Things You Shouldn’t Ask Nonbinary People (and some things you should!)

MatthewsPlace.com
Jan 13 · 3 min read

by Emil Tinkler

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via VeryWell Mind

Not everyone is educated about LGBTQ people or how to interact with us let alone the more “obscure” identities like Nonbinary. Of course, some people are going to be curious and want to ask questions. To those of you who don’t know much about nonbinary people, not every nonbinary person will be willing to answer your questions or be your walking dictionary — as that is a lot to ask of someone. It is also important to remember that all nonbinary people are different and will have different experiences of gender compared to one another. Even for those of us who are willing to spend the time to educate you, there are still questions that are just downright disrespectful to ask and things that are rude to say.

  1. Do not ask us what gender we were at birth.
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  1. I would also recommend not to ask us how we have sex or anything like that.

As for questions you should ask nonbinary people, I would say the most important one to ask is what pronouns they use. Like I said before, all nonbinary people are different, so we all use a variety of different pronouns.

Some of us use gendered pronouns like He/Him/His or She/Her/Hers. Some of us use They/Them/Theirs as a gender-neutral option. Some of us may use neopronouns like Xe/Xem/Xyrs or create their own. There are even some nonbinary people who use fluid pronouns and the preference they have for the pronouns you use for that individual could change from day to day — which is why I always recommend you ask! I would say almost all of us would be very happy to share our pronouns with you. If you are confused about how to use the requested pronouns, I would also say it is acceptable to ask the person to explain how to use them as that is much better than accidentally misgendering someone.

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Most importantly, I recommend that you do your own research! There are vast amounts of resources online to use to educate yourself about LGBTQ people. Some very reputable sources would be GLSEN or the Trevor Project. There will be some bad resources as well, so make sure to check many different sources and a good rule of thumb is not to listen to those who call themselves “Exclusionary.” The name really says it all. Being a good ally for nonbinary takes a lot of work but these steps can help you get started.

About the Author:

Emil Tinkler is a 21 year old college student living in Central Florida. They are a gay nonbinary person. Emil is a psychology major and a humanities minor. They want to be a therapist one day and help trans kids access medical care, and they love Harry Potter, Bad Suns, and LGBTQ activism. Emil was Vice President of the LGBTQ group on their campus for a year, and will continue to keep activism close to their heart in everything they do.

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MatthewsPlace.com is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email sara@matthewshepard.org

Matthew’s Place

MatthewsPlace.com is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email sara@matthewshepard.org

MatthewsPlace.com

Written by

MatthewsPlace.com is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email sara@matthewshepard.org

Matthew’s Place

MatthewsPlace.com is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email sara@matthewshepard.org

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