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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

2020-07-06

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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“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.”

Stay with us.

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.