Binaries only matter in code and logic

I think the title speaks for itself. For me, the only place where binaries matter are in code (computers speak in 1s and 0s) and logical systems (true or false). Anything fuzzier than that isn’t a binary system, no matter what people might say.

Humans cannot be expressed in absolutes. There is no way to simply split society in two without causing friction at your chosen splitting point.

Let’s take something relatively innocuous: voting age. In the UK, that’s 18. So you can split society into “voters” and “non-voters” based on their age, right? Well, no. Because some people won’t vote or even bother registering to vote. And other people will argue for raising the voting age while others will argue for lowering it. And some other people will argue for removing the vote from people they consider unworthy of having it.

If you can’t have a clean definition of voting eligibility that people won’t argue about or try to change, then how can you expect to have an absolute definition of gender or sexuality?

Men are not defined by their penises, women are not defined by their wombs. Even if you try and make an argument about biology, intersex people have existed for thousands of years with both sets of organs, and it’s not unknown for people to physically express one way but be biologically the other due to a hormonal imbalance.

I hesitate to even use the idea of a spectrum, because a spectrum itself is a line. I look at things more like a colour wheel, where rather than having absolutes, there is no defined end and aspects can be brighter or darker.

A colour wheel showing colours blending together

But then I think about it and perhaps it’s more akin to the charts that anime/manga creator sometimes use to compare characters abilities. Where there are multiple aspects to someone’s gender and sexual identity which could vary in scale.

Various stat wheels showcasing different character abilities

Perhaps rather than having a scale of masculinity to femininity, they are instead separate scales where someone could express aspects of both without seeming unusual in doing so.

I could go on a long diatribe about this stuff, but at the end of the day, I thought it would be good to have on a t-shirt and was a little disappointed the design didn’t already exist, so I made it.

Also, it turned out it was non-binary day when I wrote this. Whoops! Good time to restate that my disbelief in binaries extends to myself. I am genderqueer, non-binary, somewhere nebulously outside the norm.

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