What does non-binary mean? You would be surprised at how many people truly just don’t know. As individuals gain a greater understanding of who they are, it is important that we all try to understand the meanings of the words they use to represent how they identify. At Rainbow Depot, we celebrate diversity and individuality; we constantly do our best to appreciate all of our customers.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, “People whose gender is not male or female use many different terms to describe themselves, with non-binary being one of the most common. 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 is important to comprehend that non-binary and transgender are NOT interchangeable.  In fact, most transgender individuals are NOT non-binary; they identify as either a man or woman and should be treated as such.  Also, intersex is not a synonym for non-binary. Those who are intersex have genes or anatomy that do not meet the typical definition of male or female. Non-binary is a different type of gender identity.

We know that being able to understand the term non-binary may be difficult for some; we all have trouble identifying with definitions that are unfamiliar. What is more important than understanding is being respectful, not just of those who are non-binary, but of everyone you meet.  Below we have shared three tips to adopt when meeting new people, regardless of their gender identify.

  • Do Not Make Gender Assumptions:  Appearances can be deceiving. It is more polite to ask which pronouns a person prefers than to use ones that are incorrect. 

  • Refer To An Individual As They Are Introduced  It is unnecessary to ask if their name has been changed. Simply use the name they share with you.

  • Avoid Discussing Surgery As mentioned earlier, non-binary does not equal transgender. And, to be honest, an individual's medical plans are simply none of your business.

  • Never ask "Are You Gay?" Honestly, under what circumstances would this question ever be appropriate?  Once again, not your concern.

At Rainbowdepot.com, we are proud of our commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.  As you can see from our website, and the breadth of our inventory, we appreciate everyone. Every individual should be recognized, respected and celebrated! Our products are representative of the entire LGBTQ community, including those who identify as non-binary. We look forward to continuing our pride in who we are and who we serve.