It’s interesting you publish this just when I was thinking about one of my new friends.

I live in a very small village in west Michigan with fewer than 500 people. As far as I have noticed over the 3 years I’ve lived here, I am the only LGBTQ person anywhere around.

I mean, I’m sure I’m not, but queer folks around here are pretty stealth. It’s a matter of survival.

But very recently, I walked into a small store and I noticed immediately that the cashier is non-binary.

Their clothing choices and personal appearance made it clear they were rejecting conventional, binary ideas about gender.

I was delighted to run into another LGBTQ person to say the least, and we’ve struck up a casual friendship.

I mentioned to them the other day that I thought they were very brave for choosing the gender presentation that they choose.

They explained to me that while the choice might be brave, they wish it didn’t have to be so hard. They dress and present the way they do because that’s who they are inside. They do it because they need to.

And around here, deep in Trump country, that’s especially hard.

I really do wish for them and for everybody that the gender binary of fashion were not so rigid.

It should not be so hard for my new friend to be who they are.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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