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After three weeks of isolation, I was being mic’d up and shuffled quickly down a hill to a puddle of strangers and a river of television crew.

I was on an island in Vietnam, ready to film a reality TV show – The Bridge: Race to a Fortune – with no idea what fate had in store for me.

Over the three weeks of quarantine, I had gone over in my head again and again how I would introduce myself to these people, for the first time, on camera.

After to-and-froing with my own levels of confidence, I knew there was only one course of action that wouldn’t leave me feeling regretful.

“Hi everyone, my name is Glasgow. My pronouns are they/them. How about yourselves?”

I am non-binary. For me, this means that I am neither a man, or a woman, but rather I consider myself outside of this gender binary.

I consider myself a trans individual and, as a result, see non-binary as being a sub-category of this. This is not necessarily the case for everyone but that’s the wonderful freedom of trans identities – not every non-binary person will have the same definition.

Equally, my choice of pronouns doesn’t speak to the entire community either. In my case, it means that I wake up every morning and consider my gender and my place in society in a way that most cisgender men or women never second guess. For me, that contemplation is always there. My gender resides in my head, and the way that I think about my place in the world.

When I introduced myself to the other cast mates, I was met by a few blank looks. This, of course, is not the first time that pronouns have caused confusion when meeting new people. 

However, there isn’t usually quite such a high risk. Ordinarily, I could rely on being able to leave if I was not accepted. In this situation, I was coming out to people I’d be spending two weeks filming with for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Coming out while filming a national TV show meant potentially isolating myself from my team mates, future friends, and even people I’d never met before.

I’ve often struggled to explain something as complex as my gender to other people, especially to those who are not so familiar with the LGBTQ+ community. It often feels like we have to prove our own identities and convince those around us that we aren’t exaggerating, or lying. 

This need to constantly explain and normalise non-binary identities is what encouraged me to take the plunge with this group of strangers. I decided I was going to broadcast my trans queerness proudly in the hope that one more person may take time to consider what it means.

I was shocked by the response of my (soon-to-be) teammates, who were (by-in-large) stereotypically alpha men and femme women. They were so responsive, albeit slightly confused initially.

People who I had not previously given the time of day to – out of fear of rejection – proved to me that they had a willingness to learn. We were in this challenge together. We quickly determined that we had to build a 1000ft bridge across the South China Sea to reach a cash prize, and there was no way we were doing it alone. I needed them, and they needed me. 

In the 12 days of hard graft, working 16 hour shifts every day, I fell in love with the openness of my teammates. They asked me about my gender, and my sexuality, in a way that wasn’t exhausting or belittling for me to answer.


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Instead, we had each other roaring with laughter whilst trying to tie tree trunks of bamboo together. Their desire to educate themselves on what it means to be non-binary was one of the most powerful takeaways of my entire trip.

I realised most people want to learn and understand, they just might not have any prior understanding of ‘non-binary’. Many simply hadn’t known anyone non-binary before myself, and it’s hard to educate yourself around issues that you don’t know exist.

I had always told myself that I am proudly me, but until faced with a challenge like The Bridge, I wasn’t sure that I entirely believed myself. Watching it back and seeing the love from my teammates, and the confidence with which I shared my gender and sexuality with the world felt so empowering and uplifting.

I will always be grateful for the opportunity I had to express myself so genuinely, and can only hope that my small step was able to provide at least a little bit of education, or visibility for other people.

The response I have received from The Bridge has only cemented the decision I made. Whilst there were, of course, the few Twitter trolls who weren’t my biggest fans, the overwhelming majority of people have been so vocal in their support of me and my identity.

I have felt honoured to receive countless messages from young LGBTQ+ people, in particular, thanking me for my visibility. I am grateful to them for reaching out and have felt so emotional reading and responding to their words. Our community is beautiful and powerful and deserves to be showcased as such. Each and every voice deserves to be heard as mine was.

We are living in a time when non-binary and trans individuals, in particular, are bombarded with negative news and stories.

That’s why I wanted to be out and proud as non-binary on TV. It’s also a huge reason why I volunteer with Just Like Us, the LGBTQ+ young people’s charity. 

As a Just Like Us ambassador, my time volunteering is helping to counteract the negative narratives surrounding trans and non-binary people.

I volunteer to speak in schools, media and workplaces to highlight that LGBTQ+ joy exists and that we can find happiness. 

Whilst everyone’s journey may not be quite as public as mine, it is so important for young non-binary people to see that they are loved, they are valid and they have a community waiting to support them should they need us. 

The best thing I ever did was be honest with myself, and for me that came in the form of accepting my non-binary identity. And every day since, I’ve grown more into my authentic self.

So whether you’re coming out in a big way or not at all – I want you to know that you are valid and you deserve happiness too.

Glasgow volunteers with Just Like Us, the LGBTQ+ young people’s charity – sign up now to get involved.