This is just who I am.

Am I a boy or a girl? I wasn't really a girl at heart either; after a period full of dresses and make-up, I knew I didn't feel comfortable with this. Yet the boy side didn't feel right either and I ran into the same dilemmas again. Until one day I saw a video that clearly explained what the term non-binary meant. I felt recognition in that and understood how it felt for that person. This is just who I am.


The moment I realised I was non-binary, I still waited a long time to tell others. I felt as though people wouldn't get it. In the end, I told both my parents and my little brother and luckily they reacted quite well. Still, many things did not go completely without a hitch.


For instance, at a party I had the unpleasant experience of someone taking a picture of me to send to his friends. His aim was to exhibit me as some kind of circus animal. I didn't feel taken seriously at all and was also deliberately ignored by a large group of people that same evening. They did this by purposely turning their backs to me while conversations were going on, probably because they did not want to be associated with me. Despite the large number of people at the party, this did cause several moments where I felt alone.


These kinds of unpleasant things don't just happen at parties. Once, for instance, I was standing in the train with a group of people around my age next to me. One of them looked at me and then spoke out loud: "People who don't want to be men or women, are confused and they do not belong here". This person kept looking at me, while the small group joined in. I felt hurt and even became irritated. Somehow, I thought I had to say something about it, to explain my side.


In a situation where I had partially managed to do this, I walked to school with a girl and during this trip we talked about the topic of gender. She told me that she did not understand why I used different pronouns during my introduction, but that she now saw me differently since our first meeting. However, she still thinks I should not be non-binary, but fortunately also that everyone in the Netherlands is allowed to have their own opinion. As if I can choose this.