Welcome to the British LGBT Awards’ non-binary inclusion toolkit!

This is a working and ever-evolving resource, aimed to help educate you and those around you on how to better represent and support non-binary people both in our community, and beyond!



Looking to educate yourself of exactly what it means to be non-binary, and steps you can take to be more inclusive? Click here to be taken to our learning guide for definitions, mythbusting, and creating an inclusive space



Get clued up on pronouns, gender-neutral language, and how to avoid misgendering someone. It’s about make the conscious decision to do better



A great way to ally for non-binary people is through educating yourself better about non-binary identities and experiences. Check out our resource library



We’ve spoken to some of our non-binary nominees, friends, and supporters to find out what being non-binary means to them

Non-Binary: The Facts

What Is Non-Binary?

The term non-binary refers to people who identify and are outside of the gender binary of man and woman. This term falls under the trans+ umbrella.

Non-binary identities are incredibly diverse, just a few of the ways someone who may identify as non-binary are:

  • Gender non-conforming
  • Agender
  • Bigender
  • Demigender
  • Gendergluid
  • Third Gender
  • And so many more!

A non-binary person can identify as both masculine and feminine, one or the other, a combination, neither, or as something else entirely.

This is not the same as being intersex and you cannot tell someone’s gender identity simply by their (assumed) presentation.

This is also not the same as sexuality. 

Non-binary people have always existed, but our language for describing this identity is relatively new. The first term, Genderqueer originated in the 1980s through LGBT+ zines, with other terms growing in usage due to the explosion of the internet

Key Definitions

We’ve broken down a few terms that you might have seen with reference to non-binary people!

  • Non-Binary: Someone who doesn’t identify as strictly a woman or a man
  • Gender: How you feel and identify (regarding masculinity, femininity and all the in-between and beyond)
  • Cisgender: Someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth
  • Transgender: Someone who doesn’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth (often including many non-binary people)


You might have heard a few things about non-binary people and identities – let’s break down some of those myths you may have heard!


Myth 1: Non-binary people have only been about recently

While it’s true that Gen Z and Millenials identify openly as non-binary at higher rates in many surveys, like all intersections of the LGBT+ community, they have always been there, even if the language for them hasn’t!

The first legal recognition of a non-binary person in the US was in 2016, but many cultures and communities have long recognised gender outside of a strict binary. The Navajo people have an additional gender category called the NadleehI

in Samoan culture there are Fa’afafines and Fa’afatamas, the Metis in Nepal, the Sekrata in Madagascar, and so many more!

Yes, some of the western terminology is more recent, but that’s just us finding out the right language to describe how people have always felt.


Myth 2: They/Them pronouns are not grammatically correct

Now, we’ve sure heard this one before, and it’s not the case. Think of when you’re referring to someone whose gender identity you don’t know, you would automatically call them ‘they.’

In any case, language is there to be shaped and to evolve to suit society’s changing needs.


Myth 3: Non-binary means someone is bisexual

Sexuality and gender identity are two very different things. Sexuality is linked to whom you are (or aren’t) attracted to, and under the conditions you have that attraction. Gender identity is tied to how you feel about yourself.

Non-binary people have a range of sexualities, just like everyone else

Non-Binary: The Language

Gender-Neutral Language

You might have already done some reading into being more non-binary inclusive, and seem references to using gender-neutral language.

Gender-specific language and greetings have historically been common in a lot of western culture. This means that whilst you might not intentionally say terms to exclude people, you are still invalidating those outside of the gender binary by doing so. By consciously changing the phrases you use, you can help to build a more inclusive world!

TIP: Instead of ‘Ladies and Gentleman’ for example, how about something as simple as ‘Hello Everyone’ or ‘Hi Folks!’


Pronouns are words that refer to the person you are talking about (she/they/ze/xir) and can vary greatly from person to person!

A lot of non-binary people may choose to use gender-neutral pronouns, a combination of gendered and non-gendered, or an alternative pronoun set. They/Them pronouns are often used, however, remember that this too can vary greatly! In fact, there are over 72 different pronoun sets out there, and growing!

Neo-pronouns such as Zie/Zim/Zir are also very important to acknowledge, and work the same way as other pronouns do! See below for an example of how a few different pronoun sets work































TIP 1: It’s important to never assume someone’s pronouns. A great way to find out someone’s pronouns is to start by introducing yourself with your own pronouns! This creates an open space to share their pronouns if they feel comfortable to do so!

TIP 2: Don’t force someone to share their pronouns if they don’t feel comfortable to do so, as some people may not feel in a safe space to do so, or may not be open about their gender identity yet

TIP 3: Include your own pronouns in your email signature, linkedin, or instagram bio. This is a great way to help others feel more comfortable to share their own

TIP 4: Try taking out markers like ‘Mr’ ‘Miss’ ‘Ms’ as mandatory fields on forms, or at least including a non-binary alternative such as ‘Mx’

Making Mistakes

We all make mistakes from time to time, especially when it comes to language. It’s not just straight or cisgendered people making these mistakes, even other members of trans+ communities can get it wrong someones.

But what should you do if you accidentally misgender someone?


  1. Correct yourself and move the conversation on
  2. Make a mental note for the future
  3. If the person you have misgendered is comfortable to do so, apologise to them one on one
  4. Don’t make it about you


Sometimes it’s about making the conscious changes in your language to help make non-gendered language an unconscious action in the future!

Addressing misgendering in the workplace, or from a superior can be especially difficult, however luckily we’ve found some a fantastic resource to aid you with just that!


Creating an inclusive space

Wondering how you can do better to create an inclusive space at work, an event, or even online? From dress codes to email signatures, here’s some tips on actions you can take today!


Dress Codes
Company dress codes often use gendered language and images. By removing gendered dress code categories and language, you can create a cohesive and inclusive dress code

Bathrooms are often gendered, which can create a minefield for non-binary people. Many are then left with the choice of having to subscribe to a gender identity they do not fall under, or risk being called out, discriminated against, or even put in physical danger by entering a gendered bathroom. Consider making all (or at least some accessible) bathrooms gender-neutral

Locker rooms
Some companies might need to provide locker rooms for staff to change in, which can present obstacles for trans and non-binary employees, with similar consequences to gendered bathroom facilities. To help resolve this, consider providing individual stalls within an all-gender locker room, to maintain privacy and inclusion for all

If you haven’t already, consider adopting company-wide pronouns in email signatures, or pronoun name badges for the office, event, or public space. In the case of name badges, it’s best to chat with your employees ahead of time to see if they’re comfortable to, and providing education for those who don’t see the need for such

Non-Binary: Hear From Others

Marley Conte

I was 35 years old when I said out loud that I was Non-Binary. I remember when I was a teenager and all the years afterwards, I struggled to understand myself and my body. I dressed and acted as feminine as I could to make sure I fitted in with what was expected of me. There was no language or out and proud non-binary people (at least not in Italy, where I grew up) for me to research and understand. My only option was to pick between two genders when I wasn’t either. I just assumed there must be something wrong with me and I should just put my head down and be the girl everyone thought I was. After years of struggling with my own identity, mostly thanks to my supportive spouse, social media and my amazing chosen family, I found a label that fitted me to a T. Although it felt like a lightbulb moment, coming to terms with my gender and identity has actually been a long winded road from that struggling teenager who hated themselves and their body to feeling like I belong to myself for the first time!


Since then, life has been a new journey. From repositioning myself in my marriage and as a parent to transitioning and living as my true self! Thankfully, my spouse is probably the best person in the world and my fiercest supporter and ally! Which, let’s face it, has made my transition a lot easier. When it comes to parenting as an enby person though, there is not much help out there, resources that I could refer to, so I am literally making it up as I go along. My kiddo, though, surprises me at every corner and makes my job a lot easier.


In your opinion, what are the current challenges for those who identify as non-binary?

I think the biggest challenge for a Non-Binary person in the UK is the fact that our government does not legally recognise our gender identity or lack of. Living with documents that do not match who we really are but force us to pick between the binary can reinforce our anxiety and dysphoria.  Other people’s perception of non-binary folks is also something we constantly have do deal with. Most people think there is one way to be and look non-binary and that can put pressure on us to having to act and dress a certain way. The truth is, there is no one way to look non-binary as there is not one way to look cis.


What can people do to be more inclusive of non-binary people?

Simple things really, like introducing themselves and their pronouns, using gender neutral language, adding pronouns to emails and team meetings. Those are all easy things that make a huge difference to our day to day life. More importantly though, I think step up and speak out when you hear something that does not sound kind or it’s hurtful to someone. Educate themselves as well, we are not here to be your personal encyclopedia on what being Non-Binary means, Google exists and it is a wonderful tool.


Would you like to add any advice or information for either other non-binary readers, or allies?

My advice for other Non-Binary folks would be to find your people. I cannot tell you how much my chosen family and Queer friends have helped me and supported me since coming out. The amount of time that they have stepped up and corrected other people when I was being misgendered, or simply lent a listening ear during a dysphoric or anxious moment. 

For allies, please educate yourself, don’t wait for us to explain everything to you. Here are some very useful links if you do not know where to start:

Kim Warren

Shiva Raichandari


A great way to show up as an ally and advocate for non-binary folks is through learning more yourself!

Take a look at some of the fantastic resources that are out there


  • Travis Alabanza – None of the Above
  • Alok Naid-Menon – Beyond the Gender Binary
  • Jamie Windust – In Their Shoes: Navigating Non-Binary Life
  • Alex Lantaffi & Meg John Barker – Life Isn’t Binary: On Being Both, Beyond and in Between
  • Shon Faye – The Transgender Issue
  • Ben Pechey – The Book of Non-Binary Joy: Embracing the Power of You
  • Eris Young – They/Them/Their: A Guide to Non-Binary and Genderqueer Identities
  • Amrou Al-Kadhi – The Memoir of a Muslim Drag Queen
  • CN Lester – Trans Like Me
  • Freiya Benson – Trans Love: An Anthology of Transgender and Non-Binary Voices
  • Katherine Locke – What are your Words? A Book About Pronouns
  • Jules Machias – Both can be True
  • Ami Polonski – Spin With Me