My given name is gendered, but it sounds very close to a unisex name. Think “Tyler” and “Taylor” kind of thing. It’s close enough that when I introduce myself people sometimes mishear the gender-neutral name. And I’ve… stopped correcting them.

I like the gender-neutral name. It’s always been my default online pseudonym on sites that need a “real” name. And I like how I feel when I hear people call me by that name.

I haven’t actually ever introduced myself by that name. And I’m nowhere near being ready to ask people who know me, who know my given name, to call me something else.

I have poked a toe out of the closet, though. Two people now know I’m nonbinary (the same two people who know I’m ace). I didn’t come right out and say it. I was kind of talking around it, I didn’t want to just use the word and then find myself having to explain it, so I was trying to explain myself without labeling it. (Why that felt easier I don’t know).

One friend seemed not to really get what I was saying, but was willing to go with it. The other friend let me ramble and then said, “So, to clarify – like nonbinary?” and I said yes and the response to that was “Cool. Cool, cool.”

Even with them, though, I’m still afraid to say “Can you call me ___”.

But, I don’t know. Progress.


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