Speak your truth, listen to yourself and chill out. Those were the intentions I set for myself at the beginning of 2020.

All things considered, I think I did a pretty good job of fulfilling those goals, in the process embracing much more of myself than I have ever allowed before.

That is why I'm able to tell you now that I am a non-binary person who uses they/them pronouns. My name is Morgan, and it is very nice to meet you.

Shaking off the weight of expectations that do not fit is an arduous task, but has also relieved much of the anxiety in my life. It just feels better to be myself.

So what does all this mean for you, dear reader? Not a lot, I would imagine, apart from the name on my byline changing. A journalist’s job is to tell the story, not be the story, and I only write here and now so as to labour under false pretenses no longer.

One day soon, I hope such personal pronouncements won’t be so necessary or nerve-racking, since our society’s grappling with rigid conceptions of gender must only expand and become more pliable from here.

To all the people, and especially younger folks out there who may be wrestling with their own feelings of incongruence, my only advice is this: speak your truth, listen to yourself and chill out. I see you and I love you, and things are going to be just fine.

Morgan Sharp / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

Morgan Sharp is a non-binary journalist who currently writes about youth and young people in and around Toronto, thanks to a grant from the Local Journalism Initiative and the Government of Canada.

They have covered a wide range of subject areas over two years with Canada's National Observer and 10 years with the Reuters news agency before that, including general and political news, the environment and sustainability, technology and the companies that sell it, financial markets and economics.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, they lived and worked in Cairo and London before settling in Toronto.