AuthorMonifa, Kiki

I am a Baby Boomer, born in 1957, who grew up in a very binary world. Everything from party affiliation to music preference was simplified down into an "either-or" mentality. Most of the time, what this really meant was that either you fit in or you didn't.

Until recently, every form I've ever completed had two boxes to check for sex: male or female.

Everywhere I go, a similar dichotomy presents itself. Nonbinary folks, whose gender identities are neither male nor female, are being erased and excluded from traditionally gendered spaces.

I identify as cisgender, which means that my birth sex (female) and gender (woman) align. I'm a Blesbian--Black lesbian--too, and, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I want to help by being an advocate for nonbinary people, both within and outside of queer spaces.

Since 2020, many folks now introduce themselves with their name and pronouns: he/him, she/her, they/them, ze/zir, etc. This might be in part due to three years of Zoom calls, where awkward clarifications of one's gender identity can be easily avoided by listing pronouns next to names.

For cisgender allies of trans and nonbinary people, stating your pronouns in your social media bio, office meetings, or the like is a way to help normalize the gender identities that exist outside of male and female. Gen Zers are leading this cultural shift toward the inclusion of nonbinary people in classrooms, on college campuses, and in the workplace. But some things are still the same.

In the first broad-based population study of non-binary folks, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law concluded there are 1.2 million non-binary LGBTQ+ adults aged eighteen to sixty in the United States. That's 11 percent of the adult LGBTQ+ population.

The study found that the majority of nonbinary LGBTQ+ adults are young, urban, and white. More specifically, 58 percent of these nonbinary folks are white, 16 percent are multiracial, 15 percent are Latinx, and 9 percent are Black. Nonbinary people are also less likely to be straight than their cisgender counterparts; most identify as queer, bisexual, pansexual, or asexual.


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