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So what exactly does non-binary gender mean?

If People do not see themselves represented in the categories «woman» or «man», it will too non-binary gender or genderqueer (Wikipedia ENG) called. As described in the basics, gender has many facets.

All of these aspects are to be explained here in relation to non-binary gender. The different forms of non-binary gender are described here.

Binary or not binary, that is the question

Binary (Wikipedia) also means divided into two parts. Non-binary (or non-binary) would then be something Not divided in two is. A non-binary gender is one that defies this dichotomy.

But our society sees gender as something strictly binary. Nature has a decidedly different opinion here (see article in Nature, 2015), but such a classification is made - if necessary with "force".

In a Trans * survey in the US over a third of the 27,715 people surveyed as non-binary or genderqueer see (p. 45, Report - 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey).

Physical gender

Non-binary gender is about them felt Gender identity and not that physical gender. Non-binary people may feel the need to change their body in a medical procedure i.e. it can a Body dysphoria to be available. But it is also spread that she no Have needto make such changes or only single (e.g. bar epilation only).

It may be that Inter * people With identify one of the binary categories or they can too see as non-binary (see also at OII US).

Assigned gender

Non-binary people feel comfortable in theirs assigned gender often not 100% well. Some would like a “neutral option” (Wikipedia: Third Gender) and others would find it more sensible if this categorization stopped altogether. But there are also those who have no problems in conscienceSituations simply to "count" as their assigned gender.

Gender identity

For non-binary people this is Situation very different. Some feel very clearly that they areno Have gender (Agender), others can feel itchanges (Gender fluid) but it can also be the case that someone has absolutely nothing to do with the whole idea of ​​the «felt gender» (see various expressions). Whether or not non-binary people identify as trans * is different and up to them.

Self-description (definition)

Individual non-binary people describe their gender identity with one of these characteristics (gender fluid, agent, etc.) or they simply describe it as non-binary or genderqueer. But there are also those who question the whole concept of gender identity.

With non-binary people the self-description can be very variable. This can have different reasons:

  1. Researching one's own gender is onelong research trip on which the "working hypotheses" (i.e. knowledge about one's own gender) are constantly developing and have to be adapted from time to time.
  2. Everaccording to context or counterpart can / maybe I also have to adjust my self-description. If I can say at a trans * event that Inon-binary I am once again "thrown back" to my assigned gender, etc. when using forms to book a flight, for example.
  3. For people who identify as Gender fluid see, it is part of their self-image that their gender is very variable.

Gender presentation

Clothes, hairstyle, etc. are important means in our society in order to give others one's ownGender to «signal».

Many non-binary people try to show in this way that they are outside the conventional categories and mix e.g. styles from the conventional genders. But there are also non-binary people who areclearly according to a binary category but still understand themselves as non-binary. Or it is not uncommon for them to often find their style between “clear” and “mixed” switch back and forth.


The binary gender system is deeply inscribed in most languages. Most of the time there is only pronounthat are either "male" or "female". Sometimes other parts of the language also change depending on gender (e.g. in French). But there are languages ​​in which gender-neutral options have developed. in the Swedish there is the neutral pronounhen (Wikipedia). in the English the singular begins they (Info: singularthey.info, iheartsingularthey.com) slowly to be implemented - after all, it was word of the year 2015 (American Dialect Society). There is also a suggestion for the form of address in English that is adopted by many: the form of addressMx (Wikipedia Eng).

But the German language it is still difficult (but there are already suggestions here too - see «Language»). It does exist in German It, but many of those affected do not find this an acceptable solution. However, some use it for themselves - in the sense of «reclaiming». Sooner or later, however, appropriate solutions will also be needed for German.

The so-called Gender gap (Wikipedia) is a possible solution to include non-binary people in the language. It can be written with an asterisk "*" or an underscore "_" e.g. reader.

More about language and non-binary gender ...

Gender attribution

For non-binary people, the gender attribution is to that effect problematicthan that the most people (at least outside of trans * / feminist contexts) even no other categories as "woman" or "man". You can therefore only consider me as the one or see others - even if they turn upside down. It's like the so-called Necker cube. We can only see it either “standing upright” or then “from above” - but not both at the same time.

If non-binary people expect people on the street to actually "read" them all as non-binary, then they will often be quite frustrated. Without knowing the corresponding concept, they cannot do this under any circumstances, that is then no bad will but are probably natural limits of what is feasible. In order for this to happen, the appropriate concepts must first be established.

Sexual orientation

The gender identity is independently from sexual orientation. So non-binary people can have very different sexual orientations. Only for non-binary people are those Terms of hetero-, homo- or bisexuality are usually not very helpfulbecause the terms are based on it exactly two Genders and someone is either from same and or other feels attracted.

The terms can provide a solution to the problem «Gynephil» (attracted to women * or femininity), "Androphil" (attracted to men * or masculinity) or "Ambiphilic" (attracted to both) (see Wikipedia Eng). Also the term "Pansexual" is used by many non-binary people (instead ofBisexuality) because he says someone is «open to all Gender »is (Wikipedia).

The terms "Scoliosexuality" / "Ceterosexuality" are a Opportunity to express that someone feels attracted to non-binary people: “… sexual orientation in which a person feels sexual attraction to nonbinary people, and perhaps other kinds of transgender people as well. Some believe the term is only to be used by non-binary people, though it was coined in the context of binary people’s attraction to non-binary people. ... "(Source: nonbinary.org)

The term "Diamoric" can also be used for relationships with or an attraction to non-binary people: “… A diamoric relationship or attraction is one that involves at least one non-binary person. ... A diamoric person is a person who centers NB people and NB partnerships in their life. ... "(Source: androgyne-enjolras.tumblr.com)

More on the subject: see nonbinary.wiki

Gender stereotypes and gender roles

Lots of non-binary people seem a lot easy to perceive when they get caught in the "clutches" of gender stereotypes or roles. Often they are all uncomfortable with it. In some cases it is especially “painful” when stereotypes of the assigned gender and those of the opposite sex are often not considered all felt so problematic.

What many also call very stressful feeling is this generalomnipresent "gender"which many people always do quite unconsciously. Why can't someone in the service of a restaurant just say “Grüezi” but have to say “Grüezi the mr / mrs”?

Connection to "Trans *"

The definition of trans * person (see definition at TGNS) is that someone is with the gender assigned at birth Not can identify (Cis-People [Wikipedia] are people who I Agree are with this assignment). Therefore, many non-binary people will probably see themselves as trans * because they do not see themselves represented in the conventional system. But it can also be good that non-binary people are themselves Not see as trans *. This is up to you.

Non-binary people can make social, medical and / or legal transitions. These transitions can have the goal closer to the «non-binary Identity gender » to come (e.g. as few gender characteristics as possible, neutral gender entry in the passport - where this is possible). The transitions can also into the "binary opposite sex" to the assigned gender go because this is seen, for example, as "the lesser evil" or the person feels comfortable in this gender on certain levels, but still sees himself as non-binary. But it can also be that someone only on a social level transitioned.

More about transition for non-binary people>

Connection to other «gender benders»

There are very different groups of people who are traditional for various reasons Questioning gender categories. They can be politically motivated (e.g. «gender activists») or artistically inspired (e.g. drag queens / kings). The only question is whether they are too than outside of the categories feel or whether they "only" represent / discussin order to be able to achieve something specific, but clearly feel as one of the binary genders. This website would then be «rather less» intended for you (but of course also open to you). Of course, there are also people who really feel non-binary and are also politically or artistically active.

>> Different expressions of non-binary gender