Non Binary Day 2022

International Non-Binary People's Day 2022

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Today is International Non-Binary People’s Day and from all of us here at Neuro Pride Ireland we want to remind you that we support our non-binary members today and always. We stand with all non-binary people. You are seen, loved, and valid. Non-binary people deserve recognition and we will continue to support you in your fight for rights and acceptance. 

Non-binary is an umbrella term for all genders outside of the binary norm of woman and man. For example genderfluid, agender, demi-gender. Some non-binary people identify as trans but not all do. Some non-binaries also identify with a binary gender but not all do. Neurodivergent people are more likely to be gender non- conforming than their cisgender peers.

Aoife (She / Her)

Hi, I’m Aoife, I’m Autistic and I identify as genderqueer. My pronouns are she/her and I am both a woman and not a woman (I like to call myself Schrödinger’s woman). I’ve only come to terms with my more fluid gender identity in the last few months. 

Something that gives me gender euphoria is dressing in masculine clothes. It could be the simplest thing of a baggy tracksuit, vans, a plain t-shirt and fluffy hair, but dressing traditionally “like a boy” makes me so happy that I cannot explain. I think there’s a bit more of a trans masc in me than I am fully ready to acknowledge, but I’m happy having these feelings inside for now. Dressing “like a boy” is also great from an Autistic standpoint, because the style of the clothes – and the make of the clothes, if you’re buying from the men’s section – often means that they are more comfortable, which is really great. 

Being Autistic impacts how people view my gender in the sense that it both validates and invalidates my “claim” – as some people see it –  of being non-binary. People see it as a reason as to why I identify differently –  because there are studies that show that many neurodivergent people identify outside the binary. So people think that if I wasn’t Autistic, I also wouldn’t be genderqueer, which makes some people think my feelings are not valid on the matter – which is wrong, my feelings, and anyone else’s feelings on their own gender matter more than anyone else’s. But, it’s also the reason that people see my gender as valid – because of the multiple studies that have been done on the subject.

These studies on the relationship between neurodivergences like Autism, and being non-binary, are part of the reason that I see my gender as valid. Another massive reason that I feel more comfortable in my gender, is meeting and getting to know other non-binary neurodivergent people. Finding a community where we are all on the same or similar wave length about gender and being neurodivergent – finding people like me – has made me feel safe and comfortable with myself. I’m not “out” to most people, but knowing there is a little pocket of people just like me in the world, that accept me, means the absolute world. It was thanks to Neuro Pride Ireland that I met many of these wonderful people.

Ash Banks

Do you feel your gender affects your neurotype?

I’m agender, so it’s a nope from me. However, my lack of gender and unwillingness to respect (or even acknowledge) gender stereotypes means that I routinely engage in activities and behaviours that are deemed “inappropriate” by people. As I am no longer masking, this means that those who can’t deal with people not respecting the neurotypical etiquette appropriate for my perceived gender get a double whammy: I am acting inappropriately both because I embrace my neurotype and because I operate outside the gender binary. Interestingly, the fact that I’ve been “gender non-conforming” all my life made it easier for me to unmask, because I’m used to shocking and disappointing randos by failing to meet their expectations . I am lucky enough that my current living and working conditions mean that I can do so without fear of repercussions, but if I tried to live like this around actual people, my life would probably get very bumpy very quickly.

Charlie (They / He)

Hi, my name’s Charlie and I’m Neurodivergent and non-binary. I’m Autistic and also have ADHD and they have impacted my gender and how I express it. As an Autistic person, I’ve never felt the pull towards a single binary label since a young age. I focus my identity less on gender, and more on how I look, dress, and my special interests that are very prominent in my life. I feel like my Nuerodivergent friends, and the community in general, are the most open and accepting people of my gender and how i choose to present it. <3

Eli (They / Them)

How do you feel your gender and your neurotype are connected? I think that being Autistic made me naturally more inclined to have a more queer understanding of gender. I didn’t internalise gender roles. Does people’s perception of your gender affect their perception of your neurotype and vice versa? The only thing I’ve noticed is that doctors seem to think my Autism is important to note when it comes to medically transitioning. Do you feel comfortable expressing your true gender in the Neurodivergent community? Yes. I usually feel accepted in Neurodivergent spaces. I have noticed a lot of queer people in spaces for Autistic people.

Gillian (Jonks) Kearns (She / They)

I’m a late arrival to my non-binary, specifically agender, identity and it’s been a wonderful self-discovery. And I believe it’s intrinsically linked to my experience of my neurodivergent neurotype. I am multiply neurodivergent (Autistic, ADHD, Dyspraxic and Dyscalculic) so the idea of being tied to one particular gender felt incongruous. Social constructs of gender have always felt oppressive and outside of my experience. I ‘nothing’ gender and gender roles – I now present as more feminine but haven’t always (think stereotypically ‘tomboy’ though I detest that phrase) and it was just one more way I didn’t quite fit in.

Finding out that many neurodivergent people feel the same and that there’s even a concept like Autigender to describe it was such a great feeling, another piece of coming home to myself and my community. And an increased acceptance of myself and an important part of the process of ‘unmasking’ journey I have been on for the last few years. The impact on my mental wellbeing cannot be underestimated. Within the Neurodivergent community is where I feel most accepted and welcome in my identity and where I am freest to be myself – the community is a warm and open space for all gender identities. Far more so than the neuromajority in my experience. Perhaps being a marginalised and stigmatised group has given them empathy and compassion that extends to other marginalised groups.

Mx C Doyle aka Cír (They / Them)

I am so proud to be able to say I am a non binary trans person. I was so privileged to have a gender-affirming psychologist during therapy. Even my autism report refers to my gender non conforming ways in a positive way. It is not a widespread experience and that makes me sad. Neurodivergent people are more likely to be non-binary so I wish mental health professionals would respect that.

Neuro Pride Ireland is a space to celebrate Neurodivergent people, community, and culture. NPI is a volunteer-led grassroots DPO (Disabled Persons’ Organisation) founded in 2021. It is led by Neurodivergent adults living in Ireland. We host regular online meetups year-round as well as our Neuro Pride festival in August. 8th August is Neuro Pride Day.

Mx C Doyle currently goes by the name Cír. They live in Dublin. Cír has multiple Neurodivergencies. They are not formally diagnosed with some of these due to several systematic barriers. Cír is a disabled, trans, queer person who has too many labels to name in a quick bio. After years of therapy and self-care, and discovering they are a BPDer, Cír is very passionate about mental health. Other topics that Cír throws themself into include the queer community, polyam community and general activism. Cír is the project coordinator of Bi+ Ireland, as well as the creator of Rainbow Autistics Ireland and Book Club for Autistics Ireland. Though in their downtime Mx C can often be found consuming fandoms, playing video games or reading a book. They are a self-confessed geeky social activist. Mx C hopes to use this blog to share their perspective of being an autistic neurodivergent queer as well as sharing many tips they learned over the years.

Neuro Pride Ireland and Mx C Doyle

Neuro Pride Ireland is a space to celebrate Neurodivergent people, community, and culture. NPI is a volunteer-led grassroots DPO (Disabled Persons’ Organisation) founded in 2021. It is led by Neurodivergent adults living in Ireland. We host regular online meetups year-round as well as our Neuro Pride festival in August. 8th August is Neuro Pride Day.