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CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE

NON-GENDERED

Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure

 

 

TERMINOLOGY: - I do not have a ‘gender identity’. Why is there an ongoing failure to get it right?

 

I’ve said very little about this before - until quite recently. Because it was hard enough to get the issue of non-gendered identity - human identity outside the gendered societal structure – onto a stable political platform where the issue could be taken forward, and although it was always with much reluctance I resisted the inclination to risk further complication through being critical when references began to materialise that did acknowledge the fact that some transpeople do not fit neatly into a gendered social model comprising male versus female. But I am no longer prepared to remain silent when the content of what I see and hear leaves me feeling little or no better than if no reference had been made at all. Because it would appear that many organisations and individuals purporting to be supportive of the diversity of the transpopulation or those who claim an inclusive mandate either give scant regard or just have no perception of what it is to be non-gendered.

 

Is it really so difficult to comprehend that a non-gendered identity is not a ‘gender identity’?

I find reference from a whole range of sources that acknowledge the fact that some within the transpopulation do not identify as male or female and then go on to bracket this valid human identity as a ‘gender identity’ or ‘gender diverse’ or something equally inappropriate.

 

Elementary lesson number one: The gendered societal structure comprises two genders: male and female. An identity that is neither male nor female is not a ‘gender identity’. It is an ‘identity’.

 

Core identity’ is acceptable, and so is ‘personal identity’ or just ‘identity’ but not ‘gender identity’. It is not appropriate to reference the non-gendered identity as ‘gender identity’. It is nonsensical terminology in that it is an obvious contradiction. And such careless misuse of reference automatically excludes non-gendered human beings from any processes or initiatives where the objective is assumed to be the advancement of fundamental human rights for all transpeople.

 

The most common overarching reference for LGBT initiatives used by various governments, agencies, NGOs and other human rights and campaign groups is ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’ often abbreviated to ‘SOGI’. The use of this supposed catch-all term is discriminatory in that non-gendered human beings are excluded through inappropriate terminology from processes that claim to support all LGBT. With ‘SOGI’ there is the inference that all humanity is gendered.

 

I would like to believe the reason that terminology has not moved forward and progressed in order to accommodate issues that have more recently found a platform is there remains very limited public exposure and consequentially there is still a fundamental lack of knowledge even where some level of awareness might reasonably be assumed (from trans and LGBT organisations for instance).

 

So is the continued reference to non-gendered as ‘gender identity’ down to ignorance or laziness? Either way, it is discriminatory, a factually incorrect misuse of terminology and not acceptable.

 

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered.


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Christie Elan-Cane
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