When we walk into a room, who do we notice most? We don’t notice the people who are just like everyone else or even those who pretend to be like the rest of the crowd. We only notice those who stand out and give a sense of variety to the crowd.
A garden with flowers of varied and vivid colours and textures soothe the eyes more than that of the same colour and texture. The world NEEDS different. The issue, however, arises when we aren’t ready to embrace the many differences. The issue arises when we streamline our knowledge on the differences and categorise them on whatever knowledge we have ‘inherited’. Just like flowers categorised based on colour and being excluded from their beautiful differences in scent and texture, every non-binary gender is classified on merely what the society sees from the outside. We really can’t do justice to the world we live in if we continue to categorise the plethora of genders.
The concept of non-binary is rooted in the idea that gender identities fall on a spectrum rather than an opposition. This means that there are varying degrees of how much someone identifies with being male or female. It is under this idea that the differences occur.
Transgender was a word I learnt way before non-binary. For months I believed that they meant the same since they are the two most often used terms regarding varied gender identities. That, however, isn’t true.
Non-binary is an umbrella term used to describe a gender identity that is neither exclusively male or female whereas transgender refers to someone who does not identify with the biological sex that they were born with.
Some people who identify themselves as non-binary can be transgender but there are several other branches to non-binary too.
Now, what is intersex? It is possible to be born with sexual anatomy that is not typically male or female. A person may have a mix of male and female genitalia or a combination of both XX and XY chromosomes. This condition is known as intersex. Those who are intersex need not identify themselves as non-binary although some may use the term to describe themselves.
Now, this is where the science behind non-binary becomes interesting. We often use ‘genderqueer’ interchangeably with ‘non-binary’. This, however, is not the case. At this point, I would also like to state the definition of queer because people often get hate for using that term since it, in the wider use of the word, means strange or odd. The term queer in this context refers to sexual attraction that does not fit other categories such as homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual.
Here, we can see that genderqueer is one of the types of non-binary. Now, something called demi gender also exists. People who are non-binary but identify to some extent with a particular gender may describe themselves as demi gender. Demi boy, Demi girl, and Demifluid fall under this category.
There are many other types of nonbinary gender identities that exist, such as:
Let me give you a one-line explanation for a couple of them to enable better understanding.
Someone who identifies as both man and woman. They are simply those who are sexually attracted to both men and women.
This umbrella term is used to describe people who experience more than one gender identity. Bigender falls under this category.
Agender is defined as not having a gender. Some agender people describe it as having a “lack of gender,” while others describe themselves as being gender-neutral.
Androgyny is the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics into an ambiguous form. Androgyny may be expressed with regard to biological sex, gender identity, or gender expression. When androgyny refers to mixed biological sex characteristics in humans, it often refers to intersex people.
Those who are gender-fluid do not identify themselves to have a fixed gender at all. They are fluid with their sexual interests. They just go with the flow ;)
Butch women have an appearance or other qualities of a type traditionally seen as masculine.
People who are only sexually interested in non-binary genders are called ceterosexual. They cannot have feelings for those we call ‘straight’.
The world with diversity is beautiful but a world in which the diversities are felt inclusive is a paradise!