A request from young people Niels-Christian Bilenberg, pedagogical coordinator responsible for CfDP’s online youth counselling, Cyberhus.dk, explains that a need for another gender identity on Cyberhus.dk came to his attention because of user-requests:
“Over some time, we have regularly been in contact with young people who have had the need to speak to a counsellor about the challenges of being born a certain sex, however feeling like the other, or something else. One day, a young person specifically wrote: “Why do you have to choose gender? I don’t think I fit any of them!”, and someone else wrote: “I’ve actually been wanting to use your chat but I haven’t been able to choose a gender I can identify with, so I ‘ve opted out” – this must feel completely wrong to someone, and so, I thought we should do something about that.”Niels-Christian explains that such comments from young people kick-started the implementation of another gender identity on Cyberhus.dk, so that young people who feel like both, or neither, have the opportunity to choose a gender with which they can identify when they seek counselling on Cyberhus.dk.
One understanding of gender covering several gender identitiesWe have a broad range of gender identies and understandings of gender – in Great Britain, for instance, you can choose between 71 different genders when creating a profile on Facebook. Cyberhus.dk cannot host that many options of genders, so we had to choose one that covered all:
“With help from our young people, Cyberhus.dk has decided to use the non-binary understanding of identity, since this represents a kind of umbrella identity which may contain all,” explains Niels-Christian.
We must include everyoneNiels-christian expects that a great many young people may not know what it means to be non-binary. Fortunately, there is a simple solution:
“If our users do not know what it means to be non-binary, then we’ll take it from there and explain to them that some people experience being neither, and of course, we want to include all.”Niels-Christian believes that in ten years time – at least, in Denmark – it will be perfectly natural that people have the opportunity to choose genders other than the classical male and female when having to state their gender. We hope that the option of choosing between yet another gender on Cyberhus will be well received.]]>