Audio

Neither male nor female — What it's like to identify as 'non-binary'

In a world that classifies people as either male or female, some don't identify as either.

'It's kind of exhausting to try to constantly defend and explain and almost justify your existence'

B Haywood says living as a transgender person who identifies as neither female, nor male, can be a daily challenge. (Amy Hadley )
Neither male nor female. We'll find out what life is like for one transgender person in Thunder Bay who identifies as 'non-binary 7:28
B Haywood is a non-binary transgender person, living in Thunder Bay, Ont.

In a world that classifies people as either male or female, 21-year-old Haywood doesn't identify as either.

It's a situation that can cause daily complications, and confusion with everything from pronouns, to public washrooms. 

"It's not easy, for the most part," said Haywood. "I find it's kind of exhausting to try to constantly defend and explain and almost justify your existence to people."

A lot of the time, that means simply learning to let things slide, said Haywood, and brushing off misunderstanding.

"You have to withstand a lot ... you have to have a lot of sureness and steadfastness in yourself to know that your identity is valid, and your identity is exactly how it is. And that's okay." 

Identifying as non-binary has also made the already challenging task of accessing transgender healthcare, even more difficult, said Haywood, who's creating a web site to serve as a resource for other non-binary transgender people in the north, seeking services. 

Listen to more of B Haywood's story here: