What Is Non-Binary?

lgbtq community matchmaking

There are some individuals who experience a gender identity that isn’t exclusively man or woman. Their gender identity may be beyond these two genders or may be between them. Such people may identify as non-binary. Non-binary people can identify as genderqueer, agender, genderfluid, or something entirely different.
Non-binary people are included under the transgender umbrella, but not all of them are comfortable identifying as transgender. Historically, transgender was described as the movement from one binary gender to another. Transgender people do not have to transition to the opposite gender so they can be viewed as transgender.

The Gender Binary
The gender binary refers to the idea that there are only two genders (male and female) and that everyone is either a man or a woman. To be honest, the argument that there are or should be only two genders is flawed. 

The Types of Non-Binary Gender
The term ‘non-binary’ can be used to describe a gender identity and also as an umberella term to describe other gender identities that don’t fall under the binary. There are many different types of non-binary genders. However, we will only discuss a few of them in this article. 

  • Agender: refers to not having a gender identity. Agender can refer to an undefined or neutral identity and may be used in place of neutrois or genderless. 
  • Bigender: someone who is bigender may have two different gender identities. They may experience them at different times or together.
  • Genderfluid: a genderfluid individual fluctuates between two or more gender identities over time. The time frame isn’t specific and can be hours, days, weeks, months, or even years.
  • Genderqueer: refers to individuals with non-binary identities. Some people may refer to themselves as specifically genderqueer. However since this term includes a slur, make sure that someone specifically identifies with it before you use it on them.
  • Nonbinary: we mentioned earlier that non-binary is an umbrella term and a gender identity outside the gender binary. Some people identify with non-binary as their identity. Non-binary people can also be called enby or nb even though not all non-binary people use them. Nb can also refer to non-black so black people that identify as non-binary or cisgender may be uncomfortable using this term as a short form of non-binary. Some non-binary adults aren’t comfortable using the term ‘enby’ since it can be infantilizing.
  • Two spirit: the term two spirit is a pan-tribal reference to native Americans. It refers to different genders that take on specific ceremonial and social duties and roles. Native American tribes have particular gender identities that are not within the boundary. However, Two Spirit is a cover term referring to all indigenous Americans that is usually used as a particular identity.

Non binary individuals use gender-neutral pronouns. The most common one that they use is ‘ they’. Instead of using pronouns such as ‘she’, or ‘ he’  when talking about a non-binary person, you can use ‘ they’. For instance, ‘ they didn’t like the chocolate cake I made’.

Related Articles