Local NewsBridging the Divide


Understanding diverse non-binary community in celebration of International Non-Binary People's Day

Posted at 11:51 AM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 17:51:01-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — July 14 is recognized around the world as International Non-Binary People's Day.

Life for non-binary people is multi-layered and understanding this identity begins with listening.

The term “non-binary” describes someone who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman.

Sy Bernabei is the executive director at Gender Justice Nevada. She has identified as non-binary for years.

Although American culture may reinforce the notion that gender can only exist as female or male, Bernabei says there's more to it.

"Non-binary is not as simplistic as saying you're a boy or a girl. The actual definition of non-binary has gone back to the beginning of time. How I see non-binary is a rejection of the gender binary.," Bernabei said.

Non-binary is an umbrella term that includes gender-fluid, genderqueer and more.

Many non-binary people can also identify as transgender too, like activist and entertainer DelRio Perkins.

"I realized I identified as non-binary when I was a teenager," Perkins said.

Gender expression has been a hot-button topic in headlines as celebrities like Demi Lovato came out as non-binary recently.

Despite all the struggles it takes to live proudly outside the gender binary spectrum, Perkins says debunking stereotypes and stigmas is how we bridge the divide.

"Understanding that being non-binary is something that came naturally to that person, they didn't go out looking for it and it should be respected as such," Perkins said.

The non-binary community is growing in Nevada and Bernabei says the support is too.

"I would encourage those who want to know more to go online, get training, there's a lot of resources in this community, including here at Gender Justice Nevada," Bernabei said.

Perkins says you can celebrate International Non-Binary Day by respecting one another and what they choose to identify by.

"The best way to approach someone who may be non-binary is simply asking them their pronouns and then stating yours," Perkins said.