Thursday, June 9, 2016

Transgender but not in Transition: Honoring our Non-Binary Community

What are the assumptions you make when you hear the word "transgender"? Is there a point during transition where you suddenly start "being" the being you are transitioning to? How do we celebrate rites of passage for non-binary transgender people, mxgender people who may not plan to undergo a physical transformation to match their gender identity?

Every transgender, mxgender, non-gender identifying being has a different story. A different path that they are on. Some look forward to physical transitions brought on by hormone therapy or surgery. For some, the first day putting on a new bra or using a new name that matches the gender that is correct for them is the transition point. For those going from male to female or female to male, "passing" is the rite of passage. Joining a womens' or mens' circle and being honored as a new member of that sister or brotherhood can mark that moment. Being far enough along in transition to feel that society sees you as a "boy/girl/man/woman" now can be that moment of finishing transition.

Non-binary, non-gender, meta-gender, two-spirit and any other folks that I may have missed have more work that society puts upon them. Those who are not transitioning from one side of the spectrum to another still deserve our respect through appropriate use of names and pronouns. Continually having to come out over and over, reminding people of the correct pronouns to use, facing the assumptions people make based on your look or clothing is a difficult, painful process that I see my siblings face. Continual erasure.

For those of us that may be binary transgender or cis-gendered allies to the non-binary, non-gendered, meta-gender, and beyond, how can we best support our siblings?

In the CAYA Pagan Congregation, self-identified men and women are welcome in the moon circles of the brother and sisterhoods. A spiritual circle called the Rainbow Moon Circle was formed specifically to provide a place for those who identify anywhere along the spectrum and those who don't identify with the spectrum whatsoever are welcome and encouraged to join us. We do our best to engage with a variety of deity, our ritualists are beings all across the spectrum, and we seek to honor the experience of all of those who join us.

I know that our community will continue to engage in this discussion so that we can find the best ways to serve and support our non-binary siblings. We honor all of our siblings as God/dess/x gifts to the world.

Blessed Be.