It’s great that some fractions in the ÖH, the Council of Austrian Students acknowledge that nonbinary people exist. It’s great that they’re using part of the publicity generated by their campaigns to give us some visibility.

Unfortunately I feel like we’re being made the butt of the joke for cis people. But let’s start at the beginning.

The GRAS, the Green and Alternative Students’ fraction has been distributing buttons with the options “male”, “female” and “UNICORN”, with the last one being checked. Personally I like these buttons but the reality is that it’ll be mostly cis people wearing them “for the lulz”.

And I’m not comfortable with that. I thought long and hard about gender. About how I identify. About whom this concept is of any use to anyway. I identified as both purely male and purely female for some time until I figured out what works for me. And cis people saying “Oh, I’m not male or female I’m a ~~UNICORN~~” invalidates that struggle.

I don’t think any harm was meant by this and that it was simply a result of allies talking for nonbinary folks. This is a problem. Please, don’t joke about nonbinary people on your campaign material unless there are nonbinary folks present to check whether it might be hurtful.

We exist. We aren’t some abstract concept of nonbinary people that might in theory exist. We are people with stories, experiences and feelings. It’s really hurtful to be used as the punch line for your jokes.