Nonbinary erasure

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« I just didn't know before because I had never been taught that being different and unable to relate didn't make me weird or a freak. »
Zayden, 26[1]

Nonbinary erasure, or non-binary erasure, refers to the erasure or refusal to acknowledge any genders that do not fit in the gender binary of man and woman. Erasure can take many forms. For instance, saying "he or she" instead of "they" implies that there are only two acceptable pronouns. Saying "ladies and gentlemen" implies there are only two genders. The erasure of non-binary genders is common in Western society.

Non-binary erasure and eurocentrism[edit | edit source]

See also: Gender-variant identities worldwide

Acknowledging only two genders is a Western concept, one that was exported to other nations through colonialism. Other cultures acknowledged more than two genders. For instance, India acknowledged Third Gender as a non-binary gender. In North America, certain native American tribes recognize two-spirit as a non-binary gender. It should be noted that while Third Gender and two-spirit are names for non-binary genders, non-binary people who do not herald from these cultures should not adopt these terms to describe themselves.

Legal Erasure[edit | edit source]

In many situations, nonbinary people are denied their human rights[2][3] because they are not allowed nonbinary gender/title options in documents. Examples of this can be found in birth certificates, passports, driver's licenses, and other legal documents.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. This quote is a snippet from an answer to the survey conducted in the year 2018. Note for editors: the text of the quote, as well as the name, age and gender identity of its author shouldn't be changed.
  2. Declaration of Human Rights (may contain traces of unintentional sexism):
  3. Yogyakarta Principles: LGBTQI rights clarified.