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Why I Write Yang as Non-binary

I get a lot of comments on I Know You about my headcanon of Yang as Non-binary. I’ve heard that there’s a far greater number of headcanons regarding Blake as non-binary, and while I do very much like that headcanon, Yang has always seemed(at least, to me) like someone who very much would struggle with her self image and what she identifies as.

Of course, there is a part of me that’s projecting here, but for the most part, I feel like NB Yang could very easily enough be a reality.

It’s been established that Yang is very aware of how she presents herself; we’ve seen that in situations like when she was in class in volume 1, when Professor Port winks at her, or when Neon refers to her as ‘top heavy’ and ‘bottom heavy’.

Even the more subtle things, like when she plays with her hair while talking to Ruby in the locker room. Yang is always shown eccentuating her body, and wearing traditionally feminine outfits, but from her reactions to people addressing those things, it’s clear she’s not as confident about her body as she’d like people to think at first glance.

(We’ve been proven that her method of convincing people like this works, as Emerald refers to her as ‘the bimbo’ and Neon clearly thinks the same, even without the word. Shay, the bandit who Yang beats the shit out of and who leads her to the Branwen tribe, also falls for this facade easily enough.)

It’s how she reacts to these instances that intrigues me.

Like so many other female presenting characters who seem to find empowerment in dressing and acting a bit more risqué, Yang could very easily have fallen into the character personality trait of ‘I’m confident in my body and I do what I want with it,’ and that would also have been very fine and fantastic.

She could- and indeed appears to- lash out at people who oversexualize her, which is entirely valid, and fits very well into the above mentioned niche.

But it’s more than that. There’s insecurity there(even before the loss of her arm, although I doubt that helped much).

Yang is a person who is constantly objectified and degraded because of her overt sexuality both by other characters in the show, and by the FNDM. (First of all, in the first few seasons she’s a MINOR, so EW.)

I feel like Yang hasn’t really let herself explore a side of her that isn’t incredibly feminine and showy.

We do start to get more of that after the loss of her arm, however, and I am thankful for that.

Yang has a long time to herself to reflect on things. I’m sure a lot of it was about her arm, and her ptsd, and trying to find some semblance of ‘normal’ again, but I like to imagine she also did some soul searching, and she realized that she wasn’t that person that she was trying so hard to pretend to be in the first few seasons.

I have and always will write Yang as someone who thinks a LOT. Yang has always struck me as someone who thinks about every little thing, and how it affects herself those around her. She’s always seemed to me like the person who thinks almost too much, and about everything.

Maybe it’s all of her pensive looks, maybe it’s the way she phrases things, or the angles she tackles problems from. Idk. But Yang, I feel like, is one of the most interpersonal thinkers in RWBY.

And I think after everything, she would decide that it didn’t matter anymore. That she didn’t care. That there were more important things in life than presenting yourself one way or another.

I think the most important thing to her would be making sure she feels comfortable, and finally letting go of labels.

That’s why I love her Volume Five outfit so much. The jacket, the boots, the pants. I nearly cried when I saw my girl in pants that weren’t pajama pants, but part of her everyday huntress uniform.

Her style is different, and her attitude is different, and she’s different.

I’m getting off topic.

My point is, that Yang is someone who cares very deeply about other people and their perseptions of her. It’s a huge part of her driving motivations(just look at her search for Raven- she desperately wants to know what was wrong with her, why Raven left her, as though it were her fault.)

I feel like if anyone at all in the show were to be Non-binary, it would be Yang, because Yang has struggled with her self-worth and her image so much. She’s exactly the kind of person who I feel would be best represented as a non-binary character.

It makes me very happy seeing people enjoy the way I write Yang, and the way I present her as NB, because I feel like Yang is very much the representation we need, and I want to do her character justice.

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