Aug 2018 - Nothing's Binary Part 5: You Can't Be What You Can't See

from by Kimwei

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TRANSCRIPTION: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See

Why does it seem like non-binary is the new fashion trend? Can there really be more trans people than ever before? If someone begins to identify as trans later in life, are they for real? These are all questions I’ve been asked, sometimes innocently, and sometimes with the anger of Piers Morgan’s comment about identifying as an elephant.

To me, the answer is simple – you can’t be what you can’t see, and you can’t be what can’t be seen. Although I experienced myself as trans all my life, it wasn’t until 2014 that I heard the term non-binary, and found that it described me.

The word allowed me explain who I am to those closest to me, and once their frame of reference widened to include the word non-binary, they could see parts of me that up until then had been invisible. Until then they had been wearing gender-tinted glasses, and I existed outside their field of vision. The term non-binary changed that.

The TV series “TransParent” addresses this invisibility masterfully, when the main character, a trans-woman, transitioning in her 60s, expertly answers her daughter’s question: “Are you saying that you’re going to start dressing up like a lady, all the time?” “no, honey… all my life, my whole life, I’ve been dressing up like a man. This is me.”

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from Pause For Thought: BBC Radio Devon, released January 30, 2017

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