International Non-Binary Day (first celebrated in 2012, with 14th July chosen due to it being central to International Women's Day and International Men's Day) is marked to celebrate and bring visibility to and raise awareness of the issues experienced by non-binary people in the LGBTQIA+ community worldwide.
Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely. In effect, it
is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t necessarily sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Non-binary is not a new identifier and has existed as long as civilisation.
Gender is a spectrum and, regardless of gender identity, we can be inclusive in many ways. Our language and the way we speak is often embedded with hidden gendered cues, hence the importance of embracing introducing yourself with your name and pronouns, putting them on social media profiles and email signatures, and trying to use inclusive language in writing that avoids implying only two genders.
to find out more about supporting non-binary people.
To celebrate International Non-Binary Day at ALRA, we recorded some readings by non-binary writers. There are some of mandla rae’s poetry, recited by Ashleigh Mills and a speech by Alok Vaid Menon, as well as work produced by Rebecca (Bee) Iceton.
Our sincerest thanks to Nelly Kelly for giving us permission to also perform an extract from their work. We will be doing so at a later date due to performer availability, and will add the video to this post.
Nelly Kelly (they/them)
Nelly Kelly is a Glasgow based playwright, performer and theatre maker. They have an MLitt in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from the University of Glasgow. This will be their first project working as a writer with the National Theatre of Scotland. Work includes Untitled 2009 with Queen Jesus Productions and Outspoken Arts Scotland (Tron Theatre/Traverse Theatre). Queeresa Gay: Fields of Gold with Buzzcut (CCA), and later Oassisy’s Late Night Queer Cabaret (Gilded Balloon). The Dogwood with Shift Theatre Company (Traverse Theatre). Sacramental with Mintworks (Hackney Guest Projects). Nelly is a current recipient of the New Playwrights Award, with Playwrights Studio Scotland. They are also currently working on a new commission with Queen Jesus Productions and are a recipient of the Buzzcut 2020/2021 Club Residency.
Mandla Rae is a writer and performer from Zimbabwe, raised in London and now based in Manchester. They are currently developing their first solo show as british as a watermelon for Queer Contact 2021 and have performed their work at venues and festivals including Royal Exchange, Hope Mill Theatre, HOME, New Queers on the Block and Leeds Playhouse. Their writing has been published in Gay Times, Nov 2020 issue and New Landscapes Anthology 2019 from Ohio based Lungs Project.
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Alok Vaid Menon (they/them)
ALOK is an internationally acclaimed gender non-conforming writer, performer, and public speaker. As a mixed-media artist their work explores themes of trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the author of Femme in Public (2017) and Beyond the Gender Binary (2020). They are the creator of #DeGenderFashion: a movement to degender fashion and beauty industries and have been honored as one of HuffPo’s Culture Shifters, NBC’s Pride 50, and Business Insider’s Doers. Over the past decade they have presented at more than 500 venues in 40 countries. They currently serve as a Contributing Editor to the White Review.