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Living in a Linear World with a Circular Gender

I am non-binary. I don’t fit into the linear categories that I’m “supposed to.” I am not a woman or a man and I am confident in this. However, I still struggle to say this out loud. It is not seen as “mature” to set myself aside. It’s too “attention-seeking” to “refuse” to blend in. But I’m beginning to realize that this is not a fault of myself, but is rather a failure of my culture.


Binary systems are products of a linear, fixed, and inconclusive style of thinking. We’re put in boxes where we have to be one or the other. There’s no room for anything or anyone abstract.


As a product of the culture by which we were raised, we don’t understand our environment. We resort to naming things to make sense of it all. But to not fit into these domains shakes our boundaries of cognition 


I’m not scared of my gender identity, but I’m scared to be a part of a world that wants to sort me as something other than myself. I’m scared of a world that tells me to be a “woman,” and that I need to act as one. I’m scared of a world that doesn’t want me in it… at least not like this. 


I want to live with my ambiguity freely. I want my environment to accept me as much as I accept myself. I want to say “Hey, I’m Kaylen and my pronouns are they/them” without shaking the ground. I want to be able to correct someone to refer to me as I deserve without the air becoming heavy. 


I want to exist in this world, cycling through my gender and who I really am. I want to grow beyond the lines I’ve been given.

  Kaylen, a Campus Correspondent for HC at Wells, is a senior at Wells College studying Women's and Gender Studies and Psychology.  "Like Ivy, we grew where there was room for us"-Miranda July
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