Non binary (A complete guide)

The expression “nonbinary” can mean different things to various individuals as a concept.

At its core, it is used to depict somebody whose gender identity is not solely male or female. 

If someone you are close to you discloses that they are nonbinary, you should ask ask what being nonbinary means to them.

Some people who are nonbinary experience their sexual orientation as both male and female and others experience their sex as neither male nor female. 

It is very important to support people who identify as non-binary because it is likely that they have experienced a difficult time related to their gender identity throughout their lives.

You can simply let them know that you are there for them if they need to talk or just vent. A little bit of support can go a long way. 

Nonbinary can also be used as an umbrella term, including numerous gender identities that do not fit into the male-female binary. 

In spite of the fact that nonbinary is regularly viewed as new concept, the identifier has been around for as long as humans have existed.

Actually, nonbinary gender has been recorded as far back as 400 B.C. to 200 A.D, and has been referenced in ancient Hindu texts, where Hijras were individuals in India who identified as not male or female.     

India is one of many nations around the globe with language and social culture that recognizes those whose gender cannot be solely defined as male or female. 

Those who experience a gender identity that is neither solely male or female or is in the middle of both genders, is only one term used to depict people with Non-binary gender identities.

Non-binary people may identify as gender fluid, agender (without gender), third gender, or something else entirely.

Sometimes non-binary people are mistaken as transgender individuals. Being transgender was historically conceptualized as requiring a swtich between binary genders.

The idea that transgender individuals must be transitioning towards male or female gender has been both particularly strong and particularly problematic in the medical community.

  • What Is Gender Identity? 

An individual’s gender identity is their inward feeling of themselves as male, female, or alternative gender.

Cisgender individuals are those whose sex identity is equivalent to the sex they were assigned at birth.

Alternately, transgender is an umbrella term used to depict the full range of individuals whose gender identity does not fit in with what is is typically associated with their sex assigned at birth.

Gender identity is unique in relation to gender roles or gender expressions.

While gender identity is an interior, deeply-rooted sense of self, gender expression is the means by which an individual outwardly communicates their gender identity.

Note that gender expression is the manner by which people present themselves and it might relate to an individual’s gender identity.

Gender role is the assortment of practices, perspectives, and personality traits that society associates with a particular gender, in a given culture and time.

The concept that genders are  fundamentally different and should be treated that way is once in a while alluded to as gender essentialism.

Gender is also not the same as sex and sexual orientation. While sex alludes to an individual’s biology—chromosomal, hormonal, and anatomical—gender is a culturally, socially, and naturally built term.

Sexual orientation alludes to an individual’s attraction for individuals of the opposite sex, the similar sex, both sexes, or neither sex.

Individuals of any sex can have any gender identity and sexual orientation. The ideas are independent. 

  • What Is the Gender Binary? 

The gender binary is the problematic thought that there are just two genders, and all people are either male or female.

Some may contend that there are just two sexes, so there should just be two sexual orientations, however, that contention is imperfect. 

Despite the fact that we categorize most infants into male or female, there is more assorted variety than that as far as both sex and gender.

The science of sex is mind-boggling. A great many people are XX or XY, however, a few people are XXY or XO. 

What’s more, your chromosomes do not completely decide your sexual anatomy. A few people are XY women.

Others have bodies that fall somewhere between females and males, anatomically, chromosomally, or hormonally. 

In this manner, given the wide assortment of sexual biology, it should not be surprising that there is also a wide range of gender identity.

Cultures around the globe have recognized genders other than male and female all through history.

It is just that now we are developing English language jargon to portray the spectrum of gender identities we see. 

  • Types of Non-Binary Gender

Non-binary is both sex identity and an all-encompassing term to depict gender identities other than just male or female.

While there are numerous kinds of non-binary gender, some are more frequently  talked about than others. These include:

  • Agender: Having no particular gender identity or having a gender identity that is impartial. Sometimes utilized reciprocally with gender-neutral, genderless, or neutrons.
  • Bigender: Having two distinct gender identities or articulations, either at the same time, at different times, or in different situations. 
  • Genderfluid: Moving between at least two sexual orientation characters or expressions. 
  • Non-Binary: Covering all gender identities and expressions outside the gender binary as the umbrella term . Additionally alluded to as NB or by. 
  • Genderqueer: For people with non-binary gender identities, it is an all-encompassing term. 
  • Third Gender: Having a gender identity or expression that isn’t characterized as far as the binary options (male/female, masculine/feminine). May also be alluded to as third sex or another gender.

Demigender, is an another umbrella term for nonbinary gender identities.

Most of the time, demi gender is used when somebody feels a partial connection to a certain gender.

For instance: 

  • demi girl
  • demi boy
  • semifluid

Despite the fact that there are definitions available for each of these terms, many overlap or have nuanced differences.

The significance can likewise fluctuate incredibly across societies and geographic location.

That is the reason that it is imperative to ask the individual using the identifier about what it means to them. 

  • Discussing Sexual Orientation

Have you at any point seen that talking about your sexual orientation implies unveiling your gender identity?

Sexual orientation words are commonly used to draw a comparison between somebody’s gender identity and the sex of the individuals to which they are sexually attracted. 

For instance, in the event that you are somebody attracted to men and identify as heterosexual, your gender is more likely than not female.

In any case, for the individuals who would prefer not to reveal their sexual identity, there are different words for discussing sexual orientation that focus on the individuals that somebody finds attractive while at the same time keeping their own sex out of the discussion.

