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What does it mean to be non-binary

Can someone educate me on what it means to be non-binary? I know this is such a sensitive topic but I feel I need educating on these things.
So I’m a cis/het person and I used to be in a friend group. They were all round unkind people to me, and I was that one person who always got the blame for everything, who got bullied and picked on yano and they were treating me like sh*t for the past year. One of them came out as gay, and now 5 of them are gay/bi. A month ago, one of them came out as non binary and putting ‘she/him/they/them’ in their bios, and now 5 of them have the same thing.
I was a bit of an outsider in the group and they only wanted to meet up on conditional terms (e.g if they knew I was going to pay for food) and I got confused as to why. In the group, there started out with 7 cis/het people, and when 5 of them came out as LGBTQ+, they started leaving me and the other cis/het person out of plans, and I’m almost 99% certain it’s because we haven’t ‘come out yet’…
On the few occasions that I did meet up with them, they used to make annoying little comments about their hatred for straight people and saying things like ‘ewww imagine being straight’ knowing it was directed at me (I made another post a few weeks ago about this), and they were pressuring me to ‘come out’…? The other straight person in the group ended up leaving too because she was constantly left out or used for similar reasons. Me and the other cis/het person were completely supportive of their decision to come out, and we both felt they were projecting their hatred for straight people out on us.
However now after we both left, all 5 of them have come out as non-binary. I do feel it is a bit of a trend now. This might be a strange comparison but it felt like the brand new iPhone came out, and they were excluding anyone with a 2019 Samsung because it’s old and outdated 🤣 Like I’m not part of the new trend so they cut me off. why is it that 5 out of 7 people in a friend group all come out as gay and non-binary, is it a coincidence? They’ve all turned extremely entitled, loud and obnoxious, and part of me feels like they’re only doing this to be qUiRkY and trendy and cool, and part of me feels like they are all genuinely non-binary. It just upsets me because I wanted to support them no matter what, but I had no choice to leave the group because I wasn’t like them. As a cis/het person I am a proud ally of the LGBT community, but what does non-binary actually mean, and why did they hate cis/het people?
I don’t mean this in an insulting way, but they were making their sexuality their entire identity. It was ALL they spoke about. Their sexuality and gender is WHO they are. They spend their time decorating and painting EVERYTHING with the pride flag…rainbow clothes, socks, posters, phone backgrounds, nails and one of them dyed their hair rainbow. I know they’re proud of their sexuality, but is it necessary to make it consume their whole lives? I am and will continue to be an ally, but surely this cannot possibly represent the LGBT community? Surely your sexuality should be a part of you…not…be you.
Can someone explain what it means to be non-binary and what pronouns mean to you? I’d love to hear from someone in the LGBT community, and opinions on this friend group drama that occurred. Do you also use the terms ‘they’ when talking about people you don’t know, is it wrong to assume someone’s gender?

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I am bisexual and what your 'friends' have done is completely wrong.
Non-binary is basically when someone doesn't associate with either boy or girl. It's not a 'third gender', it's not a gender.
Personally, I don't feel threatened if people use the wrong pronouns with me but my pronouns are she/her and I look like a stereotypical girl, so I don't usually get pronouns other than the correct ones. However, I know pronouns mean a lot to some people and it's good to try to use the correct ones all the time. You're bound to make mistakes, but remember to correct yourself :smile:
I try to use they/them pronouns when I'm referring to anyone I don't know the pronouns for but I make mistakes.
Bisexuality is not my 'entire personality', but to some people being LGBT is. I can't relate, but I know it's important for some people.
Waiting for you to 'come out' makes no sense, you know your sexuality and your gender so they're just being idiots.
Original post by hxnnxh_13.11.06
I am bisexual and what your 'friends' have done is completely wrong.
Non-binary is basically when someone doesn't associate with either boy or girl. It's not a 'third gender', it's not a gender.
Personally, I don't feel threatened if people use the wrong pronouns with me but my pronouns are she/her and I look like a stereotypical girl, so I don't usually get pronouns other than the correct ones. However, I know pronouns mean a lot to some people and it's good to try to use the correct ones all the time. You're bound to make mistakes, but remember to correct yourself :smile:
I try to use they/them pronouns when I'm referring to anyone I don't know the pronouns for but I make mistakes.
Bisexuality is not my 'entire personality', but to some people being LGBT is. I can't relate, but I know it's important for some people.
Waiting for you to 'come out' makes no sense, you know your sexuality and your gender so they're just being idiots.


Thank you for replying :smile:
Original post by pricklyhedgehog
Thank you for replying :smile:

No prob :smile:
Reply 4
hey, i identify as non-binary lesbian. non-binary is a gender term when you don't identify as either male or female so you're just gender neutral on the spectrum. it also falls under the transgender umbrella because you don't identify yourself as your assigned gender at birth, some non-binary people would use the 'trans' term but some doesn't. and i don't really wanna identify myself as transgender, just non-binary.

also, gender sexuality or pronouns, so you can literally be non-binary and lesbian at the same time which is what i identify myself as. while majority non-binary people uses gender neutral pronouns like they/them, it doesn't mean all non-binary people do; in fact, some can use any other pronouns like she/her, he/him, it/its etc or all of them (or even both like she/they, he/they). this means that someone can be non-binary but use she/he/they pronouns, it doesn't really correlate your gender.

personally i go by he/they pronouns because they/them just feels so right but on the other hand, i also don't mind he/him pronouns tho i prefer they/them more. tbh i started also questioning my gender at the start year: i've always hated my feminine body (body dysphoria yup) and i hated the idea of identifying myself as a female. at one point, i thought, maybe i wanted to be a male instead? but then i thought again, maybe i don't wanna be a male either, that's when i came to the term. and i just identified myself as it cuz it just feels so right for me.

