Happy International Nonbinary People’s Day! Of course, any day that ends in “y” is a day to celebrate nonbinary people all over the world. Yet, on July 14, we give special reverence to folks who identify as nonbinary and raise awareness about what it means to exist outside of society’s restrictive gender binary. Nonbinary is an umbrella term that describes individuals whose gender identity is experienced outside of the binary of man/woman or male/female. Additionally, folks who identify as genderfluid, genderqueer, bigender, agender, and more fall under the nonbinary umbrella.
The critically acclaimed Cartoon Network show Steven Universe summed up the identity beautifully. The series follows main character Steven and his friends the Crystal Gems, mineral-based aliens named Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, and their numerous adventures. Crystal Gems can fuse into powerful beings and with Steven having Gem heritage, he fuses one day with his best friend Connie to become Stevonnie, a nonbinary character welcomed with open arms by the cast and described best as an “experience” by their friend and fellow fusion Garnet.
If cartoons keep this representation up, then the kids will be alright. Thankfully, there are other prominent nonbinary folks in the media who shine a light on nonbinary representation wherever they go. So, here are some nonbinary celebrities that you should know.
Canadian actor and writer Bilal Baig is the mastermind behind Max’s Sort Of, a series that follows a nonbinary Pakistani-Canadian millennial balancing their Pakistani immigrant parents, multiple jobs, and embracing their nonbinary identity. In 2023, the Canadian Screen Awards made their acting award categories gender neutral and Baig became the inaugural winner of the Canadian Screen Award for Best Leading Performance in a Comedy Series.
This nonbinary, pansexual powerhouse and self-proclaimed “free a** motherf*cker” has forever changed the music landscape with their eclectic mix of R&B, funk, soul, and rock. The 8x Grammy-nominated singer, rapper, and actor is currently ushering in The Age of Pleasure with their latest album.
“In my eyes, R&B has always been queer.”
Bella Ramsey first won fans over with their portrayal of the no nonsense-having Lyanna Mormont in Max’s hit series Game of Thrones. Now they are crossing a post-apocalyptic United States as the character Ellie in The Last of Us, along with their co-star and the Internet’s favorite “cool, slutty daddy” Pedro Pascal.
Ramsey continues to earn their queer icon status.
Sara Ramirez went from saving lives as Dr. Callie Torres in Grey’s Anatomy to performing standup in And Just Like That as comedian Che Diaz. The Sex and the City reboot places Ramirez’s Che as the first nonbinary actor within the fabulous franchise.
Bob the Drag Queen
Known for walking into any room purse first, Bob the Drag Queen is a force. Since winning season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bob has dropped numerous singles, performed standup across the nation, hosted the popular podcast Sibling Rivalry with fellow Drag Race alum Monet X Change, appeared in various tv shows and films, and most recently finished up a stint as ⅓ of the trio hosting Max’s We’re Here alongside Drag Race alums Eureka! and Shangela. Needless to say Bob does it all and does well.
Jonathan Van Ness
Jonathan Van Ness is a hairstylist extraordinaire full of charm and ⅕ of the Queer Eye team. Since premiering on the Netflix series in 2018 as the crew’s grooming expert, J.V.N.’s magnetism has placed them everywhere within the world of entertainment.
British crooner Sam Smith went from singing sad songs to baring it all on-stage in thongs and we love to see it. Since their massive debut album In the Lonely Hour, the talented pop star continues to top charts, break records, and do it fabulously. In 2022, their song “Unholy” with Kim Petras hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned them a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, making the two the first openly nonbinary and openly transgender solo artists to perform both feats.
Amandla made their debut in 2011’s Colombiana, but really made an impact with their scene-stealing role as Rue in 2012’s The Hunger Games. Since then, they have taken over the silver screen and TV screens in projects such as The Hate U Give, The Eddy, Bodies Bodies Bodies, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. And we can’t wait to see their skills with the Force in the Star Wars franchise’s The Acolyte.
While they had snagged small roles on Drop Dead Diva and Nashville, Lachlan Watson’s star shone even brighter in their role as Theo Putnam in Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. They racked up another horror-themed project as Chucky’s nonbinary twins Glen and Glenda in the SyFy series Chucky and most recently took a starring role in the upcoming narrative-based video game Goodbye Volcano High.
There are so many gender-affirming games out there, here are just a few.
Poppy Liu wears many hats and they’re probably all designer, judging by their great sense of style. They’re an actor, activist, poet, doula, and business owner best known for their roles in NBC’s Sunnyside, Max’s Hacks, Prime Video’s Dead Ringers, and most recently, Apple TV+’s The Afterparty.
Alok Vaid-Menon has spent their career using art in different mediums as a means to push our society to rethink our connection to gender. As a writer, performance artist, and media personality, they use their work to advocate for trans and gender non-conforming people, gender neutrality, and bodily diversity.
“Rage is a bodyguard for a deeper truth, which is pain and woundedness and sorrow, which our culture doesn’t hold space for.”
Brandon Kyle Goodman
When actor, writer, and comedian Brandon Kyle Goodman isn’t entertaining us with their “Messy Mondays” segment on social media, they’re making us LOL as a writer and actor on Netflix’s Big Mouth. Voicing the lovebug named Walter Las Palmas, Goodman reprised his scene-stealing role in the spin-off Human Resources where we see that a lovebug’s job is never done.