• Today is International Non-Binary Day Jul 14, 2022

    Today is a day to celebrate all non-binary people of the world.

    This is the non-binary pride flag created by Kye Rowan in 2014.  The yellow stripe represents people whose gender exists outside of the binary, the white stripe people with many or all genders, the purple people with genders considered a mix of male and female (blue and pink blended), and the black for people who identify as not having a gender.

    The term non-binary 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, somewhere in between or as falling completely outside these categories. Many non-binary people also identify as transgender, but not all. Non-binary can also be used as an umbrella term encompassing identities such as agender, genderqueer or genderfluid.

    US and Western cultures have socialized so many of us to think that gender is a binary thing. But the non-binary community is teaching us that, for their lived experience, gender is a both/and thing, or more than both/and, a multi-faceted thing, a continuum of gender along an infinite scale.

    We certainly are capable of busting out of binary thinking when we talk about colors. There are at least 7 of them (ROYGBIV) and, of course, there are really an infinite number of colors. My favorite way to think about multiple genders existing in this world is to think about the 31 flavors of ice cream I grew up on (from the old Baskin-Robbins shops)! How constraining it would be to me to have to pick only 2 ice cream flavors. And to be told that only 2 exist, when I know there are at least 31. What if an artist, a painter, had to only pick 2 colors for all of their art work – that would be a laughable (or sad) request, and a disastrous result.

    If we take a moment to pause, and listen deeply to the non-binary people in our lives and in the world, I’m sure we can break out of our binary thinking about gender and learn to love and appreciate the beautiful diversity of all gender experiences in this world.

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