just hearing people refer to me as a 'girl', 'she/her', 'woman' or even using my deadname (my birth name i dont wanna use) makes me feel uncomfortable, i hate it sm when i hear it. they/them just feels so right and comfortable, masculine pronouns are also fine with me because even though i identify myself as non-binary, i lean more towards the masculine side. therefore, non-binary is a gender identity where you're neither male or female, you're kinda outside the gender spectrum.

also i use 'they' when referring to people idk the gender of, unless i ask them ofc. its just sm better than using he/she all the time, and ik its not wrong because pronouns doesn't equal to your gender. in addition to this, non-binary people can wear feminine or masculine clothes or even both so the looks doesn't really matter either, it's much safer if you ask them before assuming their gender. sorry this is long lmao, but i hope this helps with understanding a bit more about "non-binary" :smile:
Original post by hxnnxh_13.11.06
I try to use they/them pronouns when I'm referring to anyone I don't know the pronouns for

Original post by zêshy
also i use 'they' when referring to people idk the gender of, unless i ask them ofc. its just sm better than using he/she all the time, and ik its not wrong because pronouns doesn't equal to your gender.

What are your reasons for referring to others as 'they', when the vast majority of people are she/her or he/him?
Reply 6
Original post by rosy_posy
What are your reasons for referring to others as 'they', when the vast majority of people are she/her or he/him?

even though vast majority of people may be she/her or he/him, if im talking to someone idk (esp if its on the internet), i refer others as 'they' because idk their pronouns yet. so i don't wanna assume anyone's pronouns when i just met them, i don't just wanna use 'she' or 'he' in case i make a mistake and assume things. therefore, 'they' is safer as it's gender neutral and im not offending anyone
In short, someone who doesn’t identify as male or female because they have characteristics of both (if you associate characteristics with gender). So it is someone who doesn’t fit comfortably into either from their perspective.
I think the issue may be more your friends being annoying and not great friends, rather than their sexuality or gender identity per se?

For me, bieng non-binary is complicated but fundamentally comes down to the fact that I am not a man or a woman, and I don't want to be or feel comfortable being referred to as such. Being gendered correctly contributes immensely to my sense of well-being and just being happy in myself, as it does for anyone. My relationship to and with gender is bloody complicated and I certainly wouldn't say it can be easily explained, but I know what makes me happy and is meaninful to me, so I try and roll with it :tongue:
Original post by zêshy
even though vast majority of people may be she/her or he/him, if im talking to someone idk (esp if its on the internet), i refer others as 'they' because idk their pronouns yet. so i don't wanna assume anyone's pronouns when i just met them, i don't just wanna use 'she' or 'he' in case i make a mistake and assume things. therefore, 'they' is safer as it's gender neutral and im not offending anyone

I refer to people on the internet as 'they' if idk their gender, but irl I refer to people with pronouns that are the same gender as their name or appearance unless told otherwise (which hasn't happened so far).
Reply 10
Original post by rosy_posy
I refer to people on the internet as 'they' if idk their gender, but irl I refer to people with pronouns that are the same gender as their name or appearance unless told otherwise (which hasn't happened so far).

ye same, i refer to people on the internet as 'they' too. for irl, i'd just ask them quickly what pronouns they use instead of just judging it based on their "looks" or what "gender" they look even though, they may be a different gender than what you can see
Give it 5 years....
Original post by zêshy
ye same, i refer to people on the internet as 'they' too. for irl, i'd just ask them quickly what pronouns they use instead of just judging it based on their "looks" or what "gender" they look even though, they may be a different gender than what you can see

I understand the importance of pronouns for non-cisgender people, but many people aren't familiar with the concept so I don't ask them their pronouns. If someone was to tell me to refer to them with pronouns other than she/her or he/him, I would try not to misgender them.
Reply 13
Original post by rosy_posy
I understand the importance of pronouns for non-cisgender people, but many people aren't familiar with the concept so I don't ask them their pronouns. If someone was to tell me to refer to them with pronouns other than she/her or he/him, I would try not to misgender them.

even so, it wouldn't hurt to ask them in case. just making sure they're the pronouns i'd have guessed at the start
Original post by Scienceisgood
In short, someone who doesn’t identify as male or female because they have characteristics of both (if you associate characteristics with gender). So it is someone who doesn’t fit comfortably into either from their perspective.

I am not arguing that a person cannot be non-binary, that is not the purpose of this comment. However I am intrigued- on a social level what is a fundamentally masculine characteristic and what is a fundamentally female characteristic?
Original post by glassalice
I am not arguing that a person cannot be non-binary, that is not the purpose of this comment. However I am intrigued- on a social level what is a fundamentally masculine characteristic and what is a fundamentally female characteristic?


That was the point in my bracketed comment about associating characteristics with gender. That is down to more of a social norm to others and not something I do myself. Identify as you please as I know others slap labels on and others don’t bother with them, down to the person.
Yes I'm aware of that. I don't assume people's gender based on their name alone. It mostly depends on their appearance - if they looked androgynous, I would ask them their pronouns.
Reply 17
Original post by rosy_posy
Yes I'm aware of that. I don't assume people's gender based on their name alone. It mostly depends on their appearance - if they looked androgynous, I would ask them their pronouns.

what if someone looks feminine but they use he/him pronouns?
Original post by zêshy
what if someone looks feminine but they use he/him pronouns?

I've never come across someone like that, but if someone said what their pronouns were I would refer to them with those pronouns.
Reply 19
Original post by rosy_posy
I've never come across someone like that, but if someone said what their pronouns were I would refer to them with those pronouns.

personally i don't think you should assume anything based on their names or even looks. someone could alternate between feminine or masculine or androgynous and could use any pronouns or even one. also, what if the person doesn't have the confidence to say it themselves?

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