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What does non-binary gender mean as singer Sam Smith announces ‘I am changing my pronouns’

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Singer Sam Smith at the GQ Awards in 2019
Sam stated they had been ‘very nervous’ about making their pronoun announcement (Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hugo Boss)

Singer Sam Smith has taken to Twitter to share that they’re now formally utilizing the pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them’ to explain their non-binary gender identification.

Posting a easy graphic the 27-year-old wrote alongside it on social media: ‘Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve determined I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM after a lifetime of being at battle with my gender I’ve determined to embrace myself for who I am, inside and outside…

‘I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by those that help me on this choice however I’ve been very nervous about saying this as a result of I care an excessive amount of about what individuals assume however f*** it!’ they continued.

The Stay With Me hitmaker went on to say that whereas they know individuals might make errors with their pronouns, ‘all I ask is you please please try’ and that sooner or later they hope to be at a degree the place they’ll communicate, ‘at length about what it means to be non-binary.’

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What does non-binary gender mean?

Stonewall defines the time period non-binary as: ‘an umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’.’

‘Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely,’ it explains on Stonewall’s web site.

‘Non-binary people can feel that their gender identity and gender experience involves being both a man and a woman, or that it is fluid, in-between, or completely outside of that binary.’

The National Center for Transgender Equality additional explains on their web site: ‘Most people – including most transgender people – are either male or female. But some people don’t neatly match into the classes of “man” or “woman,” or “male” or “female.” For instance, some individuals have a gender that blends components of being a person or a girl, or a gender that’s totally different than both male or feminine. Some individuals don’t establish with any gender. Some individuals’s gender modifications over time.

‘People whose gender isn’t male or feminine use many alternative phrases to explain themselves, with non-binary being probably the most frequent.

‘Other terms include genderqueer, agender, bigender, and more. None of these terms mean exactly the same thing – but all speak to an experience of gender that is not simply male or female.’

It’s vital to notice that non-binary does not mean the identical as the time period trans, as a result of whereas trans does embrace individuals whose gender isn’t the identical as, or does not sit comfortably with, the gender they had been assigned after they had been born, not all non-binary individuals will see or outline themselves as trans.

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Stonewall advises: ‘It’s at all times vital to respect the language somebody makes use of to outline themselves.’

This consists of being conscious of the pronouns somebody feels snug utilizing to explain themselves. This won’t at all times be a gendered he/she and, as highlighted by singer utilizing their movie star platform, this will embrace utilizing the commonest gender-neutral pronoun, the singular ‘they’ (they/them/theirs).

For extra data and sources, go to stonewall.org.uk or transequality.org.

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