While July 14 marks International Non-Binary Day, the entire week is dedicated to the awareness of identities everywhere. Not only are we celebrating the achievements in the community but also making awareness for issues we still need to overcome.
First celebrated in 2012, the occasion has garnered much success since then. Across the world, people are showing support and flaunting their true selves.
The term ‚Äúnon-binary‚Äù 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 or as falling completely outside these categories. For some, this identity can fluctuate. Essentially, non-binary is an umbrella term encompassing identities such as agender, bigender, genderqueer, or gender fluid.
Why non-binary people are at risk
It's no secret that transgender and non-binary¬†youth are at increased risk¬†of depression, suicidal ideation, and attempted suicide compared with both cisgender heterosexuals and cisgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. The marginalization of non-binary people is a significant contributor to these unfortunate statistics.
According to a survey from the Trevor Project, a non-binary and transgender youth who have their pronouns respected and are able to have corresponding documents with their preferred names/gender/identities had decreased suicide rates.
Spreading the message of acceptance and love
Plenty of people, both non-binary and not, are spreading the love online. The hashtag #InternationalNonbinaryDay is trending with thousands of tweets from supporters and allies. Here are some of the best we've seen so far.
In particular, Demi Lovato shared a heartfelt post regarding misgendering and putting in the effort to call someone by their preferred pronouns.
"It's all about your intention. It's important to me that you try, but if you make a mistake, it's okay," Demi wrote.
During this time when legislation continues to target LGBTQ+ identities, it is crucial to remind LGBTQ young people that their identities are valid - and worth fighting for. While there is still work needed to be done regarding protections and rights, we should take time to celebrate as well. This only shows how vital observances like non-binary awareness week are for the community.