I suppose that the next thing to discuss is sexual orientation. A really big part of me just wants to shout: Who cares!?
But I know you care. People care because they want to know whether or not they should be worried that the person walking up to them is about to objectify them or do something else stereotypical of the binary genders and the way they interact on a social level. Binary or not, there are people who fear certain kinds of interaction with the “opposite” sex. That sex makes them nervous, giddy, stupid, or whatever else. They want to know if they should be nervous or could they be confident? It’s amazing to me to think of how much of our social interactions revolve around whether or not someone we are talking to wants to sleep with us.
The binary genders help us narrow this down. Sexual orientation and the stereotypes that go with it tend to help us further narrow this down. But life isn’t really that simple, and it never was. I have met men who believe that the #yesallwomen is ludicrous and it doesn’t happen that often. They have no idea that it is not funny or flattering to hear some of the things they say. Sometimes they apologize, sometimes they tell me to stop being so sensitive and get over it. The point is that this is easier when we think of the world as two genders with two orientation options. But the world is made up of more than two genders, and more than two sexes.
When categorizing people that are not of your same sex or gender, it is also helpful to not do so by “people I’d like to sleep with” and “people I don’t want to sleep with.” Yes, I have known people to do this. It is a stereotype of the men in “the man box” as well. When not looking at all people through this lens and deciding later whether or not there will be any intimate possibilities based on more than a person’s initial appearance, this stops being a concern.
Deciding to be intimate with someone really should be about more than categories and groupings. Thinking of the world as “people I can have sex with” and “people I shouldn’t have sex with” is a bit silly. We do it because we’ve never really thought about not doing it. I know that this perspective wreaks a certain amount of havoc on my faith and the doctrine of my denomination. I’m sure it’ll work itself out over the years if I think on it and pray on it long enough. Either way, it doesn’t matter to me how a person identifies themselves or who they are attracted to. When I meet them, I will try to love them as I love myself and not judge because judgement isn’t my job. Though I will occasionally fail, as will others, I will not let it deter me from trying.
Love is bigger than romance, gender, or sex. Romantic or intimate love is something people have to work through on their own for a variety of reasons. When feeling out of sorts about it, just remember that your life is yours, whether you are non-binary or the person you are interested in is. Remember in those situations to be courteous, accept no for an answer if that’s the answer you get, some people need time to realize their emotions, some people are further bogged down by social expectation than others, you don’t live in their shoes or their minds or their homes and you may not always understand their reasons or feelings.
Most importantly, these problems with interaction should never resort to violence, just as they shouldn’t between the binaries. Be cautious, though, because they do result in violence sometimes.
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