Being non-binary isn’t just about gender.

I think it fair to say that one of my favorite occupations after I run screaming from my office at the end of the week, is to relax and settle down for a quiet weekend on the water. This is the time when, after the gnashing of teeth and sobbing generally has subsided that I can put my feet up, watch one or two friends trying to look masculine and impressive, and lament the absence of my wife, still unaccountably travelling in Europe.

If there was a week that would drive one to a gnashing of teeth, and generally pulling one’s hair out in frustration, it was indeed the week that has just ended.  On the whole my clients at the advertising agency are a sweet and very receptive group of people. They accept my somewhat unusual approach to life, in exchange for some very sound advertising and marketing guidance for which I am grateful as it does provide me with a satisfactory income. Having said that, I despair at some of the clients. 

We do have a number of ‘pro bono’ accounts, which is to say they are charities which we support by donating our time to them. One does hope, however, that they have some experience in the worlds of advertising and marketing.  When the Eczema Awareness Foundation recently came to us looking for some assistance raising awareness of that unfortunate condition, I hosted a roundtable discussion at the advertising agency, to encourage their creative ideas. I was surprised then, late in the week, when they came back with the idea that they’d like to try a scratch card campaign. While these campaigns do indeed raise awareness and can be fun, a scratch card doesn’t seem an appropriate way to raise awareness of Eczema. These are the challenges I am forced to deal with.

And, of course, there’s the development company attempting to convince the small and ecologically perfect community on the coastline nearby, that they should be the location of an enormous Liquified Natural Gas refinery and port. Not realising that most of the people in this community are retired and living in a place of outstanding natural beauty,  their advertising campaign focused on their idea of bringing business to the small town. Our agency was called into to quell the negative publicity after the natural gas company plastered signs all over the small town, saying “LNG – This place is going to boom!”

Spending a lovely sunny afternoon wandering around the town tearing down posters with Sylvester, who came along for the ride, was not really the kind of thing I expected to be doing at this stage of my career, but I really don’t mind. Especially as we spent so much of the late afternoon and evening kayaking up the spectacular British Columbia shoreline after checking into an AirBnB.

Sometimes my skills are required to help bring all sides to the table and get things back on track. And on that subject, I would say the ability to see things in a way that makes use of the middle ground is a skill that is sadly lacking these days. Today the president of the United States, having failed to sign off on a bill from Congress that would extend help to many families struggling with the economic fallout of the Corona virus, showed us how little leadership we can expect these days from some leaders. It can really seem that people see things only as black and white. And they fear yielding their position will be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

As one who crossdresses and considers myself ‘non-binary’ I think myself reasonably qualified to say, ‘life just isn’t that simple.’ Those of us who see the broad swathe of ground between ‘yes’ and ‘no’, ‘left’ and ‘right’, and ‘male’ and ‘female’ are likely to be the ones who come out of 2020 a lot happier. Our ability to occupy the middle is our strength. I find it quite refreshing that those of us who do crossdress do seem to have a perspective that is better able to adapt than many others. In talking with hundreds of members, it’s a characteristic that seems to come through quite consistently.

So, as we go into another summer weekend I thought I’d just remind you, keep a look out for those ‘yes’ or ‘no’ situations. When you come across one, stop and ask yourself, “is there middle ground?’ Being ‘non-binary’ can be about things even bigger than gender.

For those of you who love Clothes Maketh The Man, I’m pleased to say that Part 43 will be coming out later today, or possibly early tomorrow morning. If you’re looking for parts 25 onward, you can find them on my Patreon.

Now, Bernard tells me we’re in for a lovely day of sailing tomorrow. I think I can accept that position. Have a lovely weekend.

😊

Fiona

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