|Julie Schaeffer, right, and Cal.|
“Cal is nonbinary,” she said.
I asked how she learned about this.
“When Cal was about 15 years old, they had gone to a gaming convention with my husband,” she said. “When Cal was there, they asked my husband if they could put a different name on their tag. That was the first time they sort of felt comfortable enough, emboldened to put it out of the rest of the world to see.”
How did the Schaeffers react?
“We hadn’t heard much before then,” she said. Her husband had an easier time, referring to Cal with the third person plural pronoun “they” and such. “He did better than I did. I just didn’t understand it at first. I didn’t know anyone else who was nonbinary, I didn’t understand it.”
There’s a lot of that going around. I asked her to explain what being “nonbinary” means.
“Cal does not identify as either male or female,” she said. “It’s not that they ever woke up in the morning and said, ‘I feel like a girl,’ or ‘I feel like a boy.’ Neither gender resonated with them.”
That news might shock a parent.
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