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‘Non-binary’ has been officially added to the Collins Dictionary

Patrick Kelleher November 7, 2019
Non-binary Singer Sam Smith. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella)

Singer Sam Smith. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella)

Collins Dictionary has announced that it is recognising the term “non-binary” for the first time.

The dictionary’s publishers said they were choosing to recognise the word because of “changes in how people relate to each other and define themselves”, RTÉ reports.

Collins have defined non-binary as “relating to a gender or sexual identity that does not conform to the binary categories of male or female, heterosexual or homosexual”.

2019 has been a landmark year for visibility of non-binary people in public life.

Collins Dictionary has recognised the term after a landmark year for visibility of non-binary people.

In September, British singer-songwriter Sam Smith made headlines across the world when they revealed that they are non-binary and their pronouns are they/them.

They had previously revealed that they were genderqueer in an interview with Jameela Jamil, but at the time said that they would continue to use he/him pronouns. However, that changed in September when they clarified that they would subsequently be using they/them pronouns.

Collins have defined non-binary as “relating to a gender or sexual identity that does not conform to the binary categories of male or female, heterosexual or homosexual”.

The term got even further airtime when Good Morning Britain co-host Piers Morgan got very, very upset that Smith was living life on their own terms.

Morgan went on to claim that Smith’s decision to come out was part of what “young people” are doing to “feel different” while also implying that non-binary people are a “trend or a fad or a craze”.

Piers Morgan and Lord Alan Sugar are very upset over people living their lives on their own terms.

“I’d love to interview Sam Smith and ask [them], 18 months ago you were equally emphatic that you were a gay man, what changed?

“Why suddenly are you, 18 months later, on a new splurge of publicity which will not be unhelpful to [them] with [their] new album is out.

“Am I being to cynical to suggest that this might just be about getting publicity. I don’t know.”

Morgan was not the only high-profile figure upset about non-binary people. Lord Alan Sugar hit out at people who “promote” non-binary pronouns, and said they should be “shipped out of the country” last month.

Elsewhere, non-binary model and actor Indya Moore has also become increasingly visible over the last year and is a cast member on Pose.

In August it was revealed that more than 150 A-Level students identified as non-binary after exam boards changed the way they classify gender in 2018.

The changes mean that students who don’t identify as “male” or “female” can opt out of the binary system and choose a gender-neutral option instead.

More: Alan Sugar, collins dictionary, Indya Moore, non-binary, piers morgan, Sam Smith

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