Rough draft minus audio clips. Breaking the binary of students
DISCLAIMER: This is a very rough draft composed of all the sections I have completed to rough satisfaction. I am still processing some sections and creating others. Any sections that relate to my interviews are absent as I am still editing the audio to be clips. I am also thinking of rearranging some of the sections so this order is tentative.
College can be a time to fulfill self exploration but how much does UCSB help with that? Trans and non-binary recognition and support is something our world is still working on in many ways and it’s still not safe in a lot of areas in the world. College campuses have a semi-reputation of being places where you will be supported and can take part in activism but they also can be very gendered. From restrooms to dorms to professors that insist on using ‘his or hers’ and ‘he/she’ in work, it can be a minefield of exclusion.
In cases like UCSB, the college is advertised as a very inclusive school where you CAN partake in activism and be yourself freely. This advertising can create hope and expectation of safety and community for minorities. In my case, it created an idea that my identity will be respected and there will be accommodations and support for me being non-binary.
I identify as Agender which is a term most people don’t know or understand so I typically just go by non-binary. Agender is basically a term that describes someone who does not identify as any gender at all. I usually explain my gender by saying “imagine you are looking at a line that is the gender spectrum. One end is male and the other end is female. Now imagine a dot off to the side that is not connected or close to the line at all. That’s agender”.
Transgender. It’s a term that many people have heard, fewer know, and even less understand. But what about non-binary? Well, it’s even less known than transgender. Transgender is a term which describes someone who does not identify as the gender they were born in to. That could mean someone was born female but identifies as male or the other way around but it also means that someone could be born female or male and identify as non-binary. Non-binary is always transgender but transgender is not always non-binary.
In order to have an understanding of what non-binary means, you have to understand what the gender binary is. The word binary means something composed of two things or something having two parts. When someone refers to the gender binary, they are referring to male and female. Non-binary defines any gender identity that does not fall within the binary of male and female. One can be considered non-binary if they identify as some part out of just male or female.