posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 06:42 PM
I do struggle trying to grasp the idea of a gender spectrum/fluidity. Without sounding judgemental, I only truly understand binary gender and the
fact that some individuals (including children) are born the wrong sex which I empathise with. Recently I have managed to get past my knee-jerk
reaction on gender non-binary and have become more open to trying to understand this issue. Despite my own feelings, I respect the rights of adults
to identify and live as a non-binary.
I was quite interested to hear a 20 minute radio interview with a 10 year old who identifies as non-binary. The story was reported on the BBC website
yesterday with a link to the BBC I-Player. For those outside the UK, Player FM have the recording as well so non-UK members can listen if you are
interested in this subject (link below).
Leo is 10 years old. For most of his life he's lived as a girl, but this summer he began to speak openly about his sense that this didn't feel
quite right. With research help for his parents, he's decided he is non-binary - in his case, both masculine and feminine - though for the moment he
dresses as a boy and has taken a male name.
For me personally, the interview raised a lot more questions than it answered.
1. Leo is very intelligent and has incredible insight for a 10 year old (talking about gender non-conforming and gender dysphoria and also stating
that it is NOT the most interesting thing about himself).
2. The mother seemed keen to allow Leo to explore/experiment with his identity. Leo (who was born female) decided to live as a boy and didn't feel it
was quite right so the mother went online to research identity. They discussed non-binary and Leo said it described him. He tried living with the
pronouns 'ze' and 'they' but did not like them. He is currently living as a male with male pronouns, with an understanding that this may change.
3. The mother talks about her other son 'coming out' as a vegetarian and how they accepted and accommodated this (I found the comparison a bit
4. The mother has discussed the possibility with Leo about being gay in the future (I find this odd as gender and sexuality are two separate issues
and a ten year old has no grasp of sexuality).
5. The mother does not mention medical guidance/intervention.
I was quite bright at 10 years old but did not have the depth of insight/maturity (on any subject or issue) that Leo has. Some children know they have
the wrong body and it is consistent and causes them significant distress. Leo is not like this. Leo has lived as both sexes and does not identify as
either. This is such a profound statement coming from a ten year old child and yet the mother seems so casual/matter of fact about the whole
There has been many threads on ATS relating to transgender children but I can't remember seeing or being able to find anything on non-binary children.
If you have time to listen to Leo I would be interested in what your take is on this.
BBC I-player (UK only)
BBC News Article
edit on 19-9-2016 by Morrad because: (no reason given)