An Open Letter About My Gender

Subject: An Open Letter About My Gender
From: Lazarie Elliott
Date: 31 Dec 2018

Hello readers,

Understanding what it means when I say I am non-binary might be a little difficult at first but I can assure you that it isn’t a new concept or as complicated as it sounds.

Lots of cultures all over the world have terms for enby (non-binary) people and have had them for thousands of years. While each experience is unique, essentially an enby person either identifies with neither male nor female (third gender), no gender at all (agender) or might even identify as a fluctuation on a gender spectrum (genderfluid).

Personally I would say the best term for me is probably third gender or something between the binary. Neither hyper masculine or feminine, rather some mixture of the two.

Some non-binary people prefer their own letter in the LGBT acronym which is generally the “Q” (queer) tacked on at the end, many however (like me) classify themselves under the T as trans.

Like a lot of trans men and women some non-binary people will seek a form of medical transition to help affirm their identity by aligning their bodies with their mind. For me this means weight loss aided by low-level testosterone to balance out the distribution for an over-all more androgynous appearance.

In addition I also plan to have a generous breast reduction or possible double mastectomy because my chest is the source of most of my gender dysphoria (or gender related anxiety).

However medical transitions are not a requirement for anyone and neither is dysphoria. Actually a lot of transgender and non-binary people can be comfortable with their bodies without any kind of surgery or hormones. I am not one of them.

I also want to add that being non-binary and/or transgender is not the same as being intersex (having biological properties of both sexes). You can absolutely be intersex and identify as enby and/or trans, however these are a perception of one's gender while sex is simply defined by one's biology at birth; genitals do not equal gender. You can be intersex and identify with a binary gender too.

There is no designated appearance for a non-binary person, many may express themselves through their clothes and hair while others do not. Personally I like my asymmetrical under-cut and pastel button ups. But I may still on occasion wear something feminine, do my make-up or paint my nails.

Pronouns are another example of the uniqueness of enbies, some prefer binary pronouns while others like to use “they/them”. I have no preference (at least at this time) and that’s ok too.

However my name (Lazarie) as it is for many non-binary and transgender folks - is very important to my transition. I chose something that for me embodies my identity as neither feminine or masculine and I ask that it is respected. It will be my legal name soon and I will no longer use anything else outside of specified circumstances. Obviously mistakes are okay, it will take everyone time; please just correct yourselves and move on.

I will also share have been very lucky to have my husband's support throughout my self discovery. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case, I count my blessings. We have decided that until our son is older he will simply know me as his mother but I am confident we will raise an open-minded and progressive-thinking child together.

Lastly I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read this and if you have additional questions or would like resources feel free to contact me. I am very open about being an activist and providing information - though it should be known not all members of the LGBT community are comfortable in that role or with the emotional labor it takes to educate others.

- Lazarie