Storify: The Gender Binary Is False

Storify is shutting down in May and has informed users that we have to migrate our content elsewhere if we wish to save it. This is one of my old threads.

The Gender Binary Is False... but binary genders still exist!

Alright, apparently I'm going to be trapped on twitter talking about gender today, so here is a thread about The Gender Binary.

The Gender Binary is the idea that there are only two (hence "binary") genders to choose from: man and woman. This Gender Binary is false in the sense that nonbinary people exist. I exist as a nonbinary gender, ergo there are more than 2 options. QED.

HOWEVER, the two genders that make up "The Gender Binary" (man and woman) still exist. My nonbinary existence doesn't negate those genders. A lot of people have misunderstood "The Gender Binary Is False" to mean "The Binary Genders of Man and Woman Don't Exist". "The Binary Gender Is False" means there are MORE than the "big 2" (man and woman) to choose from. It doesn't mean the "big 2" don't EXIST.

There is also a thing people do where they decide that everyone has their own unique individual gender and no two genders are the same. This is incredibly hostile to trans people! It means I can't identify as a "demigirl" if someone else has that word. The framing of "custom gender for each person" means trans women don't share a gender with cis women, for example.

"Everyone has their OWN gender, dude! Groovy!" sounds super socially aware and educated and inclusive, but it's actually massive erasure. There are many, MANY people whose gender fit into the Big 2 (man and woman), and we call those "the binary genders" for shorthand. Calling man and woman "binary genders" separates them from all the many, MANY "nonbinary genders" for now.

So when we say The Binary Gender Is False, we are saying nonbinary people EXIST. We are NOT saying binary gender people are nonbinary. To say binary gender people (men and women) are nonbinary is to literally deny the genders of trans men and trans women. Don't do that!


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