CASPER, Wyo. — July 14 marks “International Non-Binary People’s Day” and aims to celebrate people who don’t identify exclusively as a man or as a woman.
The Wyoming Health Council is recognizing the holiday.
“Happy Non-Binary People’s Day,” the Casper-based non-profit organization said. “Celebrate being uniquely you!”
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) explain International Non-Binary People’s Day further.
“This occasion shines a light on those who identify as non-binary and celebrates the rich diversity of the community,” the HRC said. “The term ‘non-binary‘ describes someone who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman.”
“Non-binary folks may identify as being both a man and a woman or as falling completely outside these categories. Many non-binary people also identify as transgender, though not all do.”
The HRC said that American culture may tend to view gender in strictly binary terms, but said that this does not capture everyone’s experience.
“Non-binary people show us every day that knowing one’s self and identity is a powerful thing that no one can strip away,” the HRC said. “There’s a lot of work to be done in securing full protections and rights for our non-binary siblings, but amid that work we must take time to celebrate as well.”
The HRC also shared perspectives from some of their staff members who identify as non-binary.
“Telling our stories and being visible as non-binary people is incredibly important,” HRC Assistant Press Secratary Madeleine Roberts, who uses “they/them/theirs” as pronouns, said. “For a long time, I didn’t know it was possible to even be non-binary because of the lack of non-binary representation in the world around me.”
“Knowing that there are lots of other non-binary folks out there — and that there always have been — is both empowering and joyful. For me, embracing my non-binary identity means that I’m able to be myself without compromising any part of who I am. Non-binary people are here, and we’re here to stay.”
HRC Youth Well-Being Program Coordinator Pallavi Rudraraju also shared their perspective.
“For me, being non-binary is about celebrating my authentic self and honoring my South Asian roots,” Rudraraju said. “When I was younger, I was shamed for expressing my gender authentically, having ‘boyish’ interests, and not behaving in a way that my family, teachers and classmates expected me to based on my sex assigned at birth, which led me to repress this side of myself for a long time.”
“As I grew older, learned more and felt safer, I felt more comfortable in reclaiming and expressing my gender identity. I felt empowered when I studied South Asian history and learned about the various gender identities and expressions which existed in our society long before British colonizers criminalized them, realizing that there have always been people who looked like me and shared gender identities similar to mine. I hope that people who are not non-binary can understand that there is no one way to look or present as non-binary, and that we are not a new fad – in fact, we’ve existed longer than the gender binary has!”