If cisgender people aren’t telling non-binary people how they should present themselves, they’re busy asking these eight invasive questions. A big step to being a good trans/non-binary ally is to stop asking these questions.
“Are you a boy or a girl?”
None of the above; that’s kind of the whole point. Non-binary people can present themselves in whatever way they want. This question can be harmful and annoying.
“How do they/ them pronouns work for one person?”
There’s a vast difference between asking this question respectfully and saying it as a statement. No one should have to explain their pronouns to you, and non-binary folks don’t just use they/them pronouns, you should respect their pronouns.
“You don’t look non-binary”
There’s no one way to look non-binary. No hairstyle, aesthetic, or facial feature makes you look non-binary. No one has to look a certain way to identify as non-binary.
“What bathroom do you use?”
The clean one with spare tissue papers. Please don’t ask this question. First of all, we are in Nigeria, where there are hardly any gender-neutral bathrooms. We use the one that ensures that no one will throw a tire over our heads when we step out.
“Why do you shop in the men/women section?”
Because as soon as people attach “gender-neutral” to a clothing item, it costs an arm and a leg. Plus, clothes become gender-neutral when non-binary folks wear them and decide on that.
“Are you intersex?”
Not all intersex folks are non-binary, and it all boils down to the fact that you expect them to look a certain way. No one owes you an answer to this very invasive question. You can’t be an ally and be asking questions like these.
“What’s going on down there?”
Not a lot, and none of your business. Non-binary folks don’t ask people what they have in their pants because that’s not something sane people do. Cisgender people should extend the same courtesy.
“What was your dead name?”
Not all non-binary folks feel the need for a name change, and when they do change their name, it’s probably because the previous one didn’t feel right, cisgender folks change their names too. They do not owe you an answer to these questions, and to be honest, especially not when the dead name triggers their dysphoria.