29 Famous Nonbinary People Show There's No Wrong Way to Express Gender
On this International Nonbinary People's Day, we celebrate those who identify outside the notion of a strict gender binary and live their truths beyond such lines.
Nonbinary folks identify across a beautiful spectrum, and the exclusivity of a binary isn't something they recognize for themselves.
The day is celebrated on July 14 -- halfway between International Women's Day and International Men's Day -- and started after Katie van Loon called for such a celebration for nonbinary people in a blog post ten years ago.
In conversation with the BBC, van Loon said that zie first realized zie was nonbinary after falling through what zie called an "online rabbit hole." van Loon said that zie found zirself looking at the definitions of different gender identities and found one for a nonbinary person.
'"This is me,' I thought. 'I am nonbinary. This has been me my whole life. And I've just never had the words to describe it.' I started crying," van Loon told the outlet.
A year later, in 2012, van Loon wrote a 153-word blog post proposing International Nonbinary Day. It was only years later that van Loon discovered that it had actually picked up with organizations and companies from the Human Rights Campaign to dictionary.com celebrating the day.
"I think being called non-binary is important on an internal level. It's important for me to have those words to describe myself, and knowing who I am allows me to be more comfortable with myself. I want people to be happy with themselves. And if having a day helps you be happy with yourself, that's great. That is the best outcome I could have hoped for from that one-off blog post that I wrote 10 years ago," van Loon told the BBC.
To honor the day, we've put together a list of some of the famous nonbinary faces that are living their authentic lives.
Happy Nonbinary People's Day!
Instagram photo: @amandlastenberg
The film Colombiana first brought Amandla Stenberg to Hollywood's attention, but her best-known role is that of Rue in The Hunger Games with Jennifer Lawrence. They have also acted in film adaptations of The Hate U Give and Dear Evan Hansen. Stenberg is the new face of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty and has become a fashion star.
Up next, Stenberg stars in the dark comedy-horror flick Bodies Bodies Bodies with Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Rachel Sennott (Shiva Baby), Lee Pace (Halt and Catch Fire), and Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live). The film is set for release in August.
Instagram photo: @bobthedragqueen
The season 8 winner is among the most successful alumni of RuPaul's Drag Race. She has parlayed her success on Drag Race into various other media projects.
Currently, she can be seen on the HBO Max show We're Here with Shangela and Eureka.
Bob explained on Twitter in 2019, "For the record, I am pansexual and non-binary," but later clarified, "I prefer binary pronouns." In response to a question about her preferred pronouns, she said, "He/him/his/she/her/hers."
instagram photo: @brandonkylegoodman
Gay and nonbinary writer Brandon Kyle Goodman of Netflix's Big Mouth has made a name for himself for not only the shows they write but for their viral videos covering social justice issues.
Their videos -- discussing race, violence, and the Black Lives Matter protests -- have brought awareness and support to groups like the Black Trans Travel Fund, the Bail Project, and the Innocence Project.
"Black people and especially Black queer people are often positioned as a punch line, and if you're not willing to participate in that, it cuts you off at the knees since those are mostly the parts available," Goodman told The Advocate last year. "This is why I write. Because if those in power aren't going to see me as human, write me as human, then I'll do it myself. I know we are valuable."
(Photo Credit: Drew Blackwell via Brandon Kyle Goodman)
Instagram photo: @brigetteelundypaine
Known for playing Sam's sister, Casey, on the Netflix show Atypical, they have gained a strong following since coming on to the Hollywood scene.
Lundy-Paine came out as queer to The Advocate in 2018 and announced they were nonbinary on Instagram the following year.
Apart from acting, they're still working with their band, Subtle Pride, and staying active in politics, including trans issues. They have been with their partner, Jake, a writer, for three and a half years. Lundy-Paine talked about their relationship in July 2021 inOut.
Instagram photo: @carlclemonshopkins
They slept through their first Emmy nomination last year, but the Hacks star's star has been rising steadily since.
Clemons-Hopkins received a 2021 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, becoming the first out nonbinary actor to get an Emmy nod, but told Out's Daniel Reynolds he never believed they would have the chance to play the role.
"When I started in this years and years ago, there really wasn't the concept of different types of queer Black characters to be played," explained Clemons-Hopkins, whose previous credits include Hamilton's Chicago production.
So much has changed.
Instagram photo: @daisyeagan
One of the youngest actors to ever win a Tony -- for in their early '90s star turn in The Secret Garden --Daisy Eagan has since starred on the very queer Good Trouble. In the Freeform series, Eagan played Joey, who was dating Sherry Cola's lesbian character Alice. The series was one of the first to explore a character coming out as nonbinary.
