It’s International Non-Binary People’s Day So Let’s Talk About Some Popular NB Misconceptions

international non-binary people's day

Happy International Non-Binary People’s Day and International Non-Binary Awareness Week to all who celebrate. Today is a very important day of visibility to all those who identify along a beautiful spectrum of identities. Possibilities are endless, gender is a construct, and there is no one correct way to identify as non-binary, so let’s go over some misconceptions and misunderstandings.

Firstly, those who use the gender identifier of ‘non-binary’ are letting you that they do not conform with the prevailing Western gender binary of ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Under these constructs are certain ideas about masculinity and femininity, and a non-binary person can either identify with both of these feelings, neither, or more one than the other.

Everybody is different and there isn’t one way to be non-binary. This is why some people prefer to go by he/they pronouns or she/they, while others would much rather they/them.

It is entirely possible for a non-binary person to go by she/her or he/him pronouns as well! Pronouns are whatever makes an individual comfortable, while non-binary is a lived identity. If you have no idea what someone’s pronouns are, simply ask them, or, now that Instagram allows for it, check their bio and see if their pronouns are labelled there.

Another thing to understand is that being non-binary does not imply any sort of inherent aesthetic. In the same way that there isn’t a certain way to dress like a man or dress like a woman, there is also no way to dress as a non-binary person. People can look however they want, while still identifying with any of the infinite possibilities that the gender spectrum provides.

Non-binary identities and ways of living are more than just the popular idea of ‘attractive whiteness’ which have been cemented in our modern culture. It’s important when recognising, appreciating and supporting NB people that we take into consideration people of colour and people of all body types, who may face different struggles and adversities when it comes to self-expression.

Still confused about everything? Here’s a handy Instagram graphic made by queer social media activist Matt Bernstein, who identifies as he/they.

Naturally, you may have a lot of questions about non-binary identities still, so thankfully, on this joyous day, Wiradjuri transgender/non-binary professor Sandy O’Sullivan has created an entire thread called #NonBinaryMythbusting.

It’s perfect, and I highly recommend you read it all, but here are just some highlights.

And the best part about this thread is that it encouraged many other beautiful non-binary people to educate others on non-binary myths that exist.

Something about the term “infinite possibilities” quite literally changed something in my little he/they heart.

And of course, being NB is a constant learning process for everyone! Some people have it all figured out, while others are still on a journey of discovery. This isn’t a race, it’s a lengthy ride.

“Learning to love my own contradictions, my own ebb and flow of identity and gender” said Drag Race Down Under’s Etcetera Etcetera, who identifies as non-binary trans.

“Learning to live in this human shell that I inhabit for a cosmic isntat, and we are all doing the best we can. Happy Internation Non-Binary People’s Day to all my fellow gender rebels.”

Now this right here is someone putting the thing into words! Trust me, it isn’t easy.

Happy International Non-Binary People’s Day! Send some love to your non-binary pals and if you have something not so nice to say about these beautiful people, kindly shut the fuck up!