Almost no spaces allow us to exist safely
For the covers of this issue of Geez magazine, Sam K. MacKinnon navigated gendered spaces and posed for photographer Callie Lugosi. See words from MacKinnon below.
Despite progressions in dismantling norms enforced by a gender binary, we continue to associate certain spaces with people of either male or female genders, reinforcing the scientifically and socially false notion that only two genders exist.
As a nonbinary person, I experience freedom in existing beyond the confines of strictly male or female identities. This freedom comes at a cost. While cisgender folks may find comfort and community in gendered spaces, I endure discomfort and dysphoria.
The reinforcement of gendered spaces is directly proportionate to the exclusion of gender non-conforming people and a harsh reminder that few to no spaces allow us to exist safely and freely as ourselves.
Sam K. MacKinnon is a writer and creative. They recently advocated for the introduction of nonbinary gender markers on Manitoba identification, resulting in a bill being introduced in Parliament.
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