"Tell me more about what it means to be non-binary..."

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I would love to. I really enjoy sharing my experience as a queer non-binary person and community member!

If you are on this page, THANK-YOU! You are taking the time to educate yourself, and you can pass this knowledge on to others. If you are here, it means you are trying to be an ally to me and all LGBTQIA+ people. That is amazing and it means so much to all of us.

Please do share the information you find here, and talk about it with as many people as possible. The more people know about the nuances of gender and sexuality, the less likely that I, and people like me, will be excluded because of a lack of knowledge.
— Rebecca (She/Her & They/Them)
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The Basics

If this is the first time you are hearing about non-binary gender, you may be confused about the differences between gender, sex assigned at birth, and how all of these things interact.

The image below is an amazing resource to help contextualize all of these nuances prior to getting into any specific gender identity or sexuality. Click on the image to enlarge it.

 
 
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What Does 'Non-Binary' Mean?

Non-binary gender (see also genderqueer) describes any gender identity which does not fit the male and female binary. Those with non-binary genders can feel that they:

Non-binary people may also identify as transgender and/or transsexual

Non-binary people may wish to transition so that their gender expression more closely reflects their internal identity. Many non-binary people wish to appear androgynous and adopt unisex names, gender-neutral titles such as Mx. and/or gender-neutral pronouns, but others prefer to express themselves in ways which are traditionally seen as masculine or feminine or to mix aspects of the two.

Non-binary people can have any sexual orientation.

(Source: Gender Wiki)

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I don't get the whole they/them pronouns thing. Can you explain more?

Yes!

Here's a great article on Teen Vogue about using they/them pronouns. Some of the questions they address in the article:

“You look like a boy/girl. Why use they instead of he/she?”

“You’re only one person! How does that work?”

“I’m fine with non-binary people, but I don’t believe in singular they pronouns. It makes no sense.”

“My non-binary friend is okay with being called he/she, so I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

“I try to use they/them pronouns when people ask, but it’s so hard! I keep messing it up.”

If you're interested in the grammatical use of they/them as a singular pronoun, check out this article about the history of the singular they.

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This is all fine, but in the end, there are really only two sexes, biologically - right?

Wrong! At least 1/100 people in Canada and the US are intersex - read more on what that means here.

These myths about non-binary people come up often in my conversations on the subject.

This article on Everyday Feminism addresses ten myths about non-binary people. There are links to other resources and ideas for how to be a good ally to us. You should check it out!

Myth #1: You Are Trying to Be ‘Special Snowflakes’ (Or ‘This Is Just a Fad’)

Myth #2: You’re Just Confused

Myth #3: You Are a New Concept

Myth #4: You All Fit on a Spectrum, from ‘Masculine’ to ‘Feminine’

Myth #5: You’re Genderqueer? That’s So Political!

Myth #6: You Want to Destroy Gender

Myth #7: Your Pronouns Are Ridiculous

Myth #8: You Don’t Medically Transition

Myth #9: Non-Binary Equals Intersex

Myth #10: You Don’t Experience Trans Oppression

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See Non-Binary People as They Want to Be Seen

by Photographer Laurence Philomene

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