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Non-binary  [message #77283] Sat, 05 September 2020 10:03
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1553

My formerly-niece P. rang me last night for a long talk. They've decided to come out as a non-binary person, and I'm the first member of the family they've told. It didn't come as much of a surprise to me: it's something that I've had the impression was on their mind for the past three years or more. They're now in their early 20s, and no longer living at home though still very close to their Dad (my brother).

Obviously, I have no problems with this identity, and hope that I managed to convey that my love and support remain unchanged. I did run through some of the things that I think there might be in common with coming out as gay, especially allowing friends and family time to adjust to the inevitable shock, and not being massively thrown if they take a while to get comfortable with it all. And, of course, said I'm available on the phone at any hour of day or night if P. needs me, and if they need to escape pressure for a couple of days at any point they're always welcome to stay here.

I'm pretty sure that P.'s Dad will be OK with it, though it may take a while for his emotions to catch up with his very liberal intellectual ethics. A bit less sure about P.'s Mum. I expect my sister and her offspring will also be supportive (though surprises can happen). But I am rather worried about how my own mother, P.'s grandmother, will take it. She'll be 90 next year, and although mentally mostly still there, is effectively housebound, reliant on carers, and hasn't altogether kept up with social changes for three or four years. She's also always been rather free in expressing her opinions on what she thinks family members should do with their lives (to other family members, not generally to the person themself) though most of us mostly tune this out. I'd really welcome any suggestions on how I might reassure my Mum when P. finally does come out as non-binary to the wider family - as the only out gay family member, I think I'm going to be the one that Mum leans on for this.

any suggestions or helpful comments gratefully received

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
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