For post 3000, I thought it would be nice to finally finish the bigender comic I’ve been working on since… before I started this blog. So here it is!
Panel 1: Round smiley face that’s green on the right side and purple on the left. To the right is another face with irregular patches of purple and green. Captions read “Bigender people can feel split in two, or with two genders all mixed together”.
Panel 2: Face colored a blend of green and purple. To the right is another face with rectangular patches of green, purple, and the blend. Below are two faces, one with purple filling the lower third of the left side and green on the right side, and one that is mostly green with purple at the top. Captions read “The genders can be almost indistinguishable, or feel like they correspond to different mindsets, or be different strengths”
Panel 3: Purple face with an arrow pointing to a green face on the right. To the right is a face with purple filling the lower third of the left side and green on the right side. Below is a sequence of three faces directed with arrows: the first face is mostly green with purple at the top, the second face is mostly purple with green at the bottom, and the third face is mostly white with purple on the left and green on the right at the bottom. Captions read “Bigender people can switch between genders, or have a completely static gender, or have the strength of the genders change”
Panel 4: “The genders can be female, male, agender, polygender, or whatever else the person feel fits each part. What all bigender people have in common is they are TWO genders. Not just one or another; BOTH”. Gender signs are above each corresponding gender identity.
Panel 5: Bigender people can use any pronouns. Above is a speech bubble with many pronoun sets in different fonts.
Panel 6: A green stick figure with a face that is partially purple on the left and green on the right. To the right are two stick figures with a double-ended arrow between them, one green and one purple, each with a face that is purple on the left and green on the right. Captions read “A bigender person may choose to present as one gender, or switch back and forth”
Panel 7: Two stick figures, one green and purple, the other pink. Each has a face that is mostly purple with green on the bottom. Captions read “or present as a mixture, or something else entirely. But remember: Gender =/= Presentation, and they are always still bigender”
the words feminine, masculine, and androgynous are useful terms for a lot of people but you’re not obligated to use them for yourself. you can just wear what you want to wear and look how you want to look without adopting a specific term to describe your style.
[Image: Two light lime green color blocks on top of each other, each with white text. The text on the first block reads “There is only one way to look nonbinary”. The text on the second block reads “And that way is to look however you like”]
there are a million and one ways for a nonbinary person to look and none of those make them any more or less nonbinary. we all have different hairstyles, different clothes, different bodies, and just different ways of presenting ourselves in general. being nonbinary doesn’t mean you have to look a certain way or change anything about your appearance that you don’t want to change. you can look however you prefer to look and you are still as nonbinary as anyone else.
You are presenting, eyes are on you, and you have something important to say! Don’t! hide!
I used to be terrified of presenting. Here are some things that have helped me out massively, and made me a relatively confident speaker. I suppose that the key to these advices is to fake it ‘till you make it, and posture will help you to trick your body into thinking that this is not a dangerous and scary situation at all. This not a full guide, but just the things that have helped me out.
At least for me, standing confidently (even if you are totally faking it all) has given me the actual confidence to present. Here are a few things to pay attention to. Try to stand in your bedroom and practice standing like this:
Relax your shoulders. When you’re tense, you will automatically pull them up, which gives tension not only in your shoulders, but your back as well. Relax them, and you will start feeling more at ease.
Keep your feet a little bit apart, firm on the ground. Don’t stand with your legs against each other, as if a single push from someone could have you fall over. If you stand firmly, you’ll give the physical message to your audience ánd yourself that you will not be intimidated by them.
Chin up, eyes at the audience. Don’t ever look at the ground! You’re telling your message to a group of people, not to the dust mites. If it’s too scary too look at their faces, focus on the back wall of the room. Don’t stare at one point, but address the entire room. If there’s a teacher present, watch out not to focus on them! They’re often the only one to seem remotely interested, but don’t let that bother you and look at everyone.
Keep your arms relaxed at your sides. It’s easy to put them in your pockets, or play with a bracelet, or something alike. However, this can distract your audience, and it just looks nervous. If you still feel awkward with your hands like this, try to use your hands while talking, or see if you can have a remote or so you can hold.
Don’t lean on things. We’ve all seen the nonchalant student present like this, and they got downgraded for it. Yes, you should look relaxed, but don’t look like you don’t give a f*ck.
Some additional advice:
Try to keep the ‘uhm’ at bay. A short silence is much more effective than filling it with sounds that do not add anything. If you’re trying to think of what to say, it’s better to keep a short silence. Try to listen to a speech of, for example, Obama. He uses a lot. of. silences. See that it does not bother the listener at all.
Don’t read from your notes. Especially if you’re also using a PowerPoint. Prepare your presentation so well that you can tell the story in your own words, and that just keywords are enough. If you’re quoting, you can of course write the quote down. No one will mind you’re reading a quote.
Practice. This one relates to the previous tip, and to the extent to which you learn your text by heart. If you’re preparing your presentation, try to see how your text works when you’re speaking it out loud. Often, the text you have written down does not translate well to speaking, due to sentence structure, word choice, or length. By practicing you can figure out what does work.
Talk like you’re presenting to the person in the back. To you, what you’re saying makes 100% sense, but the person in the back probably can only hear 50% if you talk at speaking volume. Try to imagine their position and speak to them.
Record yourself. You’ll hear whether your volume is okay, if your sentences are fluent, and whether your tempo is right. Maybe you’ll also notice that you are actually saying um a lot, or find out you have used the same word 10 times. It may be confronting, but helpful.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
you’re not obligated to put a label on your presentation.
you’re not obligated to describe yourself as feminine, masculine, or androgynous.
you’re allowed to just wear what you want and look however you want without adopting a term for it. this is true whether your presentation is static or if it changes depending on what you’re feeling that day.
8.3.17 hello everyone! I’m feeling really weird today like I’m not really connecting to my surroundings as much as I usually do? I had a little bit of a wobble with eating early this week and found myself watching some videos that were not helping at all and doing my thing where on the outside and when I sit down I’m really really sad, but when someone talks to me I’m unusually cheerful just so noone notices. But I laugh while I say “I’m in a really bad mindset! How funny right!?” So I went and did some work at the student union.
I’m going back to London next weekend to see my family and friends for a couple days because I don’t have any assignments for a little while. How I miss the skyscrapers! xxx emily