldn’t want my child to be feel limited or pressured into something they just don’t want to do.
In a recent study, university leavers were asked to complete forms where they did not tick boxes but had to self-describe their own gender and sexuality. The results were very revealing – a large number of students did not prescribe to male or female, and around 49% described their sexuality as something other than heterosexual.
What is concerning on the back of this, is the fact that the majority of those people then go back in the closet around their gender and sexuality when going into the workplace. Are the younger generation just too free thinking or do they have a point?
I have a challenge for each and every one of you. How male are you? How female are you? These are the questions you are struggling with when you learn of non-binary people, I want to turn that on its head and get you ask those questions.
If you are still convinced that this is a fad or that only a minority of the world is like this, well think again as a number of high-profile celebrities now describe themselves as non-binary, including Ruby Rose (pictured above), Miley Cirus and Eddie Izzard. I don’t speak for non-binary people but I definitely don’t fit as 100% man or 100% woman. So ask yourself – who really does?