17 people share what makes them proud to be non-binary
What makes you proud to be non-binary?
“It’s like, I make sense to myself now, my identity makes sense.
I can actually look at myself in the mirror in a way I couldn’t identifying as a woman. Everybody should get to be who they are without question. We’re breaking down walls, even though those walls shouldn’t be there in the first place. I’m proud of that.”
“I like being able to continuously shift and the permission to be seen as more than what our notions of gender have allowed. I like when cis people ask me if I’m a girl or a boy, and the courage to say to them that I’m both, neither, and more than those terms.”
Malik Nashad Sharpe, AKA marikiscrycrycry, choreographer
“The thing that makes me proud to be non-binary is how soft and open hearted and warm the other non-binary people I’ve met are. Every connection is precious.”
“One thing that makes me proud to be non-binary is the creativity of the community. Firstly in terms of aesthetic creativity, mixing femme and masc codes or eschewing them altogether, and embracing colours and patterns in bold ways. But also creativity through linguistic innovation, forming new language to fill gaps and revising existing language to better reflect the diverse makeup of society.
“Knowing that being myself defies convention, it’s freeing being able to forge my own path.”
Beth Easton, artist
“I’m proud to be non-binary because I am finally able to talk about my gender on my own terms and because of the sense of community and solidarity I feel with other enby folk.
I hope I can also act as a role model by being visibly non-binary in public life and challenge perceptions about how enby people are expected to present themselves.”
“When I was younger I was policed into masculinity. It was only later that I found the language that matched who I was truly, until I found other non-binary people like me who supported me to gain the confidence to express what was internal externally, too. It makes me proud to still be here as a true representation of myself and accepted by others.”
“For me, it’s the community. It takes a huge amount of honesty and courage to acknowledge a non-binary identity, especially if you’ve grown up and live in a binary culture.
Simply acknowledging that you’re non-binary means that your life may look very different from what others expect of you, and indeed from what you may have expected of yourself. It means examining your hopes and desires, your fears and joy, your past and present and future. I am so very proud of everyone who has taken that leap into the unknown, however they end up identifying.”
Dr Kat Gupta
“I’m proud to be non-binary because we don’t just subvert norms: by taking up space, we’re undoing centuries of misogyny and colonialism perpetuated through the gender binary. Our communities are hilarious (we have the best meme culture), resourceful (we share money and information), and incredibly resilient (though we shouldn’t need to be).
Our existence is radical in its own right, but every non-binary person I know is also doing incredible and vital activist work on top of simply being. Non-binary pals: I love you! Remember to rest!”
Morgan Lev Edward Holleb, anarchist Jew, queer healthcare advocate, and author of The A–Z of Gender and Sexuality: From Ace to Ze
“I am proud to be non-binary because it is really special to be able to recognise yourself as being outside of the options society has given you.
But mostly, I’m proud of my younger non-binary self who, aged eight, tucked their Speedos string inside to pass as a little boy at the swimming pool.”
“I’m proud to have found a world and a sense of self that finally feels like home, that allows me to stop stretching and struggling to fit into the word ‘woman’. I’m proud to be part of a community who have sought the language that makes us feel finally at peace, and who accept all permutations of gender identity and expression with open hearts.”
“I am proud to be a walking deconstruction of society’s binaries. I am proud to be authentically myself and to have the strength and resilience to do so in a world that so desperately wants to deny us of that right.”
imbi the girl, Australian singer-songwriter
“I feel proud to be non-binary when I see artists and influencers coming out. Like the trans movement in general, to be out as non-binary is a political statement in itself. At the start of our social and medical transition, we often have to educate everyone around us, while also having to deal with many doors opening and closing. It’s a lot to handle.
So, while our daily lives might be miles away from celebrities like Sam Smith, Jonathan from Queer Eye and Miley Cyrus, it’s so important to see people with a platform flying our yellow, white, purple and black flag. This is because seeing ourselves reflected in the mainstream is really affirming and almost as important as seeing ourselves reflected in the mirror.”
“The support, help and respect I receive and reciprocate to other non-binary people makes me proud to call myself non-binary and the knowledge that I’m not on my own.”
William Dill-Russell, fashion designer
“I’m proud to finally own myself. I’m proud to be at the frontier of a discussion on gender that will help people who have felt confused, uncomfortable and lost their whole lives to feel at home for once. I’m proud to be at the intersection of an intersection, further breaking down the lines that divide who is to be marginalised and who is to be included.”
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“I don’t know if I’ve given a lot of thought to pride specifically for my non-binary identity. I’m not ashamed to be non-binary. Finding that language and that community was like finding home after decades of trying to squish myself into a gender that wasn’t right for me.
But for me, Pride is more collective—a sense of community taking pride in who we are and refusing to be disrespected because of it. So, in a sense, I’m not really proud to be non-binary, because that would be like being proud of having green eyes.
I’m proud to be part of a community that is fighting for our seat at the table. I’m proud to be part of a community that works against the enforcement of identity based on sex assigned at birth. And I’m proud to be the kind of person who can recognise that gender differences do not disqualify us from the same rights, privileges, and representation that cisgender heterosexual people enjoy.”
Bre Kidman, the first out non-binary person to run for US Senate
“I’m proud to be non-binary because the gender binary causes so much pain – to those who’re outside of it and to those who feel they have to rigidly adhere to it.
Recognising that gender isn’t binary on any level is one way of loosening the hold that rigid ideas around gender have on so many of us, whether that’s the sense – for example – that women must look a certain way, that men mustn’t express their feelings, or that everybody must fit the ‘man’ or ‘woman’ box.”
Meg-John Barker, author of a number of popular books on sex, gender, and relationships
Related topics: international non-binary people's day