(n)on-existence

In June of 2019 the Scottish Government decided not to legally recongise non-binary people, removing proposals backed by a majority of people consulted. The reason being? No reason. None presented. No support aside from a commitment to providing ‘determination to move forward with how we can help the non binary community’.

This is common, and from the language later in the MPs statement it seems like this wasn’t a decision made removed from transphobic rhetoric.

Legal recognition is the thing that would mean, legally, that we can be recognised as existing. Otherwise, legally, we don’t. Despite the admission by the MP that we do exist, by recognising that there are non-binary people in her statement. Except now we do, at least partially, in the wider UK, since it’s been found by tribunal that under the Equalities Act 2010, gender fluid/non-binary people can’t be discriminated against by employers.

It’s always like this. It feels like it always has been. I was part of it, part of the non-acceptance, in stubborn internalised refusal of self, of non-binary people. Not outspoken but not taking it seriously, not until I seriously took myself aside, told myself to not resist whatever that pain was. The pain that is like some xenomorph wriggling within, some alien thing you are taught to see as only a funny joke, since it’s only a funny joke how non-binary people are real right?

“Neuter is the only gender that always suits me.”

Funny joke Claude Cahun, we’re all dying laughing in the aisles. Good joke for 1930. But of course all people outside of rigid man/woman gender are a new trend, and not part of the history of gender since the beginning of time. Surely this situation isn’t caused by the violence of colonialism and enlightenment science. Surely Not.

I joke. A funny joke.

Read ‘Fuck your gender norms: how Western colonisation brought unwanted binaries to Igbo culture‘ by Chidera Ihejirika and ‘Living with Colonialism: thoughts on the gender binary’ by Gayathiri Kamalakanthan for actual, full insight into how Nigerian and Tamil gender history and life, are impacted by colonial violence respectively.

At least the deeply flawed historical shooter series Call of Duty has my back. Yeah, even if my passport won’t tell people who I am, thank god that I can do so in the confidence of my spec-ops guise as I investigate and bust open that darned ‘Cold War’!

Seriously though, no really, seriously now, it’s so funny that they had to back pedal from just having a gender classified category in the new CoD game’s character creator, but kept it in as if it wasn’t meant to be the stand in for non-binary people. As if it’s some kind of secret fucking identity, some super spy shit that I just want to not be man or woman when I play your dumb revisionist game about teabagging Russians and being hazy on whether or not America commits war crimes… uh it’s definitely maybe.

Like just don’t do this shit in the first place and you won’t have people be mad at you. Don’t put our existence in some kind of, yes-no-maybe box and don’t hire people who are legitimately just transphobes. At least these decisions were reversed: I refer to this about Call of Duty and this about Watch Dogs: Legion.

When Call of Duty recognises you as non-binary before your government, it’s telling. When Ubisoft, of all the companies, seem to care more about non-binary people than the Scottish Parliament, it’s telling. Games companies aren’t our friends, no company is your friend, but at least they’ve given me the basic minimum of recognition and action before my own government even.

Central Edinburgh, frequently covered in transphobic stickers for the past 5 years. UNESCO world heritage site mate, welcome to the home of the boy jizz wizard who spells out trans slurs in piss and then beats up whoever he wants because he’s a cop.

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