Non-binary: “Among my children they called me Mamosch”

Rainbow family with part of the trans
“When adults make a drama out of it, it also becomes a drama for children.”

Children are open to queer until suspected adults join them, explains Jj Link in an interview.

© Xavier Lorenzo / Adobe Stock

Jj Link is a non-binary parent. In the interview, Jj talks about the path to his own gender identity and how this topic is dealt with in the family.

Jj Link, pronounced “Jay-Jay” (the name means the first and last name of Jj Jasmin Janosch) is non-binary – and at first that is a challenge for some people. As the name suggests, our binary gender system knows exactly two genders: male and female. But people like Jj don’t see themselves as any of them.

Jj has two children aged 10 and 13. In an interview, Jj talks about how to find the right words for your own gender identity and why children aren’t a huge challenge on queer topics – but adults.

Non-binary is still unknown to many people

“One of the things about non-binary is that many people don’t know it, and it’s not known for anyone to define themselves as” neither nor, “” in between, “or” both, “says Jj. Over time, Jj found a good way to safely and quickly clarify his own gender identity, should it become a topic of conversation. “The more confident you are in such an explanation, the easier it is for other people to swallow what I want to say,” Jj learned. This is to minimize the “frightening moment” when people notice that the conversation with Mr. or Mrs. Link has not materialized. “Then I say,” Hello, my name is Jj. I have lived as Jasmin for 35 years, this is my e-mail address, but I don’t use that name anymore, I would be happy if you would tell me Jj. ‘”

“Among my children they called me Mamosch”

The German language has no markings for people like Jj: there are no pronouns like “er” or “sie”, there are no fixed gender terms like “Herr” or “Frau”, and there are no terms like “Mama” or “bye”. Non-binary people just don’t exist in German yet.

So you have to be creative yourself. “With my children, I stayed with my mother, at least mainly. We were all used to it. ” Meanwhile, family members tried “Mamosch”, a mixture of the coveted middle name Jj and “Mama” – but it didn’t work.

Jj has been going through for seven years, takes hormones, and undergoes flat-chest surgery. “I go from being a man reading a woman to a non-binary,” explains Jj. As a result, Jj – if you want to stick with binary terms – looks more masculine, which also leads to fun situations with children: “I find it kind of funny when there are apparently only men in the group, but one of my kids,” Mom! ” he calls and I turn away. “

Children stay open until suspected adults join them

Non-binary is not a big problem in the Jj family: “I didn’t explain too much to my kids that I wasn’t binary. Children are used to parents explaining the world to them. When my parents tell me that I explained to the child that there are males, females, and non-binary people, I would accept the same.

Instead, Jj tried to explain to the adults around his children what non-binary is about, because “Only when other adults make a drama out of something does it also become a drama for the kids.” Jj realizes that non-binary is something special, “but I think if children have a basic understanding of how people are different and that everyone has their own peculiarities, then they can be good at it.”

It’s also important to explain to your kids that not everyone can imagine or even know about topics like non-binary – and that there are certainly people who would be surprised. “It just doesn’t happen that often,” says Jj. But it is all the more important to pay attention to it, because non-binary is a reality of life like any other.


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