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Happy International Non-Binary People’s Day

Three red fabric sculptures handing on pink structures. They are situated in a grey room.
  • Written byKat Smith
  • Published date 14 July 2022
Three red fabric sculptures handing on pink structures. They are situated in a grey room.
John Sachpazis, 2021 MA Fine Art: Photography, Camberwell College of Art | Photography: John Sachpazis

Today we are celebrating International Non-Binary People’s Day – a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting all non-binary people.

The day is observed each year and 14 July was chosen as the date because it falls exactly halfway between International Women’s Day (8 March) and International Men’s Day (19 November).

Non-binary is 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 some reject them entirely.

International Non-Binary People’s Day forms part of Non-Binary Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of the systemic discrimination faced by people around the world who do not fit within the traditional gender binary.

We asked our followers on Instagram, ‘What does being non-binary mean to you?’ 

Here are some of the responses we got:

  • “Being totally free”
  • “That I don’t have to fit into a box and I am trying to not feel the need to conform to the male gaze”
  • “Being myself, being human instead of a category”
  • “An awareness that gender is arbitrary and I’m free to express myself as I wish”

UAL is committed to fostering an inclusive working and learning environment in which non-binary staff and students feel safe and can be themselves.

Share your pronouns

As part of supporting all non-binary people, it is important to not assume anyone’s orientation, gender identity or pronouns.

Assumptions make it harder for people to be their authentic selves and may perpetuate false stereotypes.

We recommend that you put your pronouns in your social media bio and in your email signature. Sharing your pronouns shows that you wouldn’t expect people to know how you identify from a name or a picture, just as you wouldn't assume with them.

When asked ‘What is your favourite thing about being non-binary?’, our followers said: 

  • “Doesn’t matter what I wear if I feel good in it”
  • “Embracing my feminine and masculine features”
  • “Existing in solidarity with other non-conforming people (be that through gender or politics).”
  • “Freedom”
  • “Feeling like I can be me in how I present and it’s always changing”

Events: 

Over the next few days and across the year, there are multiple events happening across the UK celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.

16 and 17 July - Queer As Folklore: LGBTQ+ Figures in Myth & Legend | Colonnade House

Organised by Ropetackle Storytellers, a monthly club night at Shoreham's Ropetackle Arts Centre, non-binary performer Amelia Armande shines a light on the lesser-known queer figures in mythology and folklore. Grab your free ticket.

17 July - Queer book club | London LGBTQ+ Community Centre

One the third weekend of every month, the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre focuses on a different queer author across a variety of genres and topics; from queer horror and fantasy to erotic sci-fi. Join the book club this month.

23 July - Queering the Collection | Wellcome Collection

Join non-binary artist Nan Carreira and Tabs Deadman in taking a look at the Wellcome Collection’s historical exhibition through a queer lens. In their workshops, participants will be looking for clues to LGBTQI+ experiences in the historical items on display, in addition to examining photographs, zines and newsletters. Register for the event.

Trans Tales for Toxic Times | Ugly Duck

The event brings together artworks that examine issues around representing gender diversity, trans and gender non-conforming experiences, and networks of support. Register for the event.

Online – on demand

Transpose: The Future | The Barbican 

CN Lester and Kate O’Donnell bring together trans voices from across generations to present a journey through opera, poetry, dance and electronica. At 83 minutes, the viewer is invited to reflect on and imagine potential futures of gender, identity and individuality. One of the performances includes ‘BELONG | Movement 1: Hope (Are You There?)’ by non-binary, multidisciplinary artist and mentor Rebekah Ubuntu, who regularly hosts guest lecturers, talks and workshops across UAL. Watch the recording of the event.

Other resources and useful reads