I Am the Non-Binary Boogieman

| Feb 8, 2016
The Artist D

The Artist D

I was non-binary before I knew that the binary existed. Little Artist D (we call him Lowercase D) playing with fabulously colored scarves and his friend’s mother’s high heeled shoes. He was a rebel before he knew that it was a rebellious act to simply be. No one ever handed me a vinyl copy of Ziggy Stardust and said, “Live it, learn it, love it.” Oh, but how I wish they had!

As I people watch from one decade to another I am always intrigued by the non-binary folks forming their own binary and pooh-poohing the new non-binary. The world of Transgender strikes me in this way. People are so crushingly forced to make up their mind between one way or the other that they don’t want to admit there are other avenues. Bypasses from male to female which lead to the great and encompassing Genderqueer.

Genderqueer (GQ), also termed non-binary or gender-expansive, is a catch-all category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities which are thus outside of the gender binary and cisnormativity. – Wikipedia

Jaden Smith in a Dress

Jaden Smith, in a dress. (OMG!)

I’ve known many people who are transgender and feel uncomfortable with the non-binary. Worse yet, they don’t know why. It’s usually thanks to the society  which has forced them to choose. Boy or girl, which will it be? We fight for transgender rights. For the right to be one or the other, but not both at the same time. Those genderqueers are unfortunately seen as “kind of ruining the movement.”

All of this as the masses freak out over Jaden Smith in a dress. “This is not Smith’s first time in a skirt,” touts one article. As if it’s important headline news when a boy or man steps into a skirt. Jaden allegedly just wants to throw on whatever he thinks is cool. He wants people to stop making a big deal about all of this gender induced clothing. Makes sense to me.

I was recently and continually obsessed with the American Horror Story Hotel television series. The transgender character of Liz Taylor played by Denis O’Hare meant the world to me. That is my kind of transgender person. A shaven bald Cleopatra with a penis giving absolutely No F*cks. Yet I didn’t catch any outrage about this portrayal like I did other transgender characters from Hollywood. I’m sure someone squeaked out something, but I didn’t catch any headlines! I didn’t hear anyone complaining that the part was not played by a “real transgender actor.” Is it because Liz was a horror show character? Was it because Liz stood so far outside the box that it was more of a joke?

Liz Taylor, American Horror Story

Liz Taylor, American Horror Story

That’s where I stand. I’m in the gender joke category with Liz. I’ve always looked at characters in fiction who people think don’t exist and I say, “I can relate.” This shouldn’t be a surprise. My childhood idols were Evil-Lyn, RuPaul and Jessica Rabbit. That’s real life to me.

I am with the non-binary. I do not wish to be man or woman. I just wish to be here. Some days I want to plaster my face with beautiful colors and others I’ll just be on the back of your Harley in my leather jacket. Then again I might be both at the same time. I am a joke to society overlooked like Liz Taylor and scoffed at like Jaden Smith. I’m ruining it for the binary. Thankfully.

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Category: Body & Soul, Opinion

About The Artist D!: The Artist D is a true raconteur and provocateur! He (or She) has been performing online since the mid 1990s. A relic from the cam show age before MySpace was any space. Author of In Bed with Myself, an autobiographical tale of transgenderism and Internet celebrity. You can hear Artist D every Saturday night on Up! All Night, a live weekly radio show unearthing the underground of art and opinion. Artist D is also the Executive Editor of Fourculture Magazine.

Comments (3)

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  1. lesleyanne says:

    People should be however they want but the reality is that 99+% of the human population identifies as binary – their bodies are in sync with their minds – so non-binaries are rare birds indeed. Luckily, via the internet, people can find others like themselves and in fact sometimes become celebrities of a sort. 🙂

  2. KoolMcKool says:

    I have no problem if you run with the non-binary
    Just do it with class, brains and style.
    Listened to Up All Night and I’d say you have it.