When we meet someone new, we get to know their gender identity and start by using the respective pronoun. But, have we ever thought that our identification might be wrong and that the person might be trans-non-binary? Yes, this is also a term for gender identification that falls outside the woman/man dichotomy.
Read the following article carefully to avoid being misunderstood.
What is non-binary?
The meaning of the term non-binary varies from individual to individual. By keeping all the different meanings aside, we might define non-binary as someone whose identity is not exclusively female or male.
If someone identifies themselves as non-binary, feel free to ask them what being a non-binary means to them. This is a necessary question as some non- binary people consider themselves as both male and female while some as neither male nor female. This is exactly the opposite of people who have discovered themselves as bisexuals.
The term “non-binary” can be used to target gender identities that do not fall under the male-female binary.
Does trans non-binary identify as non-binary?
Some non-binary people consider themselves as trans-non-binary or transgender. Some people do not. So, this concept entirely depends on what people regard themselves to be.
This whole topic might seem like a mess but is pretty easy when laid out. A trans non-binary person is someone, who is not identified with the sex which was assigned at the time of birth. To sum it up, their gender identity Is not limited to being a male or a female.
Various identities of a non-binary gender
The non-binary umbrella has several gender-identities. The includes identifiers such as:
- Gender fluid
Non-binary people can also use the term Demigender. Many cases justify the term demisexual as someone whole feels to have a partial connection with the different types of gender.
- Demi boy
- Demi girl
Are non-binary and genderqueer the same?
To face the rigid notions of sexuality and to include people who were attracted towards different genders, the word “queer” was introduced. To be more precise, this word defines the attraction of those people who cannot be categorized as female or male.
When we place gender in front of the word queer, it gives a clear idea that the people who are genderqueer carry multiple gender expressions and identities. This can also be referred to as fluid gender identity or expression.
Both the terms, non-binary and genderqueer, are similar on many platforms. But they cannot be interchanged.
Pronouns for non-binary
In today’s world, all of us need to have a particular gender. Most of the audiences are referred to as “ladies and gentlemen” or “boys and girls” even because there might be someone who does not fall in any of the said categories.
For non-binary people, the use of pronouns has become very important. Using pronouns is an amazing way to get rid of gender assumptions. So, the usage of the right pronoun is necessary as it can either affirm or invalidate a non-binary person’s statement.
These are some binary pronouns that are used by non-binary people:
- She / hers / her
- He / him / his
There is also some gender-neutral pronouns:
- They / them/ theirs
- Ze / hir / hirs
- Ze / zir / zirs
The changes in the use of pronouns occur across environments and changing times. For instance, the usage of the above pronouns depends on the security level of the non-binary people. That is, they will only use the pronouns where they feel safe.
So, these non-binary people do not mind being referred to with traditional pronouns instead of preferred pronouns in a professional environment.
What are gender-neutral languages and how to use them?
One can easily deal with gender stereotypes as well as avoid using gendered words or pronouns by incorporating gender-neutral language. All these words can be used easily in everyday conversation.
By using gender-neutral languages, one can avoid making mistakes. Such as addressing a person by the wrong term of gender. When we make use of an incorrect gendered word or pronoun while referring to someone, it is called misgendering.
Some people take these kinds of mistakes or incidents lightly while others might take them deeply. So, even if you make this mistake, make sure to apologize and use the appropriate language to address it forward.
So, to be good at using gender-neutral words and to avoid misgendering completely, one needs to be clear about the gender identity of the person in front. You can start by asking someone how would they like to be referred to? Make sure you finish this task in the first meet itself.
Now, after knowing the referred identity, go ahead and use the right language. If you are addressing a group, the right gender-neutral language would be “they” or “people”.
Below are given some gender-neutral terms which can be used on daily basis:
- Instead of getting started with a boy(s)/girl(s), man/woman, make use of a person, people, or humans.
- Replace ladies and gentlemen with folks
- Replace son or daughter with child
- Replace brother or sister with a sibling
- Replace nephew or niece with nibling
- Replace father or mother with parent
- Replace wife or husband with spouse or partners
- Replace grandfather or grandmother with a grandparent
Using the above language will not only give you a better image but will also make you a person of equality. People might feel safe with their identities when they are around you. Whenever you are unsure of which way to address someone, gender-neutral languages are the way to go.
The bottom line
Every human’s role is to create an environment of support and gender diversity. You can also step further and reach out for materials that explain what it is to be discovered as non-binary and even read individual experiences or mental health conditions on the same.
By elevating your knowledge, you will get accepted by all the different diverse genders. Thus, elevating the level of humanity up!