On becoming Ryn

Hi. My name is Ryn, and I'm nonbinary.

Nonbinary is a term to describe people who don't feel like they fit into the binary male/female definition of gender. For a while, I had my gender in an employer's internal staff directory listed at various times as "nope", "do I have to", and "DON'T WANT TO CAN'T MAKE ME", because I am very good at free-form text fields. I knew for years that being a woman didn't feel particularly accurate to me, but being a man didn't fit either, and since being a tomboy was always relatively socially acceptable as a person who was assigned female at birth, I just kind of went with it.

For years, I didn't know there were any other options. But it turns out there are. Being nonbinary feels right, as opposed to just feeling less wrong.

I'm very fortunate to be in a place where I can be out about my gender identity and transition at work and in public. A big part of why I'm writing this now is because representation and visibility are important. I could have saved myself a lot of angst and dysphoria over the years had I known that being nonbinary was a thing; I would like to hope that the more of us are able to share our stories, the easier things might be for other nonbinary people in the future as they travel their own gender exploration journeys.

The other reason for writing this is to hopefully eliminate (or at least reduce) confusion that might arise, since I am now using a different name than I have for the rest of my career up until now.

  • My name is (legally, hurray!) Ryn now!

    • Ryn is pronounced /rin/, and rhymes with 'gin', not 'wine'.

    • If you have me in your contacts already, please update this!

    • My old name will still be around in places like videos of talks that I've given that other people have updated, old blog posts/interviews that people wrote about me - I don't really have the time or energy to try and update every instance of my name that isn't controlled by me, but please use my new name to refer to me going forward.

    • If you interact with someone who is using my old name and I'm not around, please feel encouraged to bring them up to speed with the new one.

  • I use they/them pronouns, not she/her ones.

    • Yes, singular they is a thing. Deal with it.

    • If someone is using the wrong pronouns and I'm not around, feel free to fill them in on this as well. (This is part of being an ally.)

Sage Sharp wrote a wonderful post recently in a very similar vein, and they included a bunch of links/resources/examples that I would highly recommend people read if they have the time and inclination.

I want to thank Etsy and Travis CI for being incredibly supportive workplaces during this whole process, all the friends and colleagues who have been there for me along the way, and especially my girlfriend for giving me the space and love and encouragement to figure out what it means to become truly me.

blogRyn Daniels