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Amrou Al-Kadhi delivers a lesson in the science behind non-binary identities

Meet your new LGBTQ ally, folks… quantum physics

By Thomas Stichbury

Be warned, what follows could potentially be very triggering for those among us who failed our GCSE physics exams.

If the word ‘particle’ sends a shiver down your spine, tread (or, rather, scroll) carefully…

Drag queen and all-round clever clogs Amrou Al-Kadhi, aka Glamrou, argues that the very foundations of science support the notion that gender is not a binary construct.

The writer and performer, who identifies as non-binary, made their case while appearing on the ‘Way to Change the World’ podcast, hosted by Channel 4 News’ Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

They begin: “With Newtonian physics, I think of it as heteronormative physics, where it’s basically: what are the fixed universal principles that govern the world? If I do A, will B happen?”

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It’s my 30th birthday today! So my anxiety-fuelled brain wants me to spend the day going over all my failures and all the ways I’ve fucked up in my life, of all the people I’ve let down, and to obsess over everything I’ve not achieved by the time I’m 30…It’s the default setting of my poor lil’ OCD anxiety driven brain. A lifetime of being told that my sexuality was the source of my family’s problems, my mother telling me that I was ‘impossible to love,’ of being raised to believe that the very core of who I am would lead me to hell, or of white people making me feel undesirable or less than because of my race, or the entertainment industry telling me I would only every play terrorists on screen, or that my career would never amount to anything because I am ‘too niche’ or ‘not palatable,’ of gay men telling me ‘I’m too camp,’ of people telling me I’m ‘too much,’ of constantly being made to make myself small to accommodate others…that’s kind of where my brain wants to do today. – BUT – fuck. that. shit. Despite the constant hurdles and violations to my identity and desires, I’m going to spend the day being proud of what I’ve achieved, and that I’ve still managed to pursue my dreams, and haven’t apologised for my queerness, my race, what I want to say, or tried to make myself small, and that I’ve stayed true to myself despite everything, and have still managed to achieve a lot of what I wanted. It genuinely has been an enduring battle fighting all the demons in my brain and to still pursue my authentic desires…so to all younger queer people of colour who feel scared, I promise, the fight is worth it, and what’s on the other side is glorious. Love to all my fellow queers of colour today, and to all Cancer signs dealing with this period of emotional mania – wooohoooo. – #30thbirthday #30th #30thbirthdayparty #cancerzodiac #cancerseason♋️ #cancerseason #queer #queerArab #QPOC #QTIPOC #intersectionality #lgbtq🌈 #lgbtq #nonbinary #nonbinarypride #transpride #dragqueen #drag #pride #gay #birthday #birthdaygirl #queerpride #pride #arab #arabpride #egyptian #iraqi #queerMuslim #proud

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“Quantum physics is equally a real set of physics that looks at subatomic particles, so the very smallest things in our universe,” Amrou, 30, continues. “They contradict basically everything that Newtonian physics shows.”

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They elaborate: “The most famous experiment is the double slit experiment, where you fire an electron and it should go through the left or right hole, and then every now and again it goes through both at the same time and we don’t really know why.”

Amrou – whose novel ‘Unicorn: The Memoir of a Muslim Drag Queen’ is out now – says that even particles don’t obey the so-called ‘rules’.

“So when people spew the biological essentialism argument on me, [I’m] like, particles themselves are non-binary and do things that contradict each other all the time.

“That gives me a lot of comfort that if, like, subatomic particles defy constructs all the time, why should we believe in fixed constructs of gender or any kind of reality” they conclude.

Last month Amrou celebrated Attitude’s Pride at Home digital festival by taking part in our video strand, Pride Heroes, in association with Taimi.