How many times have you clicked on a little box stating “other” on a chat server? How many times have you had to force someone or something into a little binary box? A study finds that about 2.7% of Minnesota teens answer yes to the question: “Do you consider yourself transgender, genderqueer, gender-fluid or unsure of your gender identification?”
The problem as of right now is people lack labels. The binary codes of our world today do not adequately describe what people consider themselves to be. Humans are unique and complex creatures; why do we need to restrict them to a dull boy/girl pattern? Why wouldn’t, no, why shouldn’t gender be as complex and unique as humans are?
Humans like to categorize themselves. For centuries we have slapped labels onto everything, from civilizations to forms of life. Moreover, we have just two measly labels for such a complex idea?
The problem with the lack of labels is that people cannot express themselves adequately. Without being able to express themselves, people become uncomfortable in their skin. That same Minnesota study from above finds that teens with non-binary conforming genders have “significantly poorer health” than their cisgender identifying peers. This study shows that teens who question their gender do not have good mental health and not having proper options to express themselves could be a significant factor in this.
People opposing non-binary labels say that having more than two labels will be too complicated and unwieldy. This argument is not valid. We are all used to being able to judge and determine someone’s gender only by looking at their appearance. This way of going about isn’t practical, seeing as how many people could pass as the other gender, and it does not take into account that many people do not conform to the gender they present with.
This practice is outdated, and we should treat it as such. An additional idea as to what we could do is to make it more socially acceptable to create terms for what people identify with for themselves, and identify with labels that are outside the norm.
Being straight and cisgender is the norm in our world, but that is not what we need. We need to look past these old ideas. We need to move forward and embrace the very things that make you and I different in the first place. A world where everyone is the same is not a world at all.