Elliot Page came out as a trans male in recent news, and Demi Lovato came out as non-binary. Oddly, as someone who is also part of the LGBT+ community, I find that Demi receives much more hate than Elliot has been on social media.
A quick explanation of trans individuals: identifying as a trans male means that person feels that they are in the wrong body when presenting as female, and vice versa; trans females, feel that they are in the wrong body when presenting as males. Some people have gender reassignment surgeries to feel more comfortable in their bodies. For example, Elliot Page had top surgery. Not everyone can have surgery though, so there are other options such as binders for trans males and dressing differently (although clothing has no gender!)
I’ve noticed that most of the comments surrounding Demi and their pronouns changing to they/them had been associated with them seemingly announcing something new “too often,” which in turn has caused people to comment hate against them. Personally, I also identify as non-binary, so for those of you who aren’t sure what the fuss is about, allow me to explain.
Non-binary means that an individual does not associate themselves as a specific gender (being male or female.) Male and female are very straightforward genders; non-binary is more in the grey area. Because individuals who identify as non-binary do not consider themselves male or female, their pronouns are they/them, whereas people who identify as female have she/her pronouns, and individuals who identify as male have he/him pronouns.
The complexity of gender and sexuality really can be difficult for some to grasp. I’ve found a mix of reactions to my coming out as non-binary; where some fully support me and understand it, others support but aren’t knowledgeable, and then there’s the handful that doesn’t support at all or even care to understand because in their minds, there are only two genders, male and female. I am biologically a female, but because I also identify as non-binary, I say my pronouns are she/her or they/them. I would not be offended by being called a female (she/her) while others that are non-binary would be. It’s a spectrum, however regardless of the gender or lack therefore that someone identifies with, I strongly believe that everyone deserves respect and to be treated equally.
My last big point here is that yes, mistakes happen! Sometimes I even catch myself using the wrong pronouns for Demi Lovato, for example. The best thing to do when an error happens with pronouns is to correct yourself. Making a bigger deal about it than necessary is not the way to go.
Elliot Page recently posted his first topless photo on Instagram. He showed his incredible physique, and the majority of the comments were quite supportive. I don’t understand why Elliot Page is receiving more support than Demi Lovato, but both deserve respect. Again, as someone who is part of the LGBT+ community, I know how scary it can be to come out of the closet and how scary it can be to be authentically yourself. You never know who’s going to support you and who won’t. I think it’s safe to say too many LGBT+ people are dying due to a lack of support. This is a complex issue, but it needs to be looked at, and it needs attention.