Instagram photo: @ddlovato
The singer, known for hits such as "Sorry Not Sorry," came out as nonbinary in 2021. "I feel that this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I both know I am and still am discovering," Lovato said in their podcast 4D With Demi Lovato.
Lovato is pansexual and has explained to the Today show, "I'm attracted to human beings, and it doesn't matter what you identify as. I just don't hold myself back from sharing my love with anybody."
instagram photo: @dominiquep_c
Best known for their role as Waverly on the supernatural TV series Wynonna Earp, Dominique Provost-Chalkley is a British-French Canadian nonbinary actor, activist, and environmentalist. They founded Start The Wave, a nonprofit organization uniting people around the world through initiatives inspired by love, creativity, equality, and pride.
The organization's "pillar" of pride encourages people to "sit in the beauty of being" and "celebrate their queerness."
Provost-Chalkley has made that a pillar in their own life as well, with the help of their role on Wynonna Earp. In an interview with SYFY, they reflected on the groundbreaking queer character, saying, "I understand what people feel when they see Waverly because I had it too. I came into my own queerness by playing this queer character. I like to think I would have got there myself in my own time in a different way, but I certainly wouldn't have gotten there as quickly."
Instagram photo: @doitlikedua
It's hard to shake things up in a series that already tackles sexuality as frankly as Netflix's Sex Education. But that's just what Minneapolis-based nonbinary singer and actor Dua Saleh did when they joined the show's fourth season as a new student, Cal. The season centers around a militaristic change in leadership at the show's Moordale High when Jemima Kirke's headmistress Hope implements strict uniform codes and more. Cal, who is nonbinary, is in Hope's crosshairs for refusing to wear a skirt that doesn't align with their gender identity, and Sex Education touches on the inherent transphobia in such rules.
Instagram photo: @marymccartney via @emmalouisecorrin
Emma Corrin, who played the young Princess Diana in The Crown,came out as queer in 2021 with an Instagram post captioned "queer bride" and then came out as nonbinary. This year they are gracing the August cover of Vogue,becoming the venerable fashion magazine's first nonbinary cover star.
"I feel much more seen when I'm referred to as 'they,' but my closest friends, they will call me 'she,' and I don't mind, because I know they know me," Corrin said in the cover interview, adding, "In my mind, gender just isn't something that feels fixed. And I don't know if it ever will be; there might always be some fluidity there for me."
Corrin's career is hot. They have some big films coming up -- the actor is playing Lady Constance Chatterley in the Netflix adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence novel Lady Chatterley's Lover and starring with Harry Styles in My Policeman.
Instagram photo: @genderless_gap_ad
Grey's Anatomy viewers got a new queer couple to love this season with the arrival of E.R. Fightmaster as the brilliant and charming Dr. Kai Bartley, a neuroscientist who catches the eye of Caterina Scorsone's Dr. Amelia Shepherd. The actors had sparks from the moment they began researching a Parkinson's cure with Ellen Pompeo's Dr. Meredith Grey, and fans were delighted with the on-screen couple's subsequent romance. Prior to Grey's, the nonbinary actor appeared on the Aidy Bryant-led Shrill on Hulu and on Showtime's Work in Progress. Fightmaster has a background in sketch comedy with Chicago's Second City.
instagram photo: @escojouley
An actor, singer, dancer, and movement artist, with a clown persona named "One," Esco Jouley is making their mark all over the arts. The nonbinary performer recently starred in the second season of SundanceTV's 10-episode, 10-minute each series State of the Union alongside thespian stalwarts Patricia Clarkson and Brendan Gleeson.
Instagram photo: @iamhalsey
Halsey updated their pronouns to she/they on her social media bios in March 2021. After receiving praise from fans, they posted this a few days later: "For those asking RE: my updated IG bio, I am happy with either pronouns. The inclusion of they in addition to she feels most authentic to me. If you know me at all, you know what it means to me to express this outwardly. Thanks for being the best."
The singer was pregnant at the time and had posted earlier, "I thought pregnancy would give me very strong, binary feelings about 'womanhood.' But truly, it has leveled my perception of gender entirely. My sensitivity to my body has made me hyper aware of my humanness and that's all." Halsey and partner Alev Aydin welcomed son Ender in July 2021.
Instagram photo: @indyamoore
In season 1 of FX's Pose, they first caught our attention. Pose opened a new path for trans actors in Hollywood, and Moore has become a veritable fashion icon, appearing on Teen Vogue