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No Pride without disability pride!

by Katie Munday

Happy LGBTQIA+ Pride month!

Throughout the month of June parties and events are happening up and down the country celebrating all things queer. Last year saw the start of mass online Pride events, making them more accessible to disabled people and those with mental illness.

Many of these events gave people the ability to partake from home allowing them to access queer spaces in ways that better suit their needs. Online events were smaller and quieter and did not revolve around the usual loud partying and drinking. They also allowed people to engage with as much or as little as they wanted all from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Being online also allowed for the use of alternative text, screen readers and interpretive software, possibly making last year the most accessible of all Pride months. 

Most Pride events this year shall again be online, hopefully improving on the accessibility efforts of last year. But what about Pride in 2022?

Well, London Pride has already improved its accessibility in past years. There is a quieter segment of the parade to help those of us with sensory issues and for those with service dogs. There are also viewing stages for wheelchair users and those who have issues seeing or engaging from a crowd. Other provisions include roaming BSL interpreters and accessible toilets. Similar services are present at other Pride parades and events, both big and small. 

Why is accessibility so important?

Simply put, everyone should be able to engage in Pride in a safe and meaningful way. Disability access is especially important as there are an estimated 5 million LGBTQIA+ disabled people across the globe. We are a MASSIVE part of Pride, and our needs and interests should be considered.

There is no Pride without disability pride!


Related links

Making Pride events more accessible: 

https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/how-to-make-pride-events-more-accessible-to-disabled-people


London Pride accessibility information: 

https://prideinlondon.org/parade/accessibility/


General info: 

https://www.lgbtmap.org/file/LGBT-People-With-Disabilities.pdf

https://www.google.com/amp/s/metro.co.uk/2019/07/09/pride-isnt-accessible-enough-for-us-disabled-allies-10133256/amp/

Autigender: Could Gender and Autism be Entwined?

by Katie Munday

Neurogenders–genders which are understood to be entwined with diverse neurologies–are beginning to be recognised, transformed, and adopted by those across neurological spectrums. These neurogenders include (but are not limited to): autigender, bordergender, cloudgender, foggender, genderanxious, gendermute, posigender, systemfluid, and vaguegender. These genders are often understood as reciprocally determinant of different neurologies including borderline personality, ADHD, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression.

Although these genders can support self-understanding, they are not reflective of every neurodiverse person. Indeed, these genders are contentious across different neurological communities, being both championed and challenged in equal measures. 

So, what about autigender?

Neurodiverse Tumblr users first coined autigender in 2014, defining it as a gender which can only be understood in the context of being autistic. This definition suggests that some people’s gender experience and knowledge is influenced by or attached to their being autistic. 

Autigender can be understood as a definitive gender or as a way for some autistic people to explore and understand their gender expression and identity. Autigender can be used as an explanation for gender, a standalone gender or used alongside other genders, for example, someone could be autigender, trans masculine and bi-gender. Autigender is not inherently queer but may make sense for autistic people who tend to be more diverse in their genders (please see my previous post: Gender Creativity and the Spectrum).

Definitions of autigender are now being used by respondents to census’ across the world. In the 2016 Nonbinary/Genderqueer Survey, one of the respondents called their gender identity ‘autisgender’ whilst another described theirs as ‘autistic’.  Similar answers were seen in the 2019 Worldwide Gender Census, with 66 of the respondents calling their gender identity autigender, autgender, autistic, or autiqueer. Several of these survey respondents explained that their being autistic had a significant effect on their understanding of gender.  Numbers of autigender identities were higher still in the 2020 Gender census, which saw 92 respondents identify as ‘autism gender’ or ‘autigender’. 

Neurogenders, including autigender, have allowed some neurodiverse people to understand their gender through their own distinct neurology, making the double rainbow all the more brighter. 


Links for further info:

Neurogender definitions: 

https://nonbinary.wiki/wiki/Neurogender

https://the-mogai-community.fandom.com/wiki/Neurogenders

https://gender.wikia.org/wiki/Neurogender

The first blogs where autigender is believed to have been coined: 

http://mogai-archive.tumblr.com/post/93477063574/auti-s-gender

http://purrloinsucks.tumblr.com/post/95723823254/autisgender

https://archive.is/BTFMN#selection-489.0-489.14

Gender census results: 

http://gendercensus.tumblr.com/post/141311159050/nbgq-survey-2016-the-worldwide-results

https://web.archive.org/web/20200118084451/https://gendercensus.com/post/183843963445/gender-census-2019-the-worldwide-tldr

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1j7mwkZVtQYHxNlgS2J8onVCpVz-l1aJbBzG7msN5rxs/edit#gid=260963482

Video exploring autigender:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0959q3y?fbclid=IwAR3V8SVQDTjmw4DzYTMpclrGKJK0HhOl5D-QyeJ-LsyEz2iytqkBWSHgjH0

Autism & Trauma: My Experiences

by Anwen Ricketts

“I wept because I was re-experiencing the enthusiasm of my childhood; I was once again a child, and nothing in the world could cause me harm.”

Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

My childhood was, I’m told, a happy one, but I do not remember the happy times, and maybe that speaks for itself. I remember feeling “odd”. Hiding under tables, and being shouted at for it, which made me crawl even further under the table, wriggling as if to worm myself into the carpet where I could live undisturbed by people who I didn’t understand, but understood enough to know I wasn’t well liked.

I had friends. But friendships can be turbulent, and for an undiagnosed autistic, they can be down right painful. I was obsessed with play-pretend, and liked to be the one to throw water in the garden on a hot summer day, but the second someone threw water back I would be screaming and in pain, emotionally and physically. Later on, the physical pain had a name. Sensory sensitivities. One uncomfortable thing would send me into a meltdown; something that I didn’t know how to cope with.

My parents knew something was painful to me. I was incredibly quiet, always taking things out on myself. But I had learnt from school, that if you externalise this pain, this discomfort, you get shouted at and given a detention. It was incredibly hard. Finally, at age 14, after one prior ‘inconclusive’ assessment, I was diagnosed with Autism in a Psychiatric Hospital.

I was horrified to find that so many of the young teenagers that I met in hospital were autistic, late-diagnosed, and completely overwhelmed at everything that life had to offer. We had been given poor support, poor education, and as a result became unhealthy autistics.

There was a point in my life where I thought ‘hey, this is just how it is for autistics! Anxiety and depression are part of the bundle! I have to cope with being constantly overwhelmed, being misdiagnosed and misunderstood!’

I honestly had never considered it possible to be a healthy autistic. I had never even thought about what it might look like.

But at age 19, I am so glad to be able to say I am finally becoming the healthy autistic I couldn’t have imagined. I am working through my trauma with a therapist who understands how my brain works, and am tweaking my medications to best suit my symptoms. I am not as anxious (something I never thought would happen, having been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder a few years ago), and am, more importantly, still here!

A few final words: Your life path can change. It hurts, but it doesn’t make you less likely to succeed. 

If past-trauma is controlling your life, looming over you daily, please reach out. Know it is okay to find life traumatic. Your trauma is valid, and there is hope!


For more information on what a healthy autistic could look like:

Strawberry Girl

by Anwen Ricketts

Betty rapped at my window early afternoon, all curls and flyaways, and said with some excitement that the strawberry picking fields were open. I was in the middle of homework, but she hopped inside as I unlocked the window–my room is on the bottom floor, around the back of the house, looking over the garden–and she had freshly shaven legs and was wearing these little pale purple Mary Janes, with a chunky button. Betty is our neighbour’s daughter, same age as me. Ma keeps saying we should bunk together for college, but I… Well. She has no idea what she is talking about. Me and girls get along, yeah. Maybe a little too well. She wouldn’t like that. I was only wearin’ my loose summer dungarees and a shirt, but we looked the part together. I just… needed to ask. Needed to know. My stomach cramped as she started closing the textbooks on my desk, carefully keeping all my page markings uncreased.

“C’mon, Shirley, it’s a beautiful day. You can’t stay cooped up all afternoon, come to the field with me! Ma and Pa are making devilled eggs, we can have some when we get back. And strawberries! Please say you’ll come!”

I thought of Betty sucking strawberry juice off a perfectly manicured thumb, and I found myself nodding and putting on my brogues. I was shrugging on a jacket when Betty tssked and said, “Come on now, it’s hot as hell. You can’t hide forever.”

And then she swung her legs over the windowsill and she stood, blonde hair shining gold in the sun, eyes squinted and lashes full. I don’t know how long I stood there, looking, with her looking back, but eventually I slid out of my window and we were both out there.

