Realising you're non-binary

Quinn talks about being non-binary and and how they were always uncomfortable being labelled as a man.

Duration 03:31


Quinn’s story comes from a group of interviews conducted at the International Non-Binary Day event at Leeds City Museum on 14 July 2019. The event was organised by Non-Binary Leeds. You can find out more about the group on their Facebook page and in their zine.


Yeah, so it, it’s been a long... a long journey for me. I’ve had a lot of non-binary people in my life... in... well, I suppose relatively recent years, but in the last ten or so years, people who’ve come to the realisation that they were non-binary, and I did something which seems to be characteristic of me in my life, which is realising that their journeys and their stories and whatever were really important and I needed to amplify them, and defend their rights and things, but not really recognising that I was actually thinking about myself. At the same time [pause]

So I’ve known about non-binary people and I’ve known non-binary people for a lot longer than I’ve known that I am non-binary... But then when they started to look back at the past, when I started to look back at things from my childhood, I realised that I’d never felt comfortable with the labels. I’d never – I, I knew that I wasn’t into, into male things, though – cos I was assigned male at birth. I wasn’t into things that were typically male, but then so loads of cis men are not into things that are typically male, so I just thought that’s what I was. And then I realised that, like, I don’t actually... like being labelled as a man, I’d never felt comfortable with it, I never felt included when people would be like, ‘hey...dudes’, or ‘fellas’. I’d feel like they were talking about the rest of the people in the group but not me. So that’s the kind of thing that started to, to send me down the road of thinking maybe I actually am non-binary. And things like when I started learning to sew people, people’s reactions were things, you know, they were like, ‘ooh that’s kind of a weird thing for a man to get into’, and instead of thinking, ‘no it’s not! It’s not, it’s fine for a man to be into this!’ I was like…‘I don’t think I am?’ Like that’s kind of how I felt, I was like, ‘well maybe it is a weird thing for a man to get into because I don’t know that – what that’s like’. So that – those’re the kind of things where I started to realise I suppose, and... I’m just – I was thinking of something else as well in that respect... Oh, it was that – and then it was… I went to a Green Party conference, in... Bournemouth. And for the first time in life, I felt like I could to the LGBTQIA+ Greens group which I’d always felt like I didn’t belong in cos that was, you know, I was a man, and I was in love with a woman, and so I couldn’t, I’m not a queer of any sort, but I went, and I said, ‘I think I might be non-binary’, and they just were so, like, ‘oh yes, a trans egg that we can hatch’, and just like, really, nice, just really nice and welcoming and, and everybody was really supportive, and so it was immediately after coming back from that I went to Non-Binary Leeds for the first time, and I said, ‘I think I might be non-binary’, or whatever and someone said [laughs], I remember someone said to me, ‘you know, cis gender people don’t question their gender identity’, [laughs] And that was when I realised that, like...yeah. That’s – it’s – that’s what it is, like, that’s what I am and now two years later it just seems like – or 18 months later it seems like... so obvious, but at the time it was, quite... quite a big, a big thing for me to get my head round.

Part of: Realising you’re non-binary