6 Non Binary People You Need To Know
Tomorrow it’s Non Binary People’s Day! A day to raise awareness for non binary people, their identity and struggles in a very binary world. Due to this binary world, non-binary people are often met with ignorance, confusion and outright bigotry. Many institutions and daily life things are complicated by and restricted to binary thought and services. Think of gendered bathrooms, only being able to choose between Miss or Mister on a form, the refusal to use they/them pronouns. The list goes on and on. But despite all these difficulties and hatred, non-binary people find ways to thrive and be their authentic selves. We like to highlight 5 inspirational non-binary people who are known on national and international level.
What does non-binary mean?
A short definition is that non-binary is an umbrella term. It encapsulates a gender identity that is outside the gender binary, outside the definition of man and woman. Every non binary person will have a personal relationship with and definition of the term. This also means that there is not one correct way to be and look non binary. Just like men and women, non-binary people come in all shapes and sizes and ages. With our list, we hope to highlight the wide variety in the non-binary community too.
1. Sam Smith
Probably the most known non-binary person on this list is none other than singer-songwriter Sam Smith. In 2014 Smith came out as gay. In 2017 they came out as genderqueer but it wasn’t until 2019 that Smith came out as non-binary and changed their pronouns. Sam Smith has recently come out with a critically acclaimed album Gloria where their song in collaboration with Kim Petras “Unholy” topped the UK Single Charts for four weeks. The music video of the song “I’m Not Here To Make Friends” shows Smith in all their non-binary glory, surrounded by fellow queer people. While Unholy and I’m Not Here To Make Friends are upbeat songs that empowered queer people world wide, the track Love Me More takes a softer approach, but the message of self-love remains all the same.
You may have heard of Indiya Moore if you’ve watched the FX Television show Pose in which Moore played the character Angel Evangelista. In this groundbreaking queer series, trans people of color take the mainstage and shine in a fleshed out drama that’s set in the 80s during the AIDS pandemic. Moore’s early life slightly mirrors the life of her character in Pose. Just like Angel, Moore did some modeling work for big brands such as Dior and Gucci. Their presence is notable as Time listed Moore in their 100 most influential people in the world list. In the same year Moore also featured as the first transgender model on the cover of Elle (VS version).
Alok Vaid-Menon, better known on social media as ALOK, is a queer artist of many trades: writer, poet, comedian, activist and much more. Their look is gender non-conforming, bold, expressive and fun. On their Instagram, they share many of their poems. These poems are very personal, emotional and full of vulnerability. ALOK also educates their audience by reviewing several books on different topics. Recurring themes are of course, gender identity, racism, colonialism and science. Many times, these themes are entwined and connected. Notably, is ALOK’s passion and seemingly unconditional empathy and love. ALOK is not afraid to be their full authentic queer self and reclaim their identity as a non-binary person of color.
Tijn de Jong
Tijn de Jong is maybe not an international icon, but they are quite known in the Dutch queer community. They are an activist and an artist in multiple media such as theater. On their Instagram account, de Jong shares many educational content about transgender and non-binary people for their Dutch speaking audience. Outside the online room, de Jong often gives workshops and lectures about these topics. It’s not just educational content, however. They leave plenty of room to just be themselves and share their queer joy with others who might need it.
Oh, and they also happen to have modeled in one of our Paxsies boxers ;)
You might know Liv Hewson from Showtime's Yellowjackets, a show about a high school girl soccer team stranding in the wilderness after an unfortunate plane crash. Liv plays the character of Van Palmer. Recently, Hewson has come out on their Instagram and in an interview with Teen Vogue. They talk about the liberation it brought and the joy of top surgery. Notably, Hewson has made the decision to pull out of the Emmy consideration, due to it being gendered categories. Hewson advocates for gender-neutral awards in the acting industry.
Finally, we have the creator of Inclusicards on this list. Liza Slootmans is a fat non-binary artist who created Inclusicards due to the lack of queer and disabled representation on birthday cards, wedding cards, etc. Slootman is a colorful and joyful person which is reflected in the way they dress: bright colors and fun patterns all around. Slootman shows that non-binary people are not limited to skinny people. Body neutrality and fat acceptance are one of the many things Slootman strives for on their Insta and beyond. They show the world you can be non-binary, fat and happy. All in one! Slootman is also an advocate for mental health as well so they express that too. They’re not always happy and they do struggle too and that’s okay.
And with that sentiment, we’d like to close our blog post. Being non-binary can be difficult due to society and mental health is important to acknowledge. It’s okay to be not okay and ask for help.
But we must also remember that, as a non-binary person, you can find happiness. You can find community and thrive and be yourselves. Find people that are supportive and love you unconditionally so you can be your most authentic, non-binary self!