The other day I came out on Instagram as non-binary, also called gender queer. It basically means that I don’t identify as either male or female.
Most of society doesn’t realise that gender is not binary. Everywhere I go it is assumed that I’m female. There’s no option other than male or female. It’s the norm, thank you very much patriarchy.
I did a video to explain a bunch of stuff about this. Have a watch, then continue reading below.
Mentioned in the video is an episode of the Dream Freedom Beauty podcast where Natalie is interviewing Celia Gold about gender issues. I highly recommend listening if you don’t understand gender issues or why it’s important. You can listen here.
Gender and Paganism
What I want to chat about a bit today is gender within the context of paganism.
Many of the different branches of paganism, such as Wicca and Druidry, view the world and spirituality through the lens of duality. Duality is just another word for binary. They both mean two.
Duality focuses on separating everything into masculine and feminine. I have concerns with this. It teaches us that we can only be one or the other. We can’t be both. We can’t have unity, because everything is separate.
This forced separation makes it difficult for people like me to connect with a spiritual path.
Each book I pick up speaks of only male or female. There’s no gender inclusive language used. And some authors refuse to even admit that trans people exist. If a person has a womb, then they are female. It seriously wants to make me scream.
Where’s the support within the pagan community for people like me?
When are pagan authors going to include everyone in their books, not just the male and female because they are comfortable and safe?
When are publishers going to insist on gender inclusive language in non-fiction books?
Ignoring Someone’s Gender is Just Wrong
I found a really good article about what you’re saying when you refuse to acknowledge someone’s preferred pronouns. Basically, you’re saying that you don’t value either the friendship or that person. You can find the article here. It is focused on transgendered people, but it is just as relevant for those of us who are non-binary. I hope you find it useful.
There’s another good article here on suggested pronouns.
If you want to be a good friend and/or a good ally, please respect people’s personal pronouns. Ask, we don’t mind. If you’re unsure, then just use their name. Don’t just assume based on what someone looks like or is wearing.
What are my pronouns?
At this point I don’t know. I’m still working all of this out. Just use my name, Jo or Johoanna.
My hope is …
My hope is that this video and blog post will create discussion in the pagan community. Even though people have been talking about gender since the early 2000’s, I only became aware that this topic even existed just over 12 months ago. So, I know others are also unaware. And still others are aware but prefer to remain ignorant because it’s uncomfortable to talk about gender, sex, and sexuality.
If you’d like to be a part of the conversation, then please leave a comment. If you write a blog post in response, please link to it so I can go read it. Thank you very much.