In 2019, headlines were buzzing with Brigette Lundy-Paine coming out as non-binary. You may know the actress best as Casey Gardner in the popular Netflix show, Atypical.
On an Instagram post that the actress shared on November 8th in 2019, she said “I am non-binary, always felt a little bit boy, little bit girl, little bit neither.”
The actress mentioned that using the pronouns they and them feels right to her because they are less limited. She also mentioned that it was a very scary experience to try to come out with this information. This was because she was initially worried about how people might feel about her reveal.
She mentioned that she owes this to people who struggle with gender. So that is why she chose to make this bold step. But what exactly does it mean to be non-binary? Here are the things that you need to know.
What is Non-Binary?
Being non-binary simply means that a person chooses to not be identified as either male or female. These people simply do not feel that they fit into the category of being either a man or a woman.
When a person, as exemplified by Brigette Lundy-Paine, is binary — they usually feel like their gender has elements of being either male or female but not exclusively one or the other.
Even though people think that this is a very new trend — that could not be further from the truth. Being non-binary is nothing you. This is something that is not dictated by contemporary thought or feeling, or any social trend. But it is something that has been an element of society for thousands of years.
The only reason that this is getting more attention now, is that people are now more tolerant of this idea. Many would not be as quick to judge someone who comes out as being non-binary.
Some non-binary people choose to undergo medical procedures. These procedures can be especially invasive. They involve hormone treatments to be able to achieve some of the elements of their chosen gender identity. Not all non-binary people choose to do this, however.
Also, some people actually confuse being non-binary as being intersex. But they are not the same things. Intersex people actually have anatomy and or genetics that are not typical of a male or a female. Being non-binary is more concerned about identity rather than anatomy.
Why People Choose To Be Non-Binary
Having all of this said, people often wonder why some people would choose to be non-binary in the first place. They often complain that these people are confusing themselves and others and there is no point to them trying to deviate away from the gender that they were born with.
The sentiments are very misguided because at the end of the day – people have a right to choose who they want to be as long as it is not harming other people.
The thing that we all have to remember about being biological organisms is that nothing is absolute, everything is at the mercy of change and evolution. To say that a person’s birth gender is the only gender that that person should choose to identify with does not at all take into account the flexibility of being human.
How to Be Respectful to Non-Binary People
So – if you are not non-binary person yourself, how do you show your respect and support for Non-binary people?
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that you do not have to fully understand why someone chooses to be non-binary in order to respect them. It is wrong for you to assume that you know why someone chooses to be that way. Show your respect by breaking away from predispositions and unwarranted judgment.
The second way that you can respect non-binary people, of course, is to go by the name and pronouns that they want to be addressed by. Calling someone he or she even if these pronouns make that person uncomfortable is very disrespectful.
Lastly, do your best to be completely understanding of a non-binary persons choices. For example, it could be very confusing for a newly non-binary person to choose which bathroom to go to. Show your support by being as understanding as you possibly can when you see something like this.
An “Atypical” Actress Coming Out
So, you may be wondering what the greater impact of the Brigette Lundy-Paine coming out may be for binary people. It is actually very beneficial because now the masses are aware that even celebrities with such high stature can make such a bold leap.
It is very similar to how celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres came out as being gay for the first time on national television. That moment was considered one of the most impactful for the history of the LGBTQ community and it helped eliminate the alienation of people towards members of this community.
At the end of the day, it is simply all about being respectful. Brigette Lundy-Paine coming out was only the beginning. You cannot possibly know how it feels like to be someone else, so the next time you encounter a non-binary person – show politeness, demonstrate your respect, and make that person feel that they belong.