Tell us about yourself in one sentence
‘My name is Addison Rose Vincent, I use they/them pronouns, I am 26 years old, Canadian, and a proud transfeminine genderqueer non-binary person.’
Tell us a bit about your experiences as a transfeminine genderqueer non-binary person.
‘Every transfeminine and/or genderqueer person has their own unique experience and definition of that terminology. As someone who was assigned male at birth (AMAB), currently taking oestrogen, now has breasts and curves, and has a full beard, my experience is definitely unique. For me, “non-binary” fits how I don’t feel like a man or woman but somewhere between or outside those binary points. “Transfeminine” aligns with my social (and medical) transition from masculinity to femininity, especially in my gender expression and presentation. And “genderqueer” refers to how I express myself in a way to intentionally play with and challenge traditional notions of gender and the binary.’
You’ve been a really vocal trans rights activist – what started that for you?
‘When I came out as trans and non-binary at the age of 21 and as a student at Chapman University, I already knew and was repeatedly reminded that this society was not designed to support or empower people like me. I quickly learned that if I wanted to survive and thrive in this world, I needed to be fearless, take space, be unapologetically visible, and fight back. I also learned how important it was to be intersectional in my work, to prioritize, centre, empower, and follow those most vulnerable and marginalized by violence and oppression, keeping in mind that none of us are free until all of us are free.’
Why do you think it’s important?
‘It’s important for me to be vocal because not enough people are. I hope that by sharing my story and the story of my trans and non-binary siblings on social media platforms that aspiring allies will understand how they can support and empower our community. But even more importantly, I hope that by being unapologetically visible that I can be a possibility model to people of all ages and inspire them to explore their own genders and expressions, to find the joy in journeying beyond the binary, and to know that they are not alone.’
What do you want the future to look like for trans rights in the US and the world?
‘There’s so much to say! I would love to live in a future where trans people can access medical transition medication and procedures easily and affordably (ideally free), and not have to sacrifice fertility by transitioning (access to fertility banks and storage); where trans people are not reduced to our genitals, medical transitions, or as objects of desire or experimentation; where trans people can work, attend school, use bathrooms and locker rooms, love openly, and live without harassment or judgment; where trans people are visible in all sector and forms of media, not because of our identities but because of our skills and qualifications.’
Why did you start @breakthebinary?
‘I started @breakthebinary as my own personal social media platform, and “break the binary” was a phrase I loved and constantly used as a personal motto. Over time, I grew more followers and recognized that I could use this platform to share my journey, my transition, my story, and my beliefs. My account has grown a significant following in just the past couple months since I started growing out my beard and adding more hashtags in my posts.
I’ve been so grateful and humbled by the outpouring of love and support I’ve received, and messages from strangers thanking me for my visibility and the impact I’ve made on them always make my day. A few weeks ago, I also received a lot of hateful, threatening comments and messages, one describing me being hit by a bus, which is why I changed my comments setting so that only people I follow can comment on my posts. If only I had a setting like that for real life haha!’
What do you love about Pride month and pride celebrations?
‘I love being around community! I’m so grateful to be living in Los Angeles, and during Pride I feel like I have a whole month to be even more unapologetic in public spaces with how I present myself. Pride month also gives me and so many others a chance to understand our history, to honour our trailblazers like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, and reflect on where our community is 50 years after Stonewall and so many other pivotal moments like Compton’s Cafeteria and Black Cat Tavern (here in Los Angeles).’
What does Pride mean to you?
‘To me, Pride means celebrating my identity and showing the world how wonderful and amazing my identities and gender expression are. Pride means peeling back the layers of shame and stigma I have accumulated throughout my life (especially during my childhood and teen years), and replacing them with foundations of joy and self-love. Pride means walking out my front door each day as myself and into an often violence and hateful world to spread the message of love, peace, and freedom.’
For more from Addison, you can follow their Instagram @breakthebinary
If you have a question about sexuality, identity, relationships or anything else, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.