Stars like Demi Lovato, Elliot Page, Sam Smith identify as nonbinary. What does that mean?
You’ve likely started to hear the term “nonbinary” more frequently. On Wednesday, Demi Lovato announced they were nonbinary and changed their pronouns to they/them.
“Nonbinary” refers to someone who does not identify only as a man or a woman, i.e. the traditional gender binary, according to the Human Rights Campaign. They could identify as both a man and a woman, in between the two genders or not a part of any gender category at all. GLAAD offers a similar definition.
Someone who is nonbinary may also be transgender – Elliot Page, for example, identifies as both – but that is not always the case. GLAAD recommends only calling someone nonbinary if they claim that identity themselves.
For more details: Demi Lovato comes out as nonbinary, changes pronouns to they/them
It has become increasingly common for some people who identify as nonbinary use a singular “they/them” pronoun.
Nonbinary also exists as a catch-all term for various gender identities.
“Nonbinary can also be used as an umbrella term encompassing identities such as agender, bigender, genderqueer or gender-fluid,” according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Demi Lovato announced Wednesday they were nonbinary and changed their pronouns to they/them. (Photo: Rich Fury, Getty Images for OBB Media)
Gender identity and sexual orientation are two different things – meaning someone identifying as nonbinary has no bearing on to whom they are attracted.
The proliferation of the term comes as a record number of U.S. adults – 5.6% – identify as LGBTQ, an increase propelled by a younger generation staking out its presence in the world, a poll released in February shows.
The impact of coming out: Elliot Page came out as transgender. Here’s what that means for young trans people.
Other celebrities that identify as nonbinary include Sara Ramirez and Sam Smith.
Ramirez, a former “Grey’s Anatomy” star, said they were nonbinary in 2020 in an Instagram post.
Grammy-winning singer Sam Smith came out as nonbinary and genderqueer in 2019, sharing a few months later they use “they/them” pronouns after what the pop star called a “lifetime of being at war with my gender.”
Lovato’s coming out video was similarly empowering. “I feel 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 am still discovering,” they said.
Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff and Susan Miller
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