Being nonbinary refers any identity that does not correspond to the traditional gender binary (male and female). It is used as an umbrella term for many identities that simply lie outside the binary (which itself falls under the larger umbrella term “trans”).
Basic Facts about Nonbinary people
Some nonbinary folks may undergo medical transition to make their bodies reflect their gender identity. While not all of them need these procedures, they’re life-saving for some of them.
Not all trans people are nonbinary. Most trans people have a gender identity that falls within the gender binary of male or female. But that doesn’t mean that nonbinary people shouldn’t be treated like any other man or woman.
Being nonbinary is not the same thing as being intersex. Being intersex has more to do with sex characteristics or body autonomy. Most intersex people identify as either men or women. Nonbinary people are normally not intersex: they’re usually born with bodies that may fit typical definitions of male and female, but their innate gender identity is something other than male or female. But intersex people can identify as nonbinary.
There is no one way of dressing or expressing oneself as nonbinary.
Non-binary folks are not confused or trying to trick anyone about their gender identity. Their gender identity is as valid as any other gender identity.
Gender is a spectrum. There is historical evidence that gender has always been beyond the binary of male or female. From the Travesti of South America to the Hijra of the Indian and South Asian communities, there have been people whose gender doesn’t fit into the stereotype of male or female. These have laid a proper groundwork for how we understand different gender identities today.
Nonbinary identities include:
Culturally specific trans and third-gender identities: these are gender identities that are specific to cultures and societies that accept more than two genders. They may or may not see themselves as “trans,” but these identities are unique to their cultures, and they normally take on the roles of all genders in society as well as a spiritual role. They are deeply tied to these cultures and are not an identity that people outside of these cultures can have. They include: Hijra—Indian and South Asian, Two-Spirit: Native American (used by many nations and groups), Femminiello: Neapolitan, Travesti: South American, Māhū – Hawaiian, and Tahitian
Agender: this can be a nonbinary gender identity or a statement of having no identity.
Gender fluidity is a gender identity that varies with time.
Androgynous: This involves presenting yourself with both masculine and feminine characteristics.
Boi: a general term for many queer masculine identities.
Bigender: one identifies with two genders either at the same time or at different times.
Multigender: individuals who have more than one gender identity.
Genderqueer: used by individuals who want to hold both a queer identity and a nonbinary gender identity.
Different nonbinary folks use different pronouns, so it would be really good to ask what pronouns they use. Although most nonbinary folks use ‘they” or “them’ pronouns, there are some who use other pronouns, such as ze/hir/hirs, ze/zir/zirs, and ey/em/eirs. Some of them also use “she/her/hers” or “he/him/his,” or even both of them. The best thing would be to ask and respect the pronouns and gender identity of each person.
Some titles and terms that you may use are:
“sibling” instead of “sister or brother.”
“child” instead of “son or daughter.”
“Mx.” instead of “Mr. or Ms. or Mrs.,”
“parent or zaza” instead of “father or mother”
instead of “husband or wife” and “partner” or “spouse.”
Greetings that one may use include “friends,” “folks,” “y’all,” and “everyone.”
How to be allies to the nonbinary community?
Do not assume one’s gender. Ensure that you ask for the name and pronouns they use.
You don’t have to understand them to respect and support them. The identities that you haven’t heard of or understood still deserve respect.
Create inclusive forms. Client forms may be made more inclusive by adding gender options beyond the normal gender binary of “male” or “female,” adding more gender identity options such as “genderqueer, agender, nonbinary,” or even adding a write-in option. This can help bring up a discussion of gender identity.
Push and advocate for nonbinary-friendly policies. It’s significant for nonbinary folks to be able to dress, live, and have their gender respected at work, at school, and also in public spaces without any fear.
You should understand that figuring out which bathroom to use can be really challenging for nonbinary folks. Therefore, they should be allowed to use the restrooms they feel the safest in.
You should talk to nonbinary folks to be able to learn more about who they are. There’s no one way to be nonbinary. The best way to understand what it’s like to be nonbinary is to talk with them and listen to their stories. And also check online for more trans stories.
TRANS CARE BC
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
Nonbinary Identities by Uppercase CHASE1
What is a Nonbinary gender identity? by Maya Adam
Nonbinary People Explain What "Nonbinary" Means to Them by Tinder
Nonbinary dysphoria explained by A. Wilde
Disclaimer: Please note no copyright infringement is intended and as EATHAN we do not own nor claim to own the videos used here.
The History of the Nonbinary Flag
Kye Rowan, 17, created the Nonbinary Pride Flag in 2014 to be flown alongside the genderqueer flag, not to replace it. The flag has yellow, white, purple, and black horizontal stripes. This flag represents Nonbinary people who don’t feel represented by the genderqueer flag.
The four colours of the Nonbinary flag stand for:
Yellow stands for people whose gender doesn’t exist within the binary.
White represents people of all genders or many genders.
Purple stands for people with genders that may be a mix of female and male.
Black represents people who identify as not having any gender at all.