Beyond Gender Binaries | Shreya

I said to a friend one day, “I believe my gender is as fluid as my sexuality.” I am a cis-women who feels femme one day and masculine the very next day. I can still be a woman and feel both ways. Gender isn’t defined by the anatomy of the body, it is how you feel about yourself. Here I am asked, “How can you be gender fluid? You are a cis-woman.” For me, a gender is a form of expression, of how your body feels to you inside, rather than how it looks on the outside.

Neither do we have to dress androgynously to be fluid, nor do we need to look a certain way to fit into the boxes that are the stereotypical gender binaries. It is society’s construct to put us into these boxes and label us as if we are some documents that need sorting. The reality is whether you use any label that feels right, or don’t use any – it’s on you. These labels were coined for our convenience and not the other way around.

The world has existed beyond gender binaries since time immemorial. Many cultures have described Gods to be both male and female or neither, starting from Hermaphroditus in Greek mythology to Sikhandi in Hindu folklore. So, who are we to question fluidity when it has existed in the Universe since the beginning of time?

Non-binary gender identity is an umbrella term used to describe individuals who identify as genderfluid, agender (without gender), genderqueer, or something else entirely. All these terms can raise a lot of questions, but questions are good. To find clarity, we must seek answers, and in the process increase our level of awareness. It’s high time we co-exist with everyone in harmony so that we don’t need the term “ally” anymore because in an ideal world everyone would be accepted for who they are. We won’t need to hear, “I am proud of you for coming out as a bisexual” like I don’t hear “I am proud of you because you came out as a non-vegetarian!” – it is just a fact about me.

We aren’t computers who can’t understand any language beyond 0 and 1. We can understand a spectrum of languages. Gender is a spectrum of colours just like sexuality. There is no right or wrong, nor is there any black or white. It is about acceptance and loving yourself for who you are, and in the process loving others, too. It is also about being in allowance of how people consider themselves to be, loving them for it, and seeing beyond labels.


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