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Compass Center helps to explain definition of nonbinary

Nonbinary people may identify as both male, female or neither
Posted at 6:11 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 18:11:23-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Gender expression is something we're hearing more about these days.

Singer Demi Lovato revealed this week she considers herself nonbinary.

However, what does that term mean?

RELATED: Demi Lovato, Sam Smith identify themselves as nonbinary. Here's what that means

"Nonbinary, a person whose gender identity is neither male nor female and extends beyond the constraints of the binary," said Rex Barnes, director of youth and family services at the Compass Center in Lake Worth Beach.

That is the definition the Compass Center uses when they hold cultural competency training.

Barnes conducts it with various local organizations and businesses to help them better understand the terminology in the LGBTQIA community.

But is there a true definition?

What does it mean to be nonbinary?

"Short answer, no. So, being nonbinary really can be so different from person to person because essentially nonbinary means that you don't identify as male or female," Barnes said. "But there are so many people that are nonbinary that may identify as both male or female."

Barnes gave an example of how to ask someone which pronouns they prefer.

"If you're uncertain of somebody's gender, you can also always offer up your identity markers or your pronouns. So you can come up and say, 'Hi, my name is Josh. I use he, him pronouns. What are yours?' Barnes said. "And then if somebody is nonbinary, they can use a plethora of different pronouns. But for the most part, most use gender-neutral pronouns, which are they and them. So I would say, 'Hi my name is Rex, I use gender-neutral pronouns or they/them pronouns.'"

Visit the Compass Center website for more educational resources on the topic.