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The StoryCorps Mobile Tour is partnering with WUSF Public Media to record and preserve the stories of Tampa residents and preserve them in the Library of Congress. For 16 years, the StoryCorps Mobile Tour has brought loved ones together for thousands of meaningful conversations about the things that matter most.

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: The challenges of being non-binary

Debbie King (left) speaks and her friend El Campbell.
Courtesy: StoryCorps
Debbie King (left) speaks and her friend El Campbell.

Debbie King speaks to her friend El Campbell about being a non-binary person with a chronic illness.

Before El Campbell came out in their mid-twenties as a non-binary, gender fluid person, they felt as if they had to suppress themselves.

"I felt like I had to fit into a box and perform my gender as a woman," they said.

Eventually, Campbell went to a gathering of queer people to meet others like themselves.

"I remember sitting in my car afterwards, [and] I couldn't stop smiling because I found my people," they said. "They've kind of, like, guided me towards who I am now and I feel so much more comfortable."

Campbell also suffers from a chronic illness that they feel has gotten easier to manage now that they are able to be themselves.

"Just like the word isn't cut out for non-binary people right now, the world isn't cut out for the disabled either," they said. "It's uncomfortable to move in the world and not fit into the little box that they've created for us."