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10 Quick Tips On Writing Non Binary People

All about Non Binary People

Lots of Bang2writers tell me they are interested in writing transgender characters, but perhaps don’t know much about non binary people … Enter Ugla!

Ugla is non binary and the co-director of My Genderation, as well an author and trans advocate.  These great insights into what being non binary means, as well as its history and context, will help you on your way.

Ugla and their partner Fox are currently fundraising for their documentary film Inverness Or Bust. Make sure you check out their project at the bottom of this post and please pass it on to your friends and followers. Now, over to Ugla …

1) Non binary refers to people who don’t identify exclusively as men or women

This means they can identify as both, fluid in between or somewhere completely outside the binary construct of gender. MORE: 3 Top Tips To Write Awesome LGBT Characters

2) Non binary people aren’t a new phenomenon

They’ve been around for as long has modern human civilisation! There are many depictions of non-binary people throughout history and in different cultures all around the world. 

3) Gender identity and gender expression are two different things

Gender identity refers to who you are and how you experience your gender, where as gender expression is how you choose to express yourself outwardly, i.e. in a feminine way, masculine or androgynous. Anyone can play with expression such as make-up and clothes, and that doesn’t change how they experience their gender identity.

4) Being non binary is different to denouncing stereotypes or being gender non-conforming

Non binary is a gender identity, just like being a man or a woman. Anyone can denounce stereotypes, express themselves differently and do things not typically associated with their gender – none of this erases how they experience their gender and what gender fits their experience.

5) Non binary generally falls under the transgender umbrella

This refers to those who aren’t the gender they were assigned at birth, even though there might be individual non-binary people who don’t identify as trans. It’s important to remember that everyone’s different and respect what suits each and every one! MORE: How To Write Better LGBT characters 

6) Don’t be afraid

When writing about non-binary people it’s important to establish why the character is there and how you can make their depiction as authentic as possible. Look up some non binary people, listen to their experiences, get in touch with them – involve them your process! This will make your writing so much better and more reflective of non binary people.

7) Remember diversity

The stereotype of a non binary person is often a thin, white, able-bodied, androgynous person that walks the line of gender in terms of expression. But being non binary is so much more than that, and it’s important to remember that non binary people come in all shapes and sizes like everyone else!

8) Non binary people often use gender neutral pronouns

This is usually the singular they/them/theirs, which has existed in the English language since the 13th century. Make sure that you are establishing this properly and underline the importance of recognising different pronouns. 

9) Non binary people can have a medical transition and still be non binary!

Medical transitions are not exclusive to transgender men and transgender women. Everyone’s journey and relationship with their body is different.

10) Be kind!

Non binary people need more positive representation, so if you can help amplify our voices in a simple, positive and light-hearted way, that’s going to mean so much to non binary people, and allow the reader to get an insight into our lives. MORE: Top 10 Links To Help You With Characterisation

Wow, thanks Ugla!

Some brilliant information for writers there. Do check out Ugla and Fox’s film below, I think it sounds fascinating and important. Please donate if you can … But if you can’t, please share this article to your profiles and pages to them spread the word and hit their target. Thanks!

About The Film

Inverness or Bust is a documentary about a road-trip that a group of transgender people took in the 1970’s to visit a sympathetic doctor in Inverness, Scotland.

The group had heard the head of an asylum in Scotland wanted to put together a medical team to help transgender people. They decided to hit the road and go meet with him. 

In this documentary we are hitting the road again, taking a trip down memory lane, with some of the core members. Along the way they will reminisce on what it was like to be a transgender person in 1970’s UK, what this journey meant to them and reflect on how far we’ve come, what has changed and what still needs to change. 

Preserving transgender history is more important now than ever as our stories are rarely told and kept. This year marks 45 years since that faithful journey. The original members of the group are mostly 70+, with some of them having already passed away. We want to honour their memory and preserve this part of transgender history by taking the trip once again, allowing different generations of transgender people to connect and share their stories. 

CONTRIBUTE HERE and/or please pass on to your friends and followers.


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