God, it was hot. Sweat was prickling on my back as we pushed the gate at the end of the garden closed and turned left along a country lane. The field was only a few minutes away, but for some reason I hadn’t been since I was a kid, when Ma liked to show me off as a beautiful dark-haired beauty and not some dyke-loner. The word in my head almost made me flinch, but then Betty pointed to a bird soaring through the sky, and we made gentle conversation about how great it must be to fly wherever you wanted. And just like that, I felt better. 

Old Tomm owned the field, and he let people in for five dollars each, and then you could pick as many boxes of strawberries as you wanted and it was one dollar per box. It was then I realised I had no money, it was all in a jar in my drawer, and began to turn to Betty and apologise and tell her Ill be right back, but she pulled out enough money for both of us and took a wicker basket off the stack. “Let’s go, little Sherbert.”

I had rolled my eyes and tried not to scream, “You know my name ain’t Sherbert.”

But if Betty heard me, she didn’t say a thing, and we strolled out into the field and into the rows of strawberries. “Your Ma being alright to you, Sher?” Betty’s eyes were inquisitive, but was there something darker there? I really couldn’t tell. 

“Ma is Ma.” I had said, feeling a hand of anxiety scrunch up my guts. “You know how it is.” I added, like I had any clue whatsoever. “I mean—” I backtracked when Betty’s mouth straightened, but then she just picked a strawberry and threw it at me. It bounced off the sleeve of my shirt, and left a perfect little red kiss of juice. “Oops,” Betty said, and then smiled. 

“Sorry.” I said. Apologising was something I was particularly good at. 

“You don’t need to apologise for nothing. Not to me.” Betty’s voice hardened, but it was still soft. I don’t know how to explain it. Like Betty could get real, real angry, just not… not with me? I had seen her throw a cup of juice in her mama’s face, heard her shouting in the yard. Stomping her feet and making her curls frizz up ‘round her red cheeks. 

“Sorry.” I said again, realising I had been weirdly quiet for a few minutes, and then I started laughing and so did she. We kept picking, and the back of my neck throbbed with the beginning of a burn, but I felt fine. Good, even. Around the half an hour mark a light breeze ruffled through the field, and we both let out a sigh of relief and sat down. It felt weirdly…intimate, being hidden by the rows of strawberry plants, just me and her, and our basket of strawberries. I picked at a loose thread and tried not to look at Betty’s legs, stretched out and creamy, and the way her skirt didn’t really cover anything up when she sat down. I was sure I was red as a beet, and maybe Betty realised because she had this wicked light in her eyes, and started to eat a strawberry. It was horrendous, that feeling. Like I would do anything to be that strawberry. To even go close to her mouth. I felt this clamp on my heart, like my chest was being squeezed. I balled my fists and looked at the patch of sky I could see, trying not to cry. Trying not to make a sound.

Ma liked me to be quiet, liked me to study hard and go to Sunday school with Pollyana and Jessica. Liked me to brush my hair and stay home. Liked me to cover up, like my weirdness could spread. My little sister, Patricia, was seventeen, a year younger than me, and she was the complete opposite of everything I was. Where I was messy, she was organized. Where I was weird, she was normal. Ma doted on her constantly, and it wasn’t even painful, because I had learnt to cope. I constantly worked to do better, to be better. But there are just some messes you can’t iron out of yourself. And believe me, I tried.

“Hey, it’s okay,” I looked down from the sky, and for a few seconds I was blinded. Then Betty came into view, and she had scooted closer. Was holding my hand, ever so gently, on the ground next to me. I used to hold hands with everyone. I have always been very affectionate, kissing my friend’s foreheads, holding their hands, brushing their flyaways until I got pushed and called weird and gay and don’t you ever come near me again.

I almost pulled my hand away. Almost. But it felt so pure.

Nothing about this is dirty.

And the realisation shocked me. Shocked me enough to whisper, as if I were alone, as if I were looking into my mirror practicing a never-going-to-happen coming out, “I’m gay, Betty.”

I never expected the mirror to say, “I know, Sherbet.”

 I never expected the mirror to say, “Can I kiss you?”

And I never expected to say, yes.


Anwen Ricketts is a bi autistic aspiring-author with a passion for improving mental health treatment in the UK. She loves dogs, camping and making her voice heard.

Her mission is to show the world what a healthy, happy autistic can look like, because it is possible.

Time to Get Creative

We know neurodivergent people can be amazingly creative, and across the LGBTQIA+ world it’s almost a cliché! So it’s safe to say there has to be a LOT of creative talent all across the Double Rainbow. For Iggy’s Initiative we’re asking you to show us.

