Although it may not seem like it, the concept of having a “gender identity” is a societal concept. As with all other concepts, it changes, shifts, and morphs as time goes on.
As a result, there are many people who don’t identify with the two binary gender options available (i.e. male or female). Even if you resonate with the gender that corresponds to your sex, some people don’t.
It’s important to show everyone respect for their individual choices, as we’re all humans going through this life together. Keep reading to find out 3 simple ways you can respect those who are neither male nor female:
You Don’t Have to Understand to Accept It
To people who identify with the gender that is associated with their biological sex features, understanding non-binary people may be difficult at first. Reading information about non binary names and differences will help to close the gap.
Throughout your process of trying to understand, it’s important to simply try to do your best to be respectful of others. You can show respect without having a full understanding by accepting that a person has chosen an identity that aligns with who they are on the inside.
Acceptance includes avoiding assumptions about people’s gender and supporting people’s right to choose. To do this, engage with non-binary folks to find out how they would like to be addressed.
Address Others In the Way They Want to Be Addressed
You wouldn’t call someone “Bob” if you knew their name is actually “Sam”. It would be dismissive of who they are and poking fun at their identity.
The same goes for addressing non-binary people. Along with choosing a gender identity that represents them the most, non-binary folks often have a preferred name and pronoun (e.g. she/her, he/him, they).
To find out what these are, respectfully ask. It’s not offensive if you do it authentically. Rather, it shows that you care and want to show them respect.
In addition to this, give people the space to change and adapt over time. Just as the concept of gender identities changes over time in our culture, it can change on a smaller scale throughout a person’s life. You can be aware of the changes a person goes through by connecting with them and finding more about who they are.
Learn More About Non-Binary People
In general, showing respect towards others includes an effort to understand and accept them. You can do this by learning more about various gender identities, speaking wit non-binary friends and people in your community, and getting involved in LGBTQ+ organizations.
Finding resources online can help you build a basic understanding. Then, you can interact with those who don’t conform to binary gender identities to learn more and show your support.
The moral of the story with these tips is that people who are neither male nor female are still people. As such, treat them with respect and acceptance.
You don’t have to understand them fully to do this. All you need to do is find out more information about the person as an individual, adhere to their name preferences, and find out more about non-binary genders in general.
Keep reading our articles for more ways to connect with others and build relationships!