Non-Binary (sometimes shortened to enby, or NB) refers to someone who's gender does not fall strictly within the category of man or women, used in western society. Non-binary can be a gender identity on it's own, or it can be used as an umbrella term for anyone whose gender is something other then male or female. Some people may also use the term genderqueer interchangeably with non-binary. Non-binary is included in the umbrella of transgender, although some non-binary people choose not to identify as transgender.
Common Non-Binary Identities Edit
One may identify as non-binary on it's own or they may be a gender which falls in the category of non-binary. Some common identities include:
Because their is no single "non-binary look" their is no "typical" non-binary transition, it depends on the person's individual gender identity and their goals for gender presentation. Some non-binary people do not transition and present as the gender assigned to them at birth. Other non-binary people may take elements of binary transgender transitions, for example, an afab (assigned female at birth) non-binary person may take testosterone, or wear a binder. Other non-binary people may not transition medically but will try to appear as androgynous as possible.
Each non-binary person has a unique relationship with pronouns. Some non-binary people may go by she/her pronouns or he/him pronouns. If they're an English speaker they many go by they/them pronouns. Other still will go by neopronouns.
Among non English speakers many will create new pronouns, as their language does not have a non-gender singular pronoun like the English "them".
The existence of non-binary people has been recorded by many cultures throughout history. Many non-western cultures recognized three or sometimes more genders, however the existence of these genders was often suppressed during colonization.
- Some of the earliest recorded instances of non-binary people comes from Mesopotamia. In Mesopotamian mythology there are references to types of people who are not men and not women. Many priests or individuals who preformed religious duties were described as a third gender.
- The Buddhist Tipitaka, documents four gender categories: female, male, ubhatobyanjanaka (people with both male and female characteristics), and pandaka (a complex term with no English translation).
- Prior to western contact, some Native American tribes had third-gender roles. European anthropologists usually referred to these people as "berdaches", which Natives considered a slur. In 1990, some Indigenous North Americans adopted the term two-spirit.
The non-binary flag was created by Kye Rowan in February of 2014. It was designed for non-binary people who felt the genderqueer flag did not represent them. Yellow represents being outside the gender binary, as yellow is often used to distinguish something as its own. White is the presence of all colors, representing people who are many or all genders. Purple represents the fluidity and multiplicity of many gender experiences, the uniqueness and flexibility of non-binary people, as well as representing those whose gender experiences include being in between female (traditionally pink) and male (traditionally blue). Black is the absence of color and represents agender or genderless people.