This can be particularly useful for individuals who are non-binary or gender fluid and need to discuss the individuals they’re attracted to.

To get around the limitations of words, for example, heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual, a few people describe their sexual orientation as gynosexual, androsexual, or both. 

An individual who is sexually attracted to women can be called gynosexual (gyno-is the Greek prefix used to depict things identified with women/females).

An individual who is androsexual is attracted to men (andro-is the Greek prefix used to portray things identified with men/males). 

  • Is nonbinary the same as genderqueer?

“Queer” was initially thought to refer to sexuality and included people who are attracted to more than just one type of person.

The term implies an attraction to those whose sex cannot be considered only male or female. 

Placing “gender” in front of the word “queer” refers to the individuals who are genderqueer and have multiple gender identities and expressions.

This is otherwise called fluid gender identity or expression.

In spite of the fact that the expressions “genderqueer” and “nonbinary” have numerous similarities, they aren’t necessarily interchangeable.

It is imperative to try  your best to use an individual’s favored identifier. 

  • Nonbinary Gender and Pronouns

We face a daily reality such that almost wherever an individual goes, they’re gendered.

It’s very normal for gatherings of individuals to be alluded to as “ladies and gentlemen” or “guys and girls” when the individual talking has no real knowledge about the gender identities of those they’re alluding to. 

For some nonbinary individuals, pronouns are about something other than how they need to be addressed.

They’ve become an amazing method to assert an aspect of their gender that is regularly concealed or unaligned with others’ assumptions.

Along these lines, pronouns have the ability to either affirm or invalidate a nonbinary person’s existence.

Some nonbinary individuals use binary pronouns pronouns, for example, 

  • she/her/hers
  • he/him/his

Others use gender-neutral pronouns, for example, 

  • they/them/theirs
  • ze/hir/hirs
  • ze/zir/zirs

In spite of the fact that these are the most widely recognized gender-neutral pronouns, there are others. 

The pronouns somebody uses can likewise change over time and across environments.

For instance, some nonbinary individuals may use gender-neutral pronouns just in spaces where they have a sense of security.

They may permit certain individuals to refer to them using traditional binary pronouns rather than their preferred pronouns. 

Some people might think it is hard to refer to individuals whose gender identity isn’t well described by male or female as “they”, however, it is far more polite to use the correct pronoun than misgendering them. 

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about non-binary: 

What do you call a Nonbinary person?

A person who is non-binary can be referred to as genderqueer, agender, bigender, and more. 

Can non-binary people experience dysphoria?

Yes, people who are non-binary can experience depression and anxiety.

Sometimes it can be very stressful for them.

How do I know if I am non-binary?

If you find that non-gendered traits make you feel more comfortable than gendered traits, you are most likely non-binary.

Who was the first legally non-binary person in the United States?

James Clifford Shupe (born 1963) is a retired United States Army soldier who became the first person in the US to obtain legal recognition as a nonbinary person. 

Want to learn more about non-binary? Try these recommended readings!

  1. Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity Paperback – April 9, 2019 by Micah Rajunov  (Editor), A. Scott Duane (Editor)
  1. Nonbinary Gender Identities: History, Culture, Resources by Charlie McNabb (Author)
  1. Genderqueer & Non Binary Genders (Critical and Applied Approaches in Sexuality, Gender and Identity) 1st ed. 2017 Edition
  1. X Marks The Spot: An Anthology Of Nonbinary Experiences Paperback – July 28, 2019 by Mx. Theo Hendrie (Author)

What we recommend for Relationship & LGBTQ issues

Relationship counselling

  • If you are having relationship issues or maybe you are in an abusive relationship then relationship counselling could be your first point of call. Relationship counselling could be undertaken by just you, it does not require more than one person.

LGBTQ issues

If you are dealing with LGBTQ issues then LGBTQ counselling may be a great option for you. Maybe you are confused as to your role and identity or simply need someone to speak to. LGBTQ counsellors are specially trained to assist you in this regard.

Sources/References:

  1. American Psychological Association, Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance. Report of the Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance. Washington, DC; 2009.
  2. Losty M, O’Connor J. Falling outside of the “nice little binary box”: A psychoanalytic exploration of the non-binary gender identity. Psychoanal Psychother. 32(1):40-60. doi:10.1080/02668734.2017.1384933
  3. Clayton JA, Tannenbaum C. Reporting Sex, Gender, or Both in Clinical Research? JAMA. 2016;316(18):1863-1864. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.16405
  4. American Psychological Association. Guidelines for psychological practice with transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Am Psychol. 2015;70(9):832-864. doi:10.1037/a0039906
  5. Moleiro C, Pinto N. Sexual orientation and gender identity: review of concepts, controversies and their relation to psychopathology classification systems. Front Psychol. 2015;6:1511. Published 2015 Oct 1. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01511
  6. Richards C, Bouman WP, Seal L, Barker MJ, Nieder TO, T’sjoen G. Non-binary or genderqueer genders. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2016;28(1):95-102. doi:10.3109/09540261.2015.1106446
  7. Harris CA, Blencowe N, Telem DA. What is in a Pronoun?: Why Gender-fair Language Matters. Ann Surg. 2017;266(6):932–933. doi:10.1097/SLA.0000000000002505
  8. Robinson M. Two-Spirit Identity in a Time of Gender Fluidity. J Homosex. May 2019:1-16. doi:10.1080/00918369.2019.1613853

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