Non-binary is a spectrum of gender identities
There are both cultural and religious communities, as well as work, hobby and other communities, families and groups of friends where belonging to a sexual and/or gender minority is unwelcome, forbidden or taboo. You may realise how the world around us is trying to push us into categories – being male or female, being heterosexual or homosexual. Some of the categories are more accepted than the others.
But let's think outside the box: gender is just an umbrella term for all sorts of ways of being or not being gendered. Non-binary is a spectrum of gender identities that is not - as our society and culture says - exclusively masculine or exclusively feminine.
Since every person deserves an equal opportunity to flourish as their own self and live a safe life, we have listed three tips on how to make everyone feel safe and included in a non-binary relationship.
1. Stay aware of your own biases
As we know, society around us is very binary. Sometimes it is good to look yourselves into a mirror and reflect our own biases, which are often reflections from your surroundings. We often have attitudes that may even contradict our values, but which inevitably influence the way we relate to other people.
Particularly being critical and aware of your own thoughts is important, when you date or have a relationship with a non-binary person. if you are a cis-person yourself, try to educate yourself. Don't wait that your partner educates you (they have to do it all the time to everybody else). Walk beside your partner with confidence, and remember to be there for each other whenever needed.
2. Ask your partner how they like to be talked to
Sometimes the best way to mutual understanding is to share your experiences and talk to others. Experiment in ways to foster open discourse, encourage free exchange of ideas and build mutual trust. Always try to imagine yourself in your partners shoes.
Many, though not all, non-binary people experience dysphoria, where a person experiences discomfort or distress because their gender identity does not match their sex assigned at birth. This can have different implications when it comes to being intimate. Prioritise comfort and communication together – ask your partner how they like to talk about their body.
3. See each other as you are
Finally, truly see your partner as they are. Reflect that also you or your partner’s gender can change throughout lifetime. This may also mean that what you want from a relationship may change. Remember that change does not make you or your partner's wishes, needs and feelings any less valid. In any relationship, leaving room for change creates a healthy foundation.