Rain Dove: How to come out as non-binary

Rain Dove

Model and activist Rain Dove has told PinkNews their tops tips for coming out as non-binary.

Dove, a self-proclaimed “gender capitalist,” explained that they first came out as a number of different sexualities—including saying they were a lesbian and later pansexual—before deciding that they did not want to “confine myself by trying to define myself.”

The 29-year-old model explained: “Why can’t I just be I? Why can’t I just love who I love?”

Watch PinkNews’ interview with Rain Dove below:

The star, who is currently dating actor Rose McGowan, has outlined their guide for anyone wanting to come out as anything other than the male and female gender binaries.

Labels aren’t always necessary, says Rain Dove

For Dove, using labels should never be a requirement.

“You don’t have to say: ‘I’m non-binary,’ you just simply say: ‘I am I and I don’t identify as male or female. I don’t identify as anything except for myself,'” Dove told PinkNews.

“And if you want people to use neutral pronouns, you’re welcome to ask for those.”

Be patient with family and friends

Dove also explained that, while a non-binary person has had their “entire life” to digest who they are, it’s important to understand that “some people are just not going to get it.”

“Especially when it comes to parents, they were born with brainwashed ideas of what it means to be a parent,” explained Dove.

The model continued: “They have a lot to unravel, they have hopes and dreams for you.

“They had to come up with a name for you and pick out your clothing.”

“There is absolutely no limit to the you that is you, so don’t limit yourself.”

—Rain Dove

Dove explained that telling parents that “there’s something new that they have to consider” can seem “scary [to them] and it can feel like a threat.”

The model added: “It may not seem like good parenting when somebody is upset, but often times they just need some time, and you need to think of your end result.”

Dove advised: “Always educate, don’t hate.”

Rain Dove: Only come out if you’re safe and ready to do so

Dove says that there is no pressure to come out as any gender or sexuality.

“You’re not less of a person if you don’t come out,” they said.

“I think it’s important to know that because some of us are in environments in which coming out can result in homelessness.

“It can result in physical abuse, sexual abuse and verbal abuse that can chip away at our ability to get the grades in school we need to go to whatever career path we wanna go to in life.”

They added: “You don’t have to come out to everyone in order to be valid… knowing your truth is most of the battle, so as long as you know your truth, and you’re just true to that, you’re good enough.”

Find your support network

If you do want to come out, Dove said that it’s important to ensure that “no matter what happens, you’re prepared for the situation.”

“Play a little bit of defence before you got into offence mode,” they explained.

“That means that, if you can’t find any friends or people that can be a support network for you emotionally, reach out online to programmes like Trevor Project or any LGBT centres in your area, or even a teacher at school, and let them know what you’re about to do.

“And make sure that you have a housing resource ready for you.”

Dove also explained that everyone should “understand that there’s a whole planet out there.

“You are not stuck in whatever house, home, town, village, city, park—wherever you are—you’re not stuck there,” they said.

“There is absolutely no limit to the you that is you, so don’t limit yourself.”

If you are in the UK and need support, contact Switchboard’s LGBT+ helpline. If you are in the US, get in touch with The Trevor Project.