Search

Living outside two binaries: the intersections of gender and body.

When you're outside not only the binary of gender normality, but body image it can do some real damage.



Growing up for most of my life, I subjected myself to emotion-led instances of binge eating in order to deal with a lot of my problems; many of them relative to my gender and sexual identities that I had begun to discover and develop at a young age... Some I am still working out till this day.


Binge eating isn't usually associated with gender; trust and believe when I say that I never considered that my past with binge eating would have any relevance on my gender identity, or rather its expression. I guess that's something that creeps up on you that emotional outcomes and past experiences have a way of re-entering your life in the weirdest or most beautiful of ways.


For context into my life before continuing on, I take considerable time in my schedule to exercise consistently and eat as healthy as possible, but I still have the struggle of dealing with my body type even after years of coordinating a healthy balance.


Living my life now, as both plus-size and non-binary consistently has its own societal challenges and discussions around both are intricately woven in a way in the media and within publics and politics. These discussions being made are most-if not always exclusive of the people they discuss; our health is always called into question if you're plus size on the physical aspects whereas on the flip side whenever I hear conversation by more traditionalist people in the media about non-binary people its always revolved around the mentality of it as a gender identity .There's always a push to distinctly demoralise the two, and having both as part of your identity means you don't get to hide in society.


Things such as dating is even more complex, especially in the LGBTQ+ community where we're already seeing a lot of discrimination of both transgender and non-binary people in the dating scene. Amplify this with the long standing and historic fat-shaming in the LGBTQ+ community, someone like me is always made to feel othered or on the outside looking in


Speaking about the material perplexities of things such as clothing or skincare, both of which have drastic effects on my confidence as a non-binary person I feel like there is a constant neglect for people living in this sphere of identity.


Whenever I've felt dysphoric about my gender expression, it's never been because of the clothes I wear, but that I know how I they appear on me given my more pudgy body. I look around at a lot of people in the non-binary community who have that bodily freedom and feel almost outcasted without a word being uttered because for me the representation isn't there. I know for a fact as well, that I'm probably not the only one who thinks this either.


We see from mainstream media trends that skinny is still pushed as a beautified norm for body image and consistently associated with being healthy. This has further become associated and reflected in many mainstream non-binary people. In fact for the most part of writing this article I know only maybe 1 other plus size non-binary person, and I couldn't name to you one largely known celebrity who I'd say matched the representation me and others are looking for.


About a month ago, I walked into a vintage clothes store and found so many items that I could of bought if they were my size; clothing that would of helped cement and helped refine the outward expression of my gender identity - something just as key to the mental expression of gender. Clothing for many non-binary people, of any size, is our armour. But what can you do when the armour you like and feel will help deal with dysphoric thoughts and outlying dysphoria, when the clothing industry doesn't cater to you?


You're left helpless to your own thoughts, the damages your body type can do to your confidence when you can't change it