A “Non-binary” Moment

This wasn’t what I planned for my second post, but one of those magical writing moments just happened, and since I now have a platform for sharing them, I thought, “well, just why the hell not?”

Magical writing moments look like this for me:

  1. I see something that moves me. no. something that shoves me, to an extreme emotion–anger or tears, or angry tears (as tonight). Happy emotions also apply but are not on my mind tonight.
  2.  I know what I want to say/have to say about it.
  3.  I am calm enough, somehow, to actually say it.

    Tonight I had the added benefit of being able to address the words and questions to the appropriate individual, because it’s someone I love and trust, and I did. But..

  4. I’m left feeling hungover because these words are not far enough away from me–they are out OF me, but they are not out IN THE WORLD where they need to be.

So here goes experiment #2, I guess:

The following is my Facebook comment in response to a friend’s post on non-binary gender identity. Without naming her or quoting her post, I need to list a few things she says for context:

  • she asks if switching the peels of an apple and banana will make them the opposite fruits (wrapping banana in apple peel and vice versa)
  • she asks what non-binary “even means” (I said I wouldn’t quote, but I find this necessary for emphasis and is not exactly a direct quote)
  • she calls it–the non-binary label, and, by implication at least, the idea–illogical

My response:

A binary is something with only two options: black white, right wrong. Non-binary then is simply the allowance of gray-area or relativism.
We all, whether we believe or admit it, live in non-binaries.
All it really is, my beautiful, faithfilled, loving friend, is the acknowledgement that there is no strict definition that covers every contingency.
In this case, and because this group of people has chosen this word to represent themselves, that there is not one thing that equals “woman” and one thing that equals “man.”

I (personally) fail to see how this is any different from saying there is one thing that equals beauty or love, or, let’s use your apples and bananas. How many varieties of just those two fruits are available at any grocery?

What really baffles me, however, and I say this to you in so much love my heart spills over, is why anyone else thinks it’s their business? Who cares how someone else identifies? Of what consequence is it? I say this to you specifically because I know how much love you have in your heart, [name]; I know-have seen and felt first hand-how you touch people. So I know, from you it isn’t a ignorance/intolerance/misunderstanding/fear of difference/hatred soup. And I genuinely want to know, and feel safe asking you, why does it matter?

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