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Q&A with a non-binary healthcare worker

by Emily-Rose Payne about a month ago in Identity
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Q&A with a non-binary healthcare worker and their view on educating the youth about transgender and non-binary people.

Effy a trained healthcare and support worker in Kent, however, they also identifies as non-binary, a term that describes people who feel their gender cannot be defined by the margins of just female and male.

Since the age of nineteen, Effy has been non-binary. They view their nineteenth year of life as their year of transition and marked this significant occasion by changing their name, “getting rid of my birth name made me feel truly myself”, changing their name to Effy, a childhood nickname.

Can you tell me about your first feeling and experience about your identity?

Effy: When I was eleven, I started to have feelings my body was wrong for me, and it was really frightening because I had never been told about this feeling. I tried to explain to my Mum that my body felt wrong; I was an early bloomer, hitting puberty around ten.

My breasts felt weird and period was so strange; my Mum put it down to me not understanding my biology. As I got older, I started to think that I didn’t align with my body or how it had developing. From eleven to nineteen, I was convinced I was a male living in a female body; it was dreadful.

How did you realise you were non-binary?

Effy: When I was nineteen, I read a Vice article about what being non-binary was and I cried for three hours. I didn’t want to be a boy or a girl. I didn’t want to change my gender; I didn’t want to be anything.

I finally found a label that fit me, and it made me feel so much more comfortable in my own skin.

I came out to a few of my friends and I’ve lived openly as a non-binary person since that day. Being non-binary means I don’t have to conform to gender stereotypes, and I can live expressing myself freely; appearing physically as more masculine, feminine or androgynous to match how I feel on a specific day.

Do you think being taught about transgender and non-binary people at school would have helped you?

Effy: Definitely, I was never ever taught about it and that’s why I think I spent so many years in turmoil about body and not understanding those feelings.

Would you like to see these subjects taught at school?

Effy: I would love, love, love to see education about transgender and non-binary people in schools. I can’t even say ‘more education’ because I was never taught about it.

I think it should be a mandatory part of the curriculum to learn about the LGBTQA community as a whole; there are so many young people having the worst time trying to understand themselves and trying to normalise their feelings.

I would like for children to be taught about what it means to be transgender and non-binary. Non-binary is now recognised by the government as a gender; huge win for us. It was be great if schools touched on it because I had no idea what it was and that’s really scary for me as a young person.

What do you think the outcome would be if LGBTQA subjects were taught in schools?

Effy: I learnt about it purely because I’m part of the community. Straight CIS people [a term for people whose gender matches their sex assigned at birth] are less likely inclined to research these subjects and become allies because it doesn’t concern them.

If it was taught in schools, it’ll only breed a wider acceptance of LGBTQA people.

Identity

About the author

Emily-Rose Payne

I am a B2B journalist based in London. I'm using this space to share my work I have previously done in my spare time.

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