You’ve probably started to hear the term “nonbinary” more often. Demi Lovato announced they were nonbinary on Wednesday.
“Nonbinary” is defined as someone who does not identify only as a woman or a man, i.e. the traditional gender binary, according to the Human Rights Campaign. They could identify as both a woman and a man, not a part of any gender category or in between the two genders. GLAAD offers a similar definition.
Anybody who is nonbinary may also be transgender- Elliot Page, for example, identifies as both- but that is not the case every time. GLAAD suggests only calling someone transgender if they claim that identity themselves.
It has become very common for people who identify as nonbinary to use a singular “them/they” pronoun.
Nonbinary also exists as an umbrella term for various gender identities.
“Nonbinary can also be used as a catch-all term encompassing identities such as bigender, agender, gender-fluid or genderqueer,” according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Sexual orientation and gender identity are two different things- meaning someone coming out as nonbinary has no bearing on to whom they are attracted.
The spread of the term comes as a record number of United States adults- 5.6%- identify as LGBTQ, a report released in February shows.
Other celebrities that identify as nonbinary include Sam Smith and Sara Ramirez.
Former “Grey’s Anatomy” star Sara said they were nonbinary in 2020 in a Twitter post.
Sam Smith, the Grammy-winning singer, came out as genderqueer and nonbinary in 2019.
Demi Lovato’s video was similarly empowering. “I feel this shows the fluidity I feel in my gender expression and allows me to feel true and authentic to the person I know I am,” they said.