“So she’s nonbinary?”

So what happens when you talk to kids about being nonbinary? I’ll share lots of stories about that, but let me start off with this one. I just want to show the simple types of conversations that happen.

In this case I was chatting with Olivia and Harper, two 4 year olds, after we read Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl? by Sarah Savage and Fox Fisher. This is a story about a nonbinary child called Tiny who moves to a new school and gets bullied because they don’t use “he” or “she”, but rather just their name. At the time of this conversation, I knew both Olivia and Harper quite well and we’d talked previously about me being nonbinary and what this meant.

This is the conversation we had:

Although this is a fairly banal conversation which I think is the main point I want to make here, there’s a few things of which you might also take note. Olivia brings some skepticism (1.) that she believes the nonbinary character Tiny is actually a boy, and then maybe a girl when Olivia says, “So, she’s nonbinary” and (2.) when she uses “think” in saying “How come you think you’re not a girl or a boy?” as if I might be mistaken about my own gender. But she is certainly showing interest and trying to engage. She also has some understanding of what nonbinary means, bringing it up herself. Likewise Harper engages without confusion, and confidently links me back to the idea in the book where at the end the nonbinary character Tiny says, “I am me.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *