What Does It Mean to Be Nonbinary? Here's What 8 Nonbinary Stars Have to Say
Last week, Demi Lovato made a big personal announcement, revealing to fans that they're nonbinary, and from here on out would be using they/them pronouns.
It's a huge step in Demi's life—as well as the lives of nonbinary fans who've been looking forward to more high-profile nonbinary stars being able to shed light and bring more public awareness to their identities. But what exactly does it mean to be nonbinary?
Generally, nonbinary people experience gender in a way that doesn't exclusively make them a man or a woman, either between or beyond these two genders. They're outside of the gender binary. Many nonbinary people use they/them pronouns, while others also (or only) use she/her or he/him pronouns, some are open to any and all pronouns, and others yet use neopronouns such as ze/zir and xe/xem. Respecting people's pronouns, no matter what they are, is critical in showing allyship and solidarity, as well as letting nonbinary people know that they're heard and accepted.
Don't think you know any nonbinary celebrities? Here are eight stars who identify as nonbinary, and what they've said about their gender identities.
Amandla Stenberg (She/They)
"I tend to believe that gender as we've set it up in current-day society doesn't actually exist. I've said before that I'm comfortable with using the pronouns 'they' or 'them' alongside 'she' and 'her' just because that's a conversation that's important to me."
Demi Lovato (They/Them)
"Over the past year and a half, I have been doing some healing and self-reflective work, and through this work, I have had the revelation that I identify as nonbinary. With that said, I will officially be changing my pronouns to they/them. I feel that this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I both know I am and still am discovering."
Elliot Page (He/They)
"I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life … I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive."
Jonathan Van Ness (They/Them)
"I just am either like gender-bendy or nonconform-y or nonbinary and some days I feel like a boy and some days I feel like a girl. I didn't think I was allowed to be non-conforming or genderqueer or nonbinary—I was just always like 'a gay man' because that's just the label I thought I had to be."
Kat Cunning (They/Them)
"I identify as nonbinary and I prefer they/them pronouns … I've always led with the truth about who I am and when it comes to my gender identity, coming out as preferring they/them pronouns really started with the people closest to me. You should always talk to your closest friends about how you feel, first, and ask them to start acknowledging your pronouns, and in a way, sort of try that on for size. For me, I was like, 'This feels really good to me.'"
Noelle Stevenson (Any Pronouns)
"I am nonbinary, or something like it, and I use any pronouns! … (I don't mind being called "she" or grouped with women, any gendered terms are fine with me!) … my gender is yes."
Rebecca Sugar (She/They)
"One of the things that's really important to me about [Steven Universe] is that the Gems are all non-binary women. They're very specific and they're coming from a world where they don't really have the frame of reference … And I am also a non-binary woman, which has been really great to express myself through these characters because it's very much how I have felt throughout my life."
Sam Smith (They/Them)
"I've sometimes sat and questioned, do I want a sex change? It's something I still think about: 'Do I want to?' I don't think it is. When I saw the word nonbinary, genderqueer, and I read into it, and I heard these people speaking, I was like … that is me."
We love that these stars are living their most authentic lives. We hope to see more nonbinary characters in media, too. Click HERE to find out more about why representation matters in media.