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An Interview With... Piper North - Challenges Faced Being Non-Binary

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Thanks for sharing Piper.  I had noticed your ads before and I was always struck by how caring you are.

I also appreciate this interview.  Definitely need more discussion and understanding around this topic.

Thanks as always @lydiahardwood

 

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Ah eye opener! Thanks @lydiahardwoodwho again brings someone extraordinary for the interview.  Oh Piper, thanks for Sharing.

it’s must be hard to “break” the norms and coming out as a non binary provider.  Two thumbs up for you 👍  

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Q: How does it make you feel when someone uses the wrong pronouns? 
A: A lot of the time I get frustrated or angry, especially when it’s someone who has seen that I’m non-binary and use they/them pronouns and just doesn’t do the work to use my proper pronouns. From those people, I see it as them not caring enough to do the work. From strangers, it’s a lot of eye-rolling on my part for the constant assumption. For a long time I had space for misgendering but the longer I deal with it, the less patience I have.

I think we as a society can do more to help create a better platform to help educate the next generation. I feel people's lack of understanding/awareness can cause individuals to feel they need to be extra cautious to avoid offending when they interact with individuals who identify themselves such as Non-binary. 

From my perspective, I feel within a professional environment, we live in fear from complaints/lawsuits and maybe it is that fear that causes people to be more so nervous and not realize that the fact they could be doing more harm than good.

 

Great Interview both - I really did learn from this!

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@MRT87 I can understand the nervousness around being “right”/accommodating. As someone who has worked in environments where gender was not handled appropriately, I will say the eggshell walking can often make the environment more uncomfortable than flubbing up. Do you feel you’re unable to ask questions to make sure you’re saying/doing the right thing? 
 

And there’s no need to wait for future generations to receive the education - if my parents in their 60s can go from transphobes/homophobes to being understanding and supportive, anyone can at any age! Education can start anytime. 🙂

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2 hours ago, PiperNorth said:

..... my pronouns are they/them.

Thanks for this - have to admit that I read through the interview twice and, given all the terminology, I still wasn't certain which pronouns you use and prefer. I had intended to ask!

I've got two close 'family' members who have transitioned and they both chose new names to distinguish from their sex assigned birth names. This helps me to get my brain working so that I can use the appropriate pronouns and break old habits. They still are willing to smile and rarely get to correct me before I apologize/correct myself. The apology is not expected but I am Canadian after all..... sorry! One of these 'family' members is the former partner (10+ years) of one of my children and the other a teenage great 'nephew'. I've purchased them gift cards to Venus Envy, a local sex positive store here in Ottawa (and Halifax, I think), which has great resources and literature for those curious about transition and the general public. 

https://venusenvy.ca/

Thank you both @PiperNorth and @lydiahardwood for providing the interview

 

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@waterat You're right, I didn't state my pronouns in this post. I actually intentionally left them out, curious to know what the takeaway from this interview would be - Where Lydia mentioned misgendering me as motivation to do this interview, questioned about people using the wrong pronouns, and I answered a direct question about what being misgendered feels like. I was curious to know if anyone would end up asking me what my pronouns are before making assumptions based on my appearance or their perception of my gender. I suppose it's partially a lesson to get others to question their own gender assumptions and learn how to approach the subject of pronouns (which is as simple as, "my pronouns are [whatever they are], what are yours?").

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5 hours ago, PiperNorth said:
 

And there’s no need to wait for future generations to receive the education - if my parents in their 60s can go from transphobes/homophobes to being understanding and supportive, anyone can at any age! Education can start anytime. 🙂

Agreed.  Ultimately, those who love you the way you are will still love you dear.  Happy to hear you have the core support.  We need to spread love to everyone no matter the gender, races, sexual preference, ages....

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Thanks for a great interview, @PiperNorth! And thanks as always to @lydiahardwood for facilitating. It's great to see an interview on this because there's increasing awareness of issues around gender in the world at large, which usually manifests as people being awkward about it and then trying to pretend the issue doesn't exist. It's one of the areas where the sex work community is way ahead of the population at large.

An off-topic question, though: what's a somatic session?

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Thank you #lidiahardwood for this interview and PiperNorth for participating. I have one objection though, it's the term Piper used.  "willfully ignorant." I don't think all of us are "willfully" ignorant, just ignorant, as I am. I apologize if we don't get your pronouns correct, a lot of us Neanderthals don't even know what a pronoun is, never mind what non-binary means. I'm in my 50's and have seen a lot of changes in gender identification. I can tell you, since my teens and peer pressure, I don't judge anyone for their gender or sexual identification, as is probably true for a lot of people you find "willfully ignorant." There are plenty of people out there who are accepting and supportive as I am. There so many pronouns out there now, it's hard to keep them straight unless you are part of that population. The pronoun doesn't describe who you are, just be true to yourself. I only ask that you be patient with those of us who are less educated, (ignorant).

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On 2/22/2021 at 9:49 AM, PiperNorth said:

@NotchJohnson my pronouns are they/them.

"A lot of the time I get frustrated or angry, especially when it’s someone who has seen that I’m non-binary and use they/them pronouns and just doesn’t do the work to use my proper pronouns."

Question number 6. ^

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