Is My Suit Making You Uncomfortable?

Being nonbinary brings out the worst in people

Jay Ludlow Martin
Human Parts
Published in
7 min readNov 7, 2019


Photo: Tunvarat Pruksachat/Getty Images

MyMy dad told me why I don’t have any money the other day. Well, he told me one of the reasons I don’t have any savings and a carload of student loan debt. He said, matter-of-factly, “Well, but you’ve always had a hard time finding a job for a number of reasons.” Then he gesticulated in my direction. I wasn’t wearing anything particularly flamboyant, but still I took his point.

The reasons are numbered as follows:

  1. I have to take off my necktie when I go to the gynecologist.
  2. End of reasons.

I don’t wear a tie in the sexy way that Blake Lively does in A Simple Favor. I wear a tie the way former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly wears a tie. I wear a tie the way an accountant wears a tie, or your boyfriend wears a tie, or your accountant boyfriend who you wish would just propose already wears a tie.

This sublist may also help.

People and things I’ve been told I resemble:

  • The color grey
  • A tree
  • Shaun White
  • A 14-year-old boy
  • A bird
  • Jojen Reed from Game of Thrones
  • The little boy from Love, Actually
  • Eddie Redmayne
  • A young Carol Burnett

So I’m queer, nonbinary, and underachieving. Surprisingly, my wallet isn’t empty because I got a graduate degree in something stupid (although it’s true that I did). It is because I show up to job interviews in a suit and my resume still has a woman’s name on it. I’ve been unemployed or underemployed for 15 years. This probably isn’t your fault. A lot of people have it worse, much worse — please do not include me in any kind of sympathy competition.

You’re going to want me to prove the connection to being nonbinary. I don’t think I will. Fine, here: A business executive type-boss once told me I should’ve chosen a “less conventional industry.” Another time, I found out I made $20,000 less than a cis person in the same role as me.

PPeople don’t want me in their bathrooms. What do you want me to say? A black man…



Jay Ludlow Martin
Human Parts

Editor of Human Parts. Writer based in Manhattan. Gay Trans Pizza. Author: Death by Nostalgia (2018) and my own misfortune.