• International Non-Binary People’s Day

    Katje van Loon started International Non-Binary People’s Day in 2012 and it’s celebrated on July 14 each year. The date was chosen as it is midway between International Women’s Day (March 8) and International Men’s Day (November 19).

    This day is meant to increase awareness and the rich diversity of the non-binary community and to raise awareness of the challenges they face. Non-binary people often experience discrimination, prejudice, and violence. They may also face challenges accessing healthcare, housing, and employment.

    Non-binary is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity does not fit neatly into the categories of man or woman. Non-binary people may identify as both a man and a woman, neither a man nor a woman, or somewhere in between.

    Some non-binary folks may also use gender-neutral pronouns such as they/them and some do not. Some non-binary folks use a variety of pronouns, such as she or they.

    When speaking of the diversity of non-binary people, it’s important to know that the stereotypical version of non-binary you see in the media – a white, androgynous person is only one way to be non-binary. There is just as much diversity in race/culture and sexual orientation and how they present themselves to the world as there is within any other group of people.

    This is also a good time to remind you as well that the existence and knowledge of more then two genders is not in fact a new idea. Other genders have been documented around the world, on every continent dating back thousands of years.

    Prior to colonization, Native American nations recognized up to 5 genders identified. When European colonizers came to the Americas, they used the Natives’ norms of sex/gender as an excuse to demonize them, which in turn justified taking their land.

    Since it is the victors who write the history books, these other experiences and examples of gender diverse identities have been ignored or left out. That is why so many Americans are under the misimpression that this is a new phenomenon.