What’s Happening?

We’re giving you a chance to show off. From now until the end of March we’d love you to send us artwork or poems you’ve created that celebrates being ND and LGBTQIA+ any way you want!

Where, When?

We’re going to put together an online exhibition to feature as many of the works submitted as we can. This will run through the month of April, and will be curated by AIM for the Rainbow‘s very own artist, Alex Forshaw.

How Do I Join In?

You can send us digital images and photos, you can send in as many or as few as you like. Please remember to include the name of the work (if it has one) and your name (or nickname) as you’d like it to appear. You can also send us a short description of the piece, what it means to you, what prompted you to create it–as much or as little as you like.

All we ask is that it’s your own work, and that it doesn’t copy or include other people’s stuff without their permission.

If you’re interested, please get in touch with us using the form below, or through our Facebook page or Rainbow Room group, and we’ll let you know how to send us your art.

A World Full of Bullies: Being Autistic and LGBTQIA+

by David Gray-Hammond

He/him

I grew up without an autism diagnosis. Everyone was pretty sure I was autistic but it wasn’t confirmed until I was 26 years old.

I also grew up unaware that my sexuality even existed. My name is David and I’m Asexual.

Growing up I was bullied horribly. I was the weird kid who didn’t have the same interests as the other boys. As I entered my mid-to-late teens I tried to overcorrect for my lack of interest in sexual matters, thanks in large part to bullying at school.

I became hypersexual and it traumatised me. I didn’t realise it at the time because I didn’t even know that asexuality was a thing. It took 8 years of being single to come to terms with the fact that I was asexual. It finally clicked when my (also asexual) girlfriend taught me to love myself as much as I loved her.

And this is really the crux of the bullying issue. When children are unaware of their own identities, how can they learn to love themselves for who they are? We need to teach children about all aspects of identity be they neurological or sexual, and teach our children to love themselves fiercely.

When young people are taught to love and accept themselves as they are, when a person is at peace with themselves, it makes the bullies job much harder. Bullies look for gaps in our armour and try to exploit perceived weaknesses.

By teaching children to love themselves we make those gaps in their armour smaller and harder to exploit. I consider myself an advocate, but we need to teach all of our children to advocate for themselves. Advocacy is an important step on the journey to self acceptance.

Both autistic and LGBTQIA+ children experience bullying, but when we consider the huge intersection between those two demographics we have to be willing to acknowledge the great harm that can be done to children on the double rainbow.

If you teach your children nothing else, please teach them that who they are is good enough and worthy of love. Teach them that no matter what the bullies say, the world has a place for them just as they are. Teach them about different identities and why it’s okay to not fit in with the mainstream. Most importantly, teach them to love themselves.

Gender Creativity and the Spectrum

by Katie Munday

She/they

Gender expression and identity has often been considered as binary–either masculine or feminine–but most of us fall somewhere along or outside of the spectrum of gender characteristics. Diverse gender identities appear to be more prevalent in autistic individuals than neurotypical people. Unfortunately, most of the academic work on this intersection is less than complimentary, posing neuro- and gender diversity as ‘abnormal’. Fortunately, there is growing work in print and online by autistic trans activists which champions these identities as an important part of human diversity.

Autistic people often have a very strong self-understanding and self-knowledge, despite living in a world which does not cater to their diverse behaviours, emotions, and perceptions. These differences in social understanding and cognition may permit autists to understand gender in all its multiplicities, allowing them to dress and interact with others in ways which fit their own individual needs and interests. Furthermore, working outside of societal expectations allows autistic people to experience and express gender identities in a wholly individualistic manner. 

Sharing these unique and insightful experiences within and without LGBTQ+ and autistic communities can help us all become more critically conscious, allowing us to challenge ableism and cis-genderism, creating a world which is more richly diverse and accepting. 


Further reading (by autistic trans / gender diverse writers): 

  • Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman by Laura Kate Dale
  • Trans and Autistic: Stories from Life at the Intersection by Noah Adams and Bridget Liang
  • Spectrums: Autistic Transgender People in Their Own Words edited by Maxfield Sparrow

Note: There is a growing amount of information available online and in print about prevalence rates, support, and personal experiences. Some of these works may use ableist and transphobic language and understandings and often do not have content warnings, please always practice self-care whilst reading.

Contributions

We all have stories to tell, advice to give, experiences to share. Communities are built on sharing, and we’d love it if members of our community here at AIM for the Rainbow wanted to contribute towards Iggy’s Initiative.

We’re asking for submissions that have some connection with the Double Rainbow–with neurodivergent and LGBTQIA+ lives and experiences. You might write about the experience of coming out, about your hopes for the future or your fears today. You might want to offer help and advice to others on similar paths through life, or perhaps share an account of something fun you’ve done.

Submissions can be creative fiction or factual. They might take the form of a list, or an essay or a poem. They might be long or short. You can also submit photographs and visual art. All we ask is that it is your own work, and you own any images you send in.

We’re sorry that we can’t offer payment for submissions, and we can’t promise to publish everything we receive. Anything you submit remains your work and you will be credited as the author/creator. We may edit submissions for clarity or length, but we will ask you to approve the draft before it appears online.


You can contact our editorial team using the form below to propose your ideas, or to submit a piece of writing directly. Please use our Contact page for general enquiries.

With Love, Humanity

by Kodie Dalmayne-Morris – “Green Streak

Bi, she/her

Heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, asexual—regardless of how you identify, fundamentally you are human.

As am I. 

As are your children, family, friends and colleagues. 

A lot of the time you have no idea what a person’s sexual orientation is. Sexuality isn’t rigid anymore. Previously (the way you and I grew up) you were straight unless you were gay. Slowly the presumption of another’s sexuality is not so clear cut – as it should be. 

Love has different levels to it, the love you feel for your favourite possession will differ to the love you feel for your friends, and the love you feel for your family. 

Sexuality is a glorious, confusing, invigorating and freeing spectrum which everyone should automatically feel free to explore.

Please remember that everyone is entitled to their privacy. Some may be happy and willing to share their sexuality. Others aren’t for a multitude of reasons. 

If you don’t know, consider the fact that you do not need to know.

What is LGBTQIA+?

‘LGBT’ is a commonly used acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. You may also hear people say:

  • LGBT+ ((lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and more)
  • LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning)
  • LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning and more)
  • LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual)
  • LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual and more)
  • LGBTQIAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual and pansexual)
  • LGBTQIAP+ ((lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, pansexual and more)
  • Queer
  • MOGAI (marginalized orientations, gender alignments and intersex)

As you can see, different people have different names for the same thing. This is because it covers a huge array of different people, identities, and experiences.

And while some people (including many charities and news outlets) may use ‘LGBT’ for brevity, many others will use ‘LGBTQIA+’ in order to include as many people as possible. AIM for the Rainbow will be using LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, and more). This is because it is concise, recognizable and includes (celebrates) a wide variety of different people that exist in the community (although still not all).

Here is a quick overview of some of the common identities you might have heard about. 


Lesbian

A lesbian is a woman, either cis or trans who is sexually and romantically attracted to other women (both cis and trans). Some women prefer to call themselves ‘gay’, so it’s important to try and use the language that a person is comfortable with.

Here are some people you may have heard of who identify as lesbians:

  • Hannah Gadsby
  • Lena Waithe
  • Jessica Kellgren-Fozard

Gay

Although ‘gay’ is often used to refer to all people who have exclusive same-gender attraction, we will be focusing on gay men. A gay man is a man, either cis or trans, who is sexually and romantically attracted to other men (both cis and trans).

Here are some people you may have heard of who identify as gay men:

  • Lil Nas X
  • Colton Haynes
  • Billy Porter

Bisexual

A bisexual person is a person (both cis and trans) who is attracted to more than one gender. Many bisexual people use the term ‘bi’ to describe themselves. Although ‘bi’ originally meant ‘two’, ‘bisexuality’ was agreed by the community a few decades ago to describe attraction to two or more genders.

Here are some people you may have heard of who identify as bisexual:

  • Roxane Gay
  • Sara Ramirez
  • Alan Cumming

Transgender

If a person is transgender, it means that their gender does not match the gender they were assigned at birth. Many transgender people describe themselves as ‘trans’ – the most common terms you are likely to hear are ‘trans woman’ (a woman who was assigned male at birth) and ‘trans man’ (a man who was assigned female at birth).

Note: if your gender is the same as the sex you were assigned at birth (e.g. when I was born the doctors decided I was a girl, and I still identify as a girl today), then you are ‘cisgender’ or ‘cis’.)

Here are some people you may have heard of who identify as trans:

  • Laverne Cox
  • Mj Rodriguez
  • Lewis Hancox 

Queer

‘Queer’ as an identity is different from the other identities on this page. This is because while some people identify only as queer, many different people (including gay people, bi people, trans people and asexual people) may identify as queer alongside their other identities.

‘Queer’ originally meant ‘odd’ or ‘strange’, but was reclaimed by the community many decades ago as an identity. There is a continuing debate around the word ‘queer’. Some people feel empowered by it. Some people feel insulted by it. But don’t let this affect your own identity. If you identify with ‘queer’, then do not be afraid to use that term. 

Here are some people you may have heard of who identify as queer:

  • Janelle Monáe
  • Jameela Jamil
  • Elliot Page

Intersex

If a person is intersex, it means they were born with biology that is not considered solely ‘male’ or ‘female’. This may mean that they have variations in their chromosomes, their hormones, or their physical characteristics (often genitals). Not all intersex people like to be included within the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, and it is important to respect people’s individual wishes. However, as there are many intersex people who do identify with the community, it is included in the acronym. 

Here are some people you may have heard of who identify as intersex:

  • Hanne Gaby Odiele
  • Hida Viloria

Asexual

An asexual person is a person (cis or trans) who experiences little to no sexual attraction. Many asexual people refer to themselves as ‘ace’. Asexuality means a lack of sexual attraction, rather than a lack of sexual contact or a lack of sexual desire. Many ace people do have, and enjoy, sex. Many ace people don’t have sex. This doesn’t make them any more or less asexual.

Note: Some people have argued that the term ‘a-spec’ was originally used by the autistic community (to refer to ‘autistic spectrum’), and that asexual people therefore shouldn’t use it. However, many autistic people argue that they do not use, nor have they heard people use, the term ‘a-spec’, and it is generally agreed that asexual and aromantic people may use ‘a-spec’ to describe their identity.

Here are some people you may have heard of who identify as asexual:

  • Yasmin Benoit
  • Evan Edinger
  • Emilie Autumn

Pansexual

A pansexual person is a person (either cis or trans) who is attracted to people regardless of gender. Some people who identify with this definition may still call themselves ‘bisexual’, but others feel that ‘pansexual’ is a term that fits better for them. It’s important to use the terms that individual people are comfortable with.

The general agreement on the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality is:

Bisexuality is attraction to more than one gender (which could mean all genders, or could mean some but not all genders) or attraction where someone’s gender is a factor.

Pansexuality is attraction regardless of gender or attraction where someone’s gender isn’t a fundamental factor.

Whether you feel more comfortable identifying as pansexual or bisexual, or using them both, you have the right to be proud of your identity.

Here are some people you may have heard of who identify as pansexual:

  • Joe Lycett
  • Cara Delevingne
  • Jazz Jennings 

Non-binary

A non-binary person is a person who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman. You may also hear the term ‘enby’. Many non-binary people see themselves as falling under the trans identity, as their gender identity does not match the gender they were assigned at birth. However, not all non-binary people agree with this, so it’s important to respect personal preference.

Non-binary can be used as an umbrella term for a variety of different gender identities, that may include:

  • Bigender: identifying as two genders
  • Trigender: identifying as three genders
  • Pangender: identifying as many or all genders
  • Agender: identifying as having no gender
  • Genderfluid: moving between gender identities
  • Third gendered: not identifying as a named gender
  • Genderqueer: not identifying with conventional gender distinctions

Here are some people you may have heard of who identify as non-binary:

  • Owl and Fox Fisher
  • Sam Smith
  • Asia Kate Dillon

And more…

As you can see, the LGBTQIA+ umbrella is very wide indeed, and there are many identities that we haven’t had space to include. 

The LGBTQIA+ world It includes many different people, of all sexualities and gender identities. As more people explore their gender and sexuality, more labels are coined and celebrated to refer to people’s experiences. Having a label that directly and accurately describes your experience of gender and sexuality can be extremely important.

Here are some books, websites, and YouTube videos you can use to find out even more about different labels and what they mean to different people. 

Books

The A–Z of Gender and Sexuality: From Ace to Ze by Morgan Lev Edward Holleb

LGBTQ: The Survival Guide for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens by Kelly Huegel Madrone

Links

Stonewall: www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/faqs-and-glossary/glossary-terms  

Human Rights Campaign: www.hrc.org/resources/glossary-of-terms

Amnesty USA: www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/toolkit_LGBTglossary.pdf

YouTube Videos

The ABC’s of LGBT+ Series by Ash Hardell: http://bit.do/ABCsOfLGBT