For the first time openly non-binary athlete at Winter Games: ‘Still taboo’

“A lot of people have no idea what non-binary means,” Sutherland experienced when he told fellow cyclists that he was non-binary. “Some people are confused when I tell it, others say you can’t be non-binary, it doesn’t exist.”

“But there are also people who almost see it as a personal attack when I say I’m non-binary and who think it’s disgusting. A few weeks ago I got a look thrown at me when I was riding my racing bike in Amsterdam. sat in a rainbow cap Some also ask if I was a girl or a boy when I was born, but that’s not a nice question to ask a non-binary person It’s about how you feel, how you are addressed want to be, not what gender you were at birth.”

Sutherland explains that it is difficult for a non-binary athlete to choose which category to compete in. “In most sports you only have a women’s and a men’s category. We are forced to choose. I prefer to look at my level and base my choice on that. That fits better with the women’s category at the moment, but I feel It’s very uncomfortable because I’m addressed as a woman all the time, when I’m not.”

Constantly coming out of the closet

As a result, Sutherland very often has to explain that it is non-binary. “If you’re non-binary, you actually have to come out all the time. You have to explain every time that you are neither a woman nor a man. That is very difficult. It would be nice if more sports had a mixed category I would feel more at home there.”