Note: This post has grown significantly in the past few days, so there are more than ten. If you want the short and sweet version, read the orange and bold-italic sections. That’ll give you the gist. However, if you’ve never written a non-binary character I strongly suggest you read the entire post.
So I’ve been reading, a dangerous thing these days, I know, especially for an author. But really, I have been reading, and beta-reading too, and I’ve come across several problems that I believe need to be addressed concerning non-binary characters.
Authors, if you add a non-binary character into your story, please take the following into consideration:
- Non-binary characters shouldn’t have their assigned at birth gender revealed early in a story, if at all, and only if it’s totally necessary. If the character still goes by their assigned-at-birth pronouns, fine, but if the character goes by they/them or any other non-binary pronoun choice then an author should respect this. Negating the non-binary by revealing the birth gender is unacceptable unless it is a situation like a courtroom (most states in the U.S. don’t recognize the non-binary) or the bedroom (where there should be frank discussion IMO before anything happens) and then the author should tread lightly, more so if the author isn’t non-binary (#ownvoices).