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Really informative post. I have a degree in BioSci so this perspective wasn’t new to me. But I appreciated how you layered the science with our cultural conversations about gender and how we can love people best. Thanks.

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author

Thank you so much for saying so!!!

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Jan 1, 2022Liked by Colin Aitken

Thanks. I thought this was very clear & to the point. (l'm also a biosci major.)

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Jan 19, 2022·edited Jan 19, 2022

Your piece would be a lot more useful if it included any numbers. No biological (and more broadly, no physical) system is ever literally binary. Even the "binary" bits that are operating the screen you are reading are not literally binary, just a very, very close approximation to it.

Approximately 99.85% of humans are born with XX or XY chromosomes. (The other observed combinations, predominantly X, XXY, XYY, and XXXY) are abnormalities that collectively comprises something like one-tenth of one percent of all humans.

Your point is pedantic.

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My piece does include numbers! I refer to "at least a couple million" people the gender binary does not apply to, which is precisely the same number are your "one-tenth of one percent of all humans." It's a lot of people!

More importantly, it seems like you already agree with the main point of the piece: no system is every perfectly binary. There are always going to be people for whom the binary is a bad approximation, and acknowledging that they might be nonbinary should not be particularly controversial.

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