Greetings and salutations! My name is Zeam Porter, I am 20 years old, I am truly a scf-fi geek and love art! I believe being non-binary is not just who I am but allows me to see the fluidity and ambiguity in everything! I love how art and expression can move us to act and feel in new ways. I hope by sharing my story, you, as a reader/listener are inspired to think, feel and even dream in a new way!
Being non-binary does have its challenges. I often do not have a restroom to use, am confused when classes are separated by gender and don’t see myself in media. Often times challenges like these lead me to believe that I am not real or valid. I often feel a lot of guilt and self-doubt, even asking myself, “What if its all in my head?”.
Growing up, I thought all had to memorize the gender and its social order. I thought many people forgot which one was assigned to them at birth or dreamed about a world with more than two genders. When I first came out, I found the opposite to be true. I found many thought I was making up terms or just wanted attention. It was hard combatting all the negative opinions and questions. It was even hard finding local resources that engaged with people like me. There was a point in time where I was truly ashamed of being non-binary, I thought if no one is talking about it, It, or rather I must not be true or correct.
But then I began to meet other trans folks. Through community engagement and helping out with my local non-profit, I even met an elder who identified as non-binary! After sitting down and speaking with them I felt like I was no longer alone. They gave me a brief history lesson on how gender was constructed in the first place and then recommend articles for me to read and share with my family and friends. It was through our talks and reading educational toolkits ,similar to this one, that I realized that I am not just one of many people who identify as non-binary but representation is also starting to gain traction! It was with the help of my mentor and educational resources that I began to gain the strength to speak with administration of my college about all gender welcoming bathrooms. Through my chats with admin, I was pointed to the several all gender-welcoming bathrooms we have on campus and joined the committee hoping to get more!