International Non-Binary Day, celebrated around the world every year on July 14th, is an occasion to lift up non-binary members within the LGBTQ community. At a time when young people’s identities are being targeted by legislation in multiple states, it is crucial to remind LGBTQ young people that their identities are valid - and worth fighting for.
The term non-binary describes someone who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman. Non-binary people may identify as being both a man and a woman, somewhere in between or as falling completely outside these categories. While many also identify as transgender, not all non-binary people do. Non-binary can also be used as an umbrella term encompassing identities such as agender, bigender, genderqueer or genderfluid.
Even though Western cultures tend to reinforce the idea that gender identity and expression are a strict binary, it’s simply not true. Non-binary people have existed for centuries and they show us every day that knowing one’s self and identity is a powerful thing that no one can strip away.
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to securing full protections and rights for our non-binary siblings, but amid that work we must take time to celebrate as well.
Here are seven historical facts that challenge the concept of clear gender binary:
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.