Happy International Non-Binary People’s Day!
In case you missed it, July 14 is International Non-Binary People’s Day. Today, we celebrate the amazing diversity of non-binary individuals. Non-binary means an individual does not self-identify as a man or woman, in an exclusive manner. Some identify as transgender. Some identify as masculine and feminine. That’s the point; they don’t fit into the strict confines of society’s gender constructs. That’s the beauty of this day. We get to understand and educate ourselves and others on non-binary persons.
Non-binary people also sometimes refer to themselves as genderqueer.
Sexual orientation is seperate from their gender identity. They can have multiple orientations, like being bisexual, as cisgender people do. It can mean transgender, as a genderqueer person may identify with a gender other than that they were born with. However, not all non-binary individuals are transgender. nders, no gender, or their genderfluid, meaning they navigate on a spectrum between genders.
While I will tell you ways that you can celebrate today, there’s so much to be done in keeping our non-binary friends and family safe. But first, let’s take a moment to honor this day!
Here are 7 ways you can be an ally today (and every day):
- Donate To A Charity That Supports Non-Binary Persons: There are many, but https://transequality.org/ and https://lgbt.foundation/ and https://aclu.org are just a few that offer help.
- Don’t Assume Their Pronoun: When you introduce yourself to someone new, share your preferred pronouns and let them do the same. This is important because preferred pronouns aren’t always obvious. For example, people often call my girlfriend, who personally identifies as a masculine-presenting lesbian, “sir.” Every time this happens, I see the devastation on her face.
- Put Your Pronouns In Your Insta Bio: It took all of a few seconds for me to type “she/her” into my bio. It shows you are aware of pronouns and will be respectful of theirs.
- Don’t Call Them Your Sister: If your family member identifies as non-binary or another term, genderqueer, then refer to them as your siblings, rather than your brother or sister. The same applies to saying that “this is my child” or “this is my parent.”
- It’s Their World: It’s their world and we also live in it! Please use them/they/their pronouns until you know what they prefer.
- Mx. Rogers: A bit of history: Mrs. originates from “mistress”, which is the feminine of mister or master. It can imply a married woman. Miss also derives from mistress, but implies an unmarried woman. Mister applies to a man, married or unmarried. That’s already a lot to process. You can address non-binary or genderqueer individuals using Mx. (pronounced mix or mux).
- “Ladies & Gentlemen…”: Rather than addressing a group as ladies and gentlemen, try saying “everyone.” In less formal settings, you can even try folks or as I spell it, folx.
Being an ally to non-binary and genderqueer individuals is so important.
Only last week, we lost a non-binary individual: Summer Taylor. Summer died when a car drove into a crowd of Black Femme March partnered with Black Lives Matter to protest against police brutality in Seattle on July 4th. Diaz Love, a fellow non-binary protester, was also hit. They remain in critical care. The driver of the car is being investigated for felony vehicular assault. In 2019, there were 27 deaths of at least transgender or non-binary people in the U.S. due to violence. We must protect our gender non-conforming