Explore what thriving beyond the binary looks like. We sat down with AL, a queer non-binary content creator to learn how they were able to be their authentic self by embracing life outside the binary and asked for their advice to non-binary youth. 

Thriving Beyond the Binary

“Be authentic to your true self and, it just like is so good for your spirit the more you show up for yourself and, know what your boundaries are and just show up as who you truly are, the better it is for your spirit.”

How did you start your journey as a content creator?

I started on Tumblr as a teenager, which I don’t know how much people use Tumblr anymore, but back 10 years ago, it was a lot more popular. Um, and it was more, it was less mainstream than say Facebook or Instagram. So people talked a lot more freely about things like social justice and gender expression, sexual orientation, that kind of thing.

How does it feel being that non-binary representation for people and having that online community?

I mean, overall it’s been a very beautiful thing because there’s people I’ve known since back on Tumblr about 10 years ago, and I still talk to them on Instagram. Sometimes people will reach out to me, they’ll find me through, a hashtag like #nonbinarystyle or something like that, and, people will reach out to me and we’ll just kind of introduce ourselves to each other, and get to know each other from there. So that’s definitely my favorite part of social media is getting to connect with people for sure.

How did you come to realize your non-binary?

I mean, always as a kid, I never really felt like I was a girl. I didn’t think I was a boy though, so I kind of just went along with “ I guess I’m a girl then”, right? So, there always was that weird kind of feeling inside me though, that like something wasn’t like quite right. That was all I knew, right? I knew of girls and I knew of boys, or I knew of if someone couldn’t tell your gender that was weird. And so that was something that you weren’t supposed to be. So that was all I knew. Coming on to Tumblr and hearing people talk about being non-binary, I was like, oh, there is something in between or something that’s both or neither, right? It just felt so validating to know that feeling that I was feeling wasn’t, fake or anything like that, it was something that I could listen to and something that I could follow.

Why do you think people are threatened by gender expression beyond the binary?

What does thriving beyond the binary mean to you?

So beyond the binary to me is, having authenticity for yourself. Being authentic towards yourself. It’s not, letting yourself be stuck in those two categories, but kind of like reaching out, seeing what else is out there, knowing yourself, knowing who you are, and being true to yourself.

In what ways do you express and explore your gender identity?

I feel like this year I’m having a metaphor metamorphosis year. I’m into this era of “I know who I am” and I’m just like being who I am. I did a huge like hair chop earlier this year, which was so fun and so exhilarating. All of the gender euphoria. I definitely love to express myself through my outfits, which can be like clothes from the men’s section, from the women’s section, from both in the same outfit, whatever I’m feeling that day, just like putting it out there to the world and just having fun with it.

What advice do you have for 2SLGBTQ+ youth?

Special thank you to AL for sharing their story. Want to check out more content from AL? Follow them on Instagram and Tiktok!

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