A Bit of What Non-Binary Means to Me
by Charlie Andrews
I’m Charleston, or Charlie. My pronouns are They/Them/Theirs. I’m looking forward to serving as your Interim Ministry Coordinator! Reverend Amy and I have known each other for a few years and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the community she is helping to create.
I’d love to share a bit about myself with all of you. I’m 25, I enjoy poetry, skateboarding, as well as most team sports and craft beers. I also work for Wyandotte Center for Community Health in the attendant care department. I hold a license in Corrective Exercise and I teach a functional movement class for Brookdale at Home’s Independent Living Facility!
I’m a non-binary person, so just in case this is not an entirely familiar term to everyone, a non-binary individual is one whose gender identity is neither male nor female. The flag in the top corner is the non-binary flag, which was created in 2014 by Kye Rowan. Yellow represents people whose gender exists outside the binary, purple represents those whose gender is somewhere between male and female, black represents people who have no gender, and white represents those who embrace many or all genders. When I was born my family made the assumption that I was going to be a woman, meaning that I was Assigned Female At Birth, or AFAB. However I’ve never related all that much to the concept of womanhood.
I think here it is important to touch on the topic of our Intersex population. In the binary society we live in, many are unaware that around 2% of the population are born with ambiguous characteristics, making it impossible to medically declare said person male or female. In many situations, genital mutilation is imposed by the doctors in order to try to fit people into a category. Many people who are intersex identify as non-binary as well.
Non-Binary is something of an umbrella term that includes multiple gender identities. For me it means that while I am AFAB and have lived the experience of being treated the way our society treats young girls, I have always felt quite a bit more masculine-of-center. As soon as I had the freedom to, I chose to express that by usually wearing traditionally masculine clothing and cutting my hair. I’ve also gotten a prescription for a low dose of testosterone so that my features line up with who I know myself to be - a person who is neither female nor male. For others non-binary might look like having been Assigned Male at Birth (AMAB) but they don’t relate to the traditionally masculine experience.
Being a non-binary individual and exploring the vast plane of gender has opened up my perspective from the reductive thinking with which I had been indoctrinated. I also believe that marveling at the variety and beauty in nature is just one of the ways we celebrate the Divine in all their facets and layers!
Much more can and will be said about the non-binary experience, this is simply an introduction. I’m also more than happy to have conversations with anyone about this topic, so please don’t hesitate to get in contact! I’m excited to be in community with you all!