Describing Alignment

A guest post by @vergess.

What is a nonbinary person’s “Gender Alignment”?

You may have seen terms such as “male aligned” and “female aligned” floating around the internet in the last year or so. This is an attempt to label the paradoxical double0existence of many nonbinary people.

Because of the way their identities intersect with the gender binary, there are times when it is useful to categorize ourselves as having overlapping experiences with either men, or women. If there is a very large amount of overlap, such as if one is exclusively perceived as a man/woman and is therefore subject to the specific social backlash that effects those classes, it can be valuable to “align” ourselves with those classes, to have meaningful discussions about how oppression functions.

For example, although a cis man of color and a proxvir person of the same race will experience their own genders differently, and internalize very different narratives, both will be subject to the same external forces of male-specific racism (eg: assumption of violent intent, being perceived as adult even when children, etc).

Similarly, a cis woman with Complex PTSD (also called Borderline Personality) is going to be subject to a lot of vicious medical misogyny regarding her diagnosis and treatment. An ambonec person perceived (and misgendered) primarily as female will be subject to very, very similar, if not identical, medical abuses.

There is value in being able to say, “I am negatively affected by this specific set of gendered preconceptions, even though I am not actually of this gender.”

This was the intended purpose of terms such as “male aligned” and “female aligned.” To identify strong overlaps in external pressures and experiences, or to identify overlaps in personal identity with the experiences of another gender.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out that way.

What went wrong?

The same thing that always goes wrong when nonbinary people are being scrutinized: gender alignment language was, and is, used as a way to “prove” that nonbinary people are really male or female, and in many cases, to prove that nonbinary people are cis.

This sort of problem had cropped up occasionally before, but the uprise of anti a-spec discourse and the strong enforcement of the Same/Similar Gender Attraction model really brought us to a tipping point.

For many nonbinary people, terms like “woman aligned” or “man aligned” are no longer useful for their intended purpose: describing our experiences of gendered violence in society.

This is an especially brutal loss to Nonbinary people of color, for whom gendered violence is much starker than white people, but it negatively impacts us all. 

So what can we do about it?

What we always do: evolve and thrive.

As our language is taken from us, we endeavour to create new terms that will fulfill our needs without being subject to the same weaknesses as the older language.

We know, for example, that the inclusion of man, woman, male and female in alignment language created a dangerous opening for abuse by cis binarist and exorsexist people trying to erase our experiences and identities.

The obvious solution, then, is to create terms that fulfill this necessary language gap, but do not offer immediate recourse to “Hah! I knew you were a man/woman/cis person all along!” for those would silence and harm us.

With that in mind, after some group discussion, we would like to present a possible solution.

Gender Astronomy

Space is genderless. Of course it is. But simultaneously, many aspects of space are gendered, whether for artistic, religious, or cultural reasons. Likewise, nonbinary identities have long has associations with space, from modern xenogenders, to the mythological gods and heroes of old that are immortalized in constellations and pantheons.

With consideration to both that history, and the fact that these terms need to describe both that we are not of these genders, and yet that other people force those genders on us and create this experience, we propose the following terms.

Stellarian: With as many possible identities and presentations as there are stars in the sky, a Stellar Nonbinary Person, or Stellarian, would be someone who does not experience strong alignment with either binary gender, or who rejects such alignment.

Solarian: In many cultures and religious systems, the sun is associated with masculinity, and male energy. As a result, a Solar Nonbinary Person, or Solarian, would be someone who has similarities in identity or experience with men. The term functions as a less easily abused form of “male aligned.”

Lunarian: In equally many cultures, where the sun is man, the moon is woman and feminine energy. As a result, a Lunar Nonbinary Person, or Lunarian, would be someone who has similarities in identity or experience with women. It functions as a less easily abused term for “female aligned.”

Here’s to the non-binary adults trying to deal with the fact that they can’t be out at work.

Here’s to the non-binary adults who can’t even try to be out with their parents because they’re trying to keep things ok for the grandkids.

Here’s to the non-binary adults who say “Oh it’s ok, I’m used to gender-specific binary pronouns” and die a little inside.

Here’s to the non-binary adults who have learned not to care.

Here’s to the non-binary adults who really don’t care about pronouns.

Here’s to the non-binary adults who have to gender-binary themselves for PTA meetings and talking to business owners and government officials.

Here’s to the non-binary adults who feel lost and without community because so much of the vocal and out enby community is very young.

Here’s to the non-binary adults who don’t feel welcome in the trans community and aren’t part of the cis community.

Here’s to the non-binary adults who feel guilty about calling themselves trans because they don’t “feel trans enough” or that they don’t deserve to call themselves trans.

Here’s to the non-binary adults who don’t identify as trans without any guilt about it at all.

Conditional Acceptance is like living on a high wire every day, and “passing privilege” is a painful myth, one that can leave us feeling miserable and crushed and empty.

Love yourself and honor that living in the closet isn’t a privilege. It hurts, and it’s ok that it hurts. You didn’t do anything wrong, the world did.

What binding should NOT feel like

Okay so before I got my proper binder I had (stupidly) experimented with other methods of binding. At the time I thought they were fine because I didn’t know what a proper binder and safe binding felt like. So here’s a list of things binding should NOT feel like:

- Tingling pains across the breasts

- Feeling like you need to breath really hard to push out the binder when exhaling

- Dull or severe constant or semi-constant ache in breasts 

-  Feeling out of breath more than normal

- Mild or severe nipple irritation 

- Back pain from the pressure of the binder

If you experience two or more of these while binding for less than 6 hours at a time, then it’s almost certainly too tight or not a safe method. (of course binding varies from person to person but this was my experience). 

my daily struggle.

I feel so damn happy when people use the good pronouns. I hate it when people call me by my deadname. So yeah, i drew my piece of heaven, a galaxy far far away where everybody’s pronouns are respected. ♥

i always see these posts about feminine/masculine presenting nonbinary kids and that’s great!! but here to the enbys that

  • use they/them pronouns exclusively
  • use nounself pronouns or neopronouns but are actually afraid to admit it because they’re afraid that they’ll be made fun of
  • are actually made fun of because their name or pronouns or whatever they choose to go by are too ‘weird’ and ‘inconvenient’
  • literally do not care which pronouns you use
  • go by a gender neutral name, or two, or three
  • look so androgynously that strangers will stare at them in public trying to figure out if they’re ~male or female~
  • bind with a binder that is too big or wear only small breast forms so they only have a bit of chest
  • are intersex
  • make their own box at surveys were the only gender options are ‘male’ and ‘female’
  • have to make their own word describing their gender because the ones that exist don’t fit them
  • have transphobic parents that barely even understand the concept of binary trans ppl and have to educate them about nonbinaryness
  • have a neurodivergency or mental illness that influences their gender

it’s awesome y’all exist and continue to remain strong and mysterious in such a binary world!!

I don’t understand this whole “There are only two genders” rhetoric that gets spewed so often.

Like, do these people look at pet rabbits and scream “What are you?! A Cat or a Dog?!?!?!”

Or when they get handed a strawberry ice cream cone, freak out because “It is vanilla or chocolate!” 

Or refuse to ride in trains because “Car or Bike! Those are the only two real ways of travel!” 

Like, the world is not so simple that something as complicated as human identity can be boiled down to two simple categories?  

Kroger will offer transgender workers full health coverage

Midwestern supermarket chain The Kroger Co. will offer full health insurance coverage for transgender employees’ specific medical needs from next year, a company spokesperson confirmed to Fusion this afternoon.

Kroger made the announcement on Friday on the company’s internal social networking site:

We are excited to announce that The Kroger Co. has added transgender health benefits for eligible employees enrolled in an Anthem BCBS administered plan offered under the company-sponsored health insurance plan… Beginning January 1, 2016, medical procedures including surgery and drug therapy for gender reassignment will be covered up to a $100,000 lifetime maximum for eligible associates and their dependents.

Read more.

Honestly I’m totally loving this positivity for nb people who don’t “look non-binary”. I’m so into supporting femme presenting afab nb people and masc presenting amab nb people!!!!!! You’re all completely valid no matter how you chose to present and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!!!!

Today was an important day for me. I went to church dressed like this, dressed as the androgynous-presenting non-binary person that I am. I haven’t willingly gone to church in over a year as church has hurt me a lot. But today I went as me. Today I didn’t give a fuck about what people thought. Today I went for me.

Let's Get One Thing Straight...

Non-Binary people can look masculine
Non-Binary people can look feminine
Non-Binary people can be androgynous Non-Binary people can wear makeup
Non-Binary people can be all-natural
Non-Binary people can use male pronouns
Non-Binary people can use female pronouns
Non-Binary people can use any pronoun
Non-Binary people are in the LGBTQAP+
Non-Binary people can come out
Non-Binary people can be dysphoric
Non-Binary people can bind their chest
Non-Binary people are not broken
Non-Binary people are not freaks
Non-Binary people are not confused
Non-Binary people are not invisible
Non-Binary people are not false
Non-Binary people are transgender
Non-Binary people are real
Non-Binary people are valid
Non-Binary people are human
Non-Binary people want respect
Non-Binary people want inclusion
Non-Binary people want acceptance

M O D E L   C A L L !   

Hey folks!

We will be having a photoshoot in NYC/Brooklyn (exact dates tbd) for …. Spoiler alert…. our new flesh tone line of binders! 

We will have a wide array of shades so we need a diverse group of people, all shapes, sizes, and colors. Please don’t be shy, we are hoping to have this shoot portray our diverse and beautiful community of customers ☺️ We only ask that you do currently wear a gc2b binder and are able to work the camera! 💘💘💘

Please apply via our Craigslist ad and send all the required info. This will be a payed gig with a professional photographer and done in a photo studio so we will be moving quickly. Looking to shoot on the weekend of the 27th in NY so please only apply if you are free that weekend with flexibility and are in the NYC Brooklyn Jersey area. We are aiming to hire about 10 people so having the ability to transport yourself is a plus! We look forward to hearing from you guys and to launch the new line! More to come in the future! 

#gc2bthemovement 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

You can find the ad again here: