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What it Means to be a Non-Binary Feminist

“How are you a feminist if you don’t identify as a woman?”

People often get confused because I identify as both a feminist and as non-binary at the same time. I used to be confused about it as well, but I’ve found that my being a feminist does not make me any more or any less of the woman that I aspire to be. In advocating for gender equity and equality, I am a feminist regardless of my gender identity. Besides, you don’t have to identify as a woman to work towards women’s rights; men, women, and everyone who identifies outside of or in between these categories can make a difference.

I’ve always been a feminist, even before I knew what a feminist was. Even as a preschooler, I would call out things that didn’t sit right with me. I would advocate for myself when I played with the boys in my neighborhood. I wore what I wanted. I was given the same responsibilities as my male cousins. I didn’t always quite know how to articulate it, but in the simplest, I felt that everyone should have the same opportunities to be successful as anyone else. My definition of feminism is not only to be focused on giving women equal opportunities to men, but was to provide equity to people of all races, classes, and genders. 

Mainstream feminism hasn’t always been inclusive of other races, classes, and genders. For a long time, feminism was made for and by cisgendered, white women, where racism, transphobia, and homophobia were enabled. But that’s not the kind of feminim I align myself with nor support. If it’s not intersectional, it’s bullshit. We can’t claim to be advocates for equality unless we’re including who is affected by it: everyone.

That’s why my non-binary identity doesn’t take away my feminist identity. My voice is no less important than anyone else’s, and I will continue to work toward equity regardless of where my identity falls within the system.  

  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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