After posting this picture to Instagram and getting an overwhelming thank you from Courtney, I thought I would do blog post with them.
So without further ado, here is the guest post/interview we’ve put together.
Courtney is a very close friend of mine. Recently, they’ve become like a sibling to me. They’ve been going through a journey of their own, that has been shared on the internet via their blog and YouTube channel. However, I wanted to ask a few questions that
a few many of us are probably wondering.
So without further ado, let’s have a conversation with my wonderful little sibling!
Gender Dysphoria – what is it?
Gender Dysphoria is a feeling that your biological sex doesn’t match your gender identity. Often times, it can cause major anxiety about one’s sexual parts of their body, ie. their breasts or penis. Each person experiences it differently, but often times people will find themselves hiding something that gives them anxiety about their gender identity, such as binding.
What do you mean when you say you identify as nonbinary?
I do not identify as male, or female. Nonbinary is a gender identity, and an umbrella term for more specific identities such as agender (no gender). I use it as my identity itself because I do not like to define my identity so strictly. I just don’t feel male or female. But I also use multiple other terms to describe myself, such as genderfluid (some days I feel a little more one or the other) and genderqueer, which is more about not subscribing to conventional views of gender.
What exactly does LGBTQIA stand for? Specifically the IA…
Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Intersex, Asexual.
More often than not, you will just hear LGBT or LGBTQ. LGBTQIA is just a more inclusive terms.
Someone who is intersex is biologically both male and female in some way.
Asexual are people who lack sexual attraction, and there are many sub groups/identities inside of it.
Your dad is super supportive. Had he always been that way?
Yes, and no I suppose. He has always let me be me. I have been able to buy guys clothes with him since I was a kid. I grew up being called a “tomboy” and he loved my interest in things he was also interested in.
However, growing up, I did hear transphobic and homophobic things come out of his mouth. He has worked very hard on understanding what those things were and why they were problematic. A big part of it was simply not being educated in our issues.
How has working for Stigma Fighters been helpful for you on this journey?
While I knew who I was, maybe without such specific terms, I didn’t have the courage to come out. The more I have worked with Stigma Fighters, the more my self confidence has soared, and I finally got the courage to come out. I also met an amazing community of people who are so open-minded and accepting of who people are.
Is there anything that you friends can do to support you on your journey?
The biggest thing is listen. If I say something harmful to the tran community, listen and don’t fight back or claim that we are being oversensitive. Because more than likely, there is something that you have never experienced that is the cause.
Also, try to understand. And try to use the pronouns, etc., that I say honor me best.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell people? Ways to avoid offending/insulting people in the LGBTQIA community?
The biggest thing you can do to avoid offending our community, is asking or listening when we explain why something may hurt us. Avoid statements like “I support gay ___ but” because you are basically telling us you don’t. Avoid anything that may invalidate someone’s identity, such as saying that someone who is non binary is just butch lesbian or femme gay. And the list goes on. In short, just respect us and who we are. We aren’t a petting zoo for you to make fun of us or observe us in our natural habitat. We are humans too, and we want to be treated with respect.
I definitely feel more educated after having asked and gotten answers to these questions. The one thing that made me comfortable asking these things, is that Courtney is very easy-going and willing to explain things they know you’re genuinely curious and really trying to understand.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions for me! Maybe I can have you come back another time for another guest post interview.