Non-Binary Identities News Feature on BBC Radio Scotland


Two young people who attend an LGBT Youth Scotland youth group spoke to BBC Scotland reporter Fiona Walker about their experience of being non-binary.

J and 'Fionn', were both born female. They spoke anonymously to the BBC, sharing their stories about being non-binary - someone who doesn't feel male or female.

Fionn identifies as "gender fluid". The 16-year-old shared their experiences and what being non-binary means to them.

"My gender can vary, from identifying as a mix between a boy and a girl. I'll wake up and I'll be like, 'I feel like this today'."

"What you have between your legs doesn't make you what you are," says 'J'.

"If they could understand non-binary genders, I think they would probably not see it as much of a surprise. But it's just the fact they don't know, and it's draining to try to explain.”

The Equality Network and the Scottish Transgender Alliance are campaigning for a third gender to be recognised in Scottish law.

J says: "I've filled a lot of forms and it is quite often male/female and you feel just stuck. You feel I am neither of these boxes - I don't come under either of them - not accurately. And I feel so uncomfortable with that.

"So if there was another box, it would be fantastic. It would be a relief to think I can tick that, and not feel very uncomfortable with it."

Fionn believes a change that like would also have wider benefits: "It would be a good place to start, because the government would be aware that these people do exist. It would give Scotland more of a view of how many non-binary people there are. We would be able to be more informed."

Michael Richardson, Development Officer at LGBT Youth Scotland said:

"There's been about 100 young people (in the west of Scotland) in the three years since the group's been running, who have been in and out of the service.

"That doesn't account for the young people who can't come to a group like this for geographical or personal reasons. It also doesn't account for the number of people we support through our online youth groups and online chats, and the young people who call up to get advice."

"We have really good legislation in Scotland in terms of equal marriage, hate crime law and the Equality Act. I think once you change legislation that really helps to change a culture.

"There's a huge amount of work to do in terms of work in schools on LGBT awareness and breaking down gender stereotypes. We're a long way away from a perfect society for trans people and LGBT."

The feature was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland show on Sunday 26th of July 2015. You can listen to the show again, and hear J and Fionn's stories here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b062mzbj (listen from 1hr 30mins).

You can read the BBC news article that goes along with the feature here -