“It gave us more freedom to be and do who and what we wanted.”

“It gave us more freedom to be and do who and what we wanted.”

Multimedia Journalist // Portfolio

In most societies, the gender and sexuality binary are solid as stone, taught to us from a young age and assigned at birth. Pink or blue, man or woman: For too many, one’s genitalia determines sex and, consequently, who they’re attracted to and what traits they embody. But those constructs are not set in stone; they are fluid and ever-evolving, and have been that way throughout history.

Today, more young people than ever are coming to believe that gender and sexuality binaries are outdated concepts. And as more people come out as non-binary, they’re forging new kinds of relationships where gender constructs that once dictated the rules of courtship are made less meaningful. Below are three accounts from people in their 20s who have come out or had partners come out as non-binary during relationships, and the pleasantly surprising results that have followed.

Paige, 24

I am a non-binary trans femme who has been undergoing hormone treatment for two years. My partner and I have been together for three years. She calls herself a lesbian for the sake of convenience in a cisheteronormative setting. We’re in an open relationship, and she’s been with another partner for four years.

My partner wasn’t really surprised by anything I’ve told her about myself. She’s known me since before I came out and has said things like, “I kind of felt as if you weren’t a cisgender heterosexual man.” I was allowing people to call me a “man,” use “he” pronouns and so on, but I came out a few months into the relationship. (suite…)

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