Non-Binary Gender 101
What is Gender?
O A complex combination of roles, expressions,
identities, performances, and more which is assigned
gendered meaning.
O Gender is self-defined as well as defined by the larger
society through gender roles.
O Sex is defined and assigned by doctors.
O Male assigned at birth (MAAB)
O Female assigned at birth (FAAB)
O Intersex people usually have an assigned gender
O Sex does not equal gender.
Binary Gender
Non-Binary Gender
O Bi/Poly/Pangender
O Genderfluid
O Agender
O Gender Neutral/
O Third Gender
O and many more.
Buckle up.
Some English Pronouns
O He/Him/His/His/
O She/Her/Her/Hers/
Gender Neutral
O They/Them/Their/
O Ze/Hir/Hir/Hirs/Hirself
O Ey/Em/Eir/Eirs/Emself
O Ou/Ou/Ou/Ous/Ouself
O Experience of two or more
genders and/or a shift
between them.
O “Some days I wake up and
feel like a woman. Other
days I wake up and feel like
a man. Sometimes feeling
like a woman or man
depends on who I’m with.”
O “I’ve always been male, and
I’ve always been female,
too. I’ve always been both.”
O Experience of gender that
O “I have boy days and girl days
and some days where I’m
somewhere in between or I
don’t really know what I am.”
O “My gender floats around. I’d
spent years trying to pin it
down, but I finally decided to
stop. I don’t need to pin it
down – I’m going to live in this
funny, middle, around space.”
O Having no experience of
O “Genderless” is sometimes
a synonym.
O “I have a complete lack of
"gender" feelings. Gender
is a language I don’t
O “I didn’t know what it
meant, exactly, to be a girl
or a boy, all I knew was
that I wasn’t either.”
Gender Neutral/Neutrois
O Experience of a single
gender-neutral gender.
O “It’s not an absence of
gender, and it’s not
apathy about my
gender… I care very
strongly about my
gender, my gender
expression, and my
gender perception. I
have a gender, and it’s
a neutral gender.”
Third Gender
O Umbrella term for non-binary genders that exist in
specific cultures, including:
O Two-Spirit (NDN)
O Hijra (SE Asia)
O Meti (Nepal)
O Ashtime (Maale; S Ethiopia)
O Fa’afafine (Samoa)
O Bakla (Philippines)
O Bissu, Calabai, & Calalai
(Bugis; Indonesia)
O Among hundreds of others.
And others
O Non-binary & genderqueer are blanket terms, so
they cover other variations in gender identity that
don’t necessarily fit anything we’ve talked about.
O “Gender is not a line - it is a huge three-
dimensional space with infinite points.”
O Some people prefer to simply identify as non-
binary/genderqueer, rather than try to find a box.
O What matters is how people choose to describe
themselves – they know their gender best.
Sex: M F X
O Some countries
allow “other” option
on identification
O Australia, India,
Bangladesh, Nepal,
and growing
O Great for intersex,
non-binary and other
trans* people
Be Non-Binary Friendly
O Be aware
O Don’t assume that people are cisgender or
binary. If someone tells you to use a name or
pronoun, absolutely do your best to use it.
O Be educated
O Don’t tell people that their identity is invalid.
Ever, really. Bad form in any situation.
O Don’t erase non-binary people.
O Make LGBT spaces safe and friendly for non-
binary people.

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