The Importance of Non-Binary November

If you are like me, and have limited knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community, then you may or may not know that we just passed a very important month. The month of November has been deemed “Non-Binary November” by this community, and it is a month of meaning that we should all get to know. Whether it is for someone close to you in your life, for yourself, or simply so that you can be more aware, understanding what it means to be non-binary and how to support those who identify as such is extremely important.

Non-binary (sometimes also referred to as NB or enby) is defined as not identifying as either male or female, but rather identifying with a fluid gender that falls on a spectrum. Some days they may feel like they identify more as a female, some days they may identify more as male, and some days they may feel as though they identify with no gender at all. Those who identify as non-binary typically use the pronoun “they”, but there are other gender-fluid pronouns that may be used. One of the most important aspects of pronoun respect is making a conscious effort to use the pronouns the individual is most comfortable with. While it is understandable that mistakes may be made, especially if the person has just recently come out or asked of you to use their pronouns, purposely misgendering an individual is disrespectful. In my personal experience, expressing your willingness to learn and support the individual goes a very long way, and is often very much appreciated.

Non-binary November is a month of awareness for those who identify as non-binary, but also for those who have been affected by hate crimes or harassment due to their gender identity. For many young people, exploring their gender identity can be a very scary thing in today’s day and age due to negative responses and lack of education on gender identity. It is for this exact reason that we need LGBTQ+ awareness days, weeks and months so that we may come together as a community to support each other and be the light that we all need to identify as our true selves. Even if you do not know anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+, I strongly urge you to educate yourself. Education is the most valuable tool that we have against hate, and by educating ourselves we become allies for those who need it. If you do know someone who is non-binary or identifies as a part of the LGBTQ+ community, please be a listening ear, and please be willing to learn. You never know how much someone may need it.