Gender, in recent years, has been embraced by celebrities and the world alike as a spectrum that can no longer be defined. While most people identify as male or female, there are some who say they don't fit into either category, sighting their gender identity as gender-fluid or non-binary.
What does it mean to be non-binary?
A non-binary person is someone who does not identify as exclusively male or female. In really simple terms, someone who is non-binary might feel like a mix of genders, or like they have no gender at all. Other terms include genderqueer, agender, bigender, and genderfluid. None of these terms mean exactly the same thing – but all speak to an experience of gender that is not simply male or female. Being non-binary also falls under the gender-neutral spectrum, which describes the idea that policies, language, and other social institutions should avoid distinguishing roles according to people's sex or gender, in order to avoid discrimination arising from the impression that there are social roles for which one gender is more suited than another.
Below, genderfluid celebrities who have openly spoken out.
In a recent interview, singer Sam Smith opened up about being non-binary, saying that he doesn't identify with either male or female as he "floats between the two". The 'Stay With Me' singer spoke candidly to Jameela Jamil on her Instagram channel for project I Weigh, in which she discusses fame, body image and sexuality.
“You are just you. You are a mixture of all different things. You’re your own special creation. That’s how I take it,” Smith said. “I’m not male or female, I think I float somewhere in between. It’s all on a spectrum. I think the same with sexuality.” The 26-year-old entertainer added, “I’ve always been very free in terms of thinking about my sexuality. You fall in love with people, not genitals. I’ve tried to change that into my thoughts on gender."
An established actor, model, and activist by the age of 17, Amandla Stenberg has known the spotlight even before her fame skyrocketed following her role as Rue in The Hunger Games. Since then, Stenberg has used social media as a platform to speak out about issues that affect the LGBTQ community, people of colour, the black community, and women.
As a black biracial queer person, Stenberg identifies as pansexual and non-binary, meaning she is attracted to all genders and identifies outside of the traditionally established gender binary. When asked about her preferred pronouns, Stenberg responded, “I honestly don’t know…I mean they/them makes me feel comfortable but I know that the media and the general populace that follows me will critique it/not understand which makes me feel sad and almost more uncomfortable. So I guess she/her for now.”
Miley has always been open about her gender fluidity, citing recently that she considers herself 'a queer person in a hetero relationship.' Cyrus, who came out as pansexual in 2016, explained to Vanity Fair: “The reason that people get married sometimes can be old-fashioned, but I think the reason we got married isn’t old-fashioned — I actually think it’s kind of New Age. We’re redefining, to be f—king frank, what it looks like for someone that’s a queer person like myself to be in a hetero relationship.”
Australian actress Ruby Rose came out to her mother at 12 years old, and at 15 she began to experiment with a gender-fluid identity. The Orange Is The New Black star told Access Hollywood she got the idea when she first saw a "daytime documentary" or similar program at age 5. "For the most part, I definitely don't identify as any gender," she previously told Elle US. "I'm not a guy; I don't really feel like a woman, but obviously I was born one. So, I'm somewhere in the middle, which — in my perfect imagination — is like having the best of both sexes." Rose is also an advocate for genderfluidity, having attempted to break down the mould of gender stereotypes from the beginning of her career.
The son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith has been stabilising gender norms since he was just a tween, regularly wearing women's clothing to red carpet events in the hopes of changing attitudes in society. "So, you know, in five years when a kid goes to school wearing a skirt, he won't get beat up and kids won't get mad at him. I'm taking the brunt of it so that later on, my kids and the next generations of kids will all think that certain things are normal that weren't expected before my time," Jaden said.
WATCH: Sam Smith Opens Up About His Sexuality And Gender.