What Does it Mean to be Nonbinary?


It’s 2022, and people are coming out of their shells with ways to express themselves. Like homosexuality, nonbinary people have been around for ages, but usually kept a secret to not undergo discrimination. Recently, new terms are being put out there for easier expression, and slowly but surely, people are being accepted.


Non-binary is an umbrella term used to describe gender identities that do not fit within the label of male and female. Gender does not have any affiliation with the sex of a person. There’s male, female, and intersex. For some people, non-binary can be described as transgender intersex, since it is something other than male or female.


Pronouns also do not associate with gender. Sex, gender, and pronouns are all completely different things. Many non-binary people use they/them/theirs pronouns, but others are also used, such as neo-pronouns. Neopronouns are a group of new (neo) pronouns that are used to refer to people instead of “she,” “he,” or “them.” xe/xem/xyr, ze/hir/hirs, and ey/em/eir are other examples.


Anyone that identifies as something other than cisgender (identifying with your assigned sex at birth) can be classified as transgender, but not all people take that label. With a mind that lets transgender people know they’re in the wrong body, a lot of them have dysphoria, but not all. Dysphoria is dissatisfaction, distress, or unease with life. No one has to have dysphoria to be transgender, everyone is valid.


There are legal accommodations for non-binary people, also. Trans people can’t be refused entry or turned away because of the way they express themselves. They also have the right to be free from harassment, although unfortunately this doesn’t affect transphobes. Birth certificates, licenses, and passports all allow the option of “X” in replace of “female” and “male” as a courtesy to non-binary people. No formal receipts are needed to clarify your sex. Sadly, in 2018, Trump reversed the prison policy of housing inmates by their gender identity, and now are only housed by sex.


Being a non-binary individual myself, I use they/them/she pronouns. To me, non-binary means that I do not feel any attachment to being a male or female, I simply exist in my own way. Someone asks me what I am, I say a toaster oven. I experience a lot of transphobia, and it’s unsettling, but I have learned that there’s always going to be someone out there that has hatred for me.