My pronouns are they/them, or just my name. You will hear people that I am very close to using other pronouns for me, but these are the pronouns that I would like most people to use. It’s really, really important to me that people use these, but I feel that I have yet to explain why in a way that really helps people to understand.
Often, when I talk about being non-binary, or using the pronouns they/them or just my name, people point out my masculine presentation. Although I do occassionally wear nail varnish, usually wear a fair amount of bracelets, rings, and necklaces, and almost always wear clothes from the ‘women’s’ section of the store (who doesn’t?!), I accept that a person with a beard, fairly bland clothing, and a flat cap, is often assumed to be male.
And that’s where the problem lies: assumptions. My natural home or affinity is certainly slightly nearer to the location ‘male’ than the location ‘female’. My body seems to work significantly better when it is regularly given testosterone, I really like my little beard, and I am acutely uncomfortable, to the extent of nausea and physical pain, when people use my old name or female pronouns to describe me. And yet, to assume that that means that I am a man is inaccurate, and means that you only glimpse the very surface of who I am.
For me, and please note that this is something I only say for myself, not for others who rightly form and describe their own identities in an infinite diversity of ways, my lived experience, embodiment, and characteristics lead me to feel that I am non-binary, not male. I believe that gendered stereotypes are just that, stereotypes, and yet they function.
So, having been socialised as female, finding that I am always talked over by men in board rooms, being the type of autistic who masks impeccably whilst knowing I shouldn’t have to, being naturally polite and quiet and conflict-avoident and having to wrestle with myself to speak up and out and not panic about what others think… Having lived through periods and sexual assault and teenage battles with makeup and being patronised and ignored… Loving sewing and playing the harp and whispering through images instead of shouting through words…
Having experienced all of that, I am absolutely sure that those things do not necessarily make a person a woman. But I am also absolutely sure that they do not necessarily make a person a man. Rather, they make me me. So, my name is Alex, and my pronouns are they/them or just my name. If you are confused or unsure, please ask, I neither judge nor bite.