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Manifesto for a Non-Binary and Genderless Society

After years of self-discovery in an unwelcoming environment, SabricanÖzdemir reveals their personal exploration of who they are and what their dream is. As a non-binary person, they share their opinion on a genderless future where everyone can be their one-of-a-kind self.

Meli Campbell, Brain Dead, 2020. Digital drawing.

Although gender is believed to create a common point of order in the organisation in human life, it is essentially a phenomenon that establishes hegemony, as well as oppression for everyone. The gender roles that humanity has diligently developed for hundreds of thousands of years have come to the fore in modern societies today as gender binary systems. This is a problem for all who have a share in social and community life, especially those who do not conform to the norms. It cannot be denied that identities indicating gender and sexual orientation, which we use as descriptive adjectives today, build a power relation and put pressure on people, especially those who do not conform to the gender binary system and non-conformists. As a non-binary person, I want to be the voice of those who do not conform to the gender binary system and talk about my own point of view as someone who hopes for a genderless society.

When a baby is born, a sex is assigned by looking at the genitals; female or male. There are also intersex bodies that do not conform to this norm, in which case society assigns a gender to them so they can conform to the norm. People are traditionally raised according to gender roles set by the society in which they live,and are expected to adopt the role assigned to them. But some people do not feel comfortable with the norms resulting from the gender assigned to them at birth, and they may identify with another gender with which they can express themselves more comfortably. The cis-heteronormativite world has got relatively accustomed to the existence of trans people, who can find a place for themselves in the gender binary system to some extent. However, it has recently had to confront the existence of people who cannot find a place for themselves in the gender binary system at all. Some people have started to say that they do not express themselves with the gender role assigned to them at birth, and they have come out of the closet with identities including non-binary, gender non-conforming, gender-fluid, a gender, gender queer, etc., that are included under the non-binary umbrella. I believe breaking heteronormative norms could be the beginning of humanity's progress towards a genderless society.

"As a non-binary person, I want to be the voice of those who do not conform to the gender binary system and talk about my own point of view as someone who hopes for a genderless society.”

The concepts of femininity and masculinity can vary from society to society and even from person to person within the same society. Even if they do not have fixed definitions, they are on a spectrum. Each person has their own understanding of gender, even if it does not go beyond the boundaries of the spectrum defined by societies. However, some people may sometimes go beyond the limits set by the general understanding. In oppressive and traditional societies, people who do not fit in their assigned sex may face othering, violence, and even murder. This poses both a physical and a psychological threat to non-conforming individuals. At the same time, it can cause standardization in society and also restrict freedom of self-expression.

Gender is the basis for shaping the perception of beauty in society, and it can create gender dysphoria in people who do not fit in their assigned sex. However, gender dysphoria doesn't always have to create body dysphoria, contrary to popular belief. Gender dysphoria occurs due to the perception of the body based on gender, which society creates through a process of cumulative construction. Since the roles attributed to anatomical features would not exist in a genderless society, such a society can reduce the rate of those who suffer from living with their assigned gender, and even reduce the rate of gender dysphoria to zero. Since this genderlessness would also play a role in breaking many other norms, it would also cause the given perception of beauty to change.

Meli Campbell, Woman Down, 2020. Ink drawing.

In addition to the free space created through the opportunity for people to express themselves as they wish, this revolutionary step in gender issues is also quite political. The gender binary is a system that creates a restrictive and oppressive power relation;one group of people is more privileged and powerful than the other. It is an irrefutable fact that cis-gender people who fit in their assigned sex have an advantage over people who do not. This can be compared to power imbalances between men and women, white people and black people, people who do not have a disability and people with disabilities. Notions like gender and sexual orientation that create “the other” through traditions, morality and religion deepen such divides. This, in turn, can lead to people who are minorities facing situations such as the inability to integrate into society, othering, loneliness, and violence.

One of the reasons I want a genderless future is that this future would eliminate this power relation and people would not be living oppressed by societal norms, but rather as one of a kind individuals who can express themselves and their gender identity in anyway they want. By underlining the freedom of self-expression, we can make gender dysphoria a thing of the past. This in itself justifies the complete disappearance of gender norms. I, personally, hope fora free and genderless future that can make humanity,which is so advanced in communication and knowledge, less lonely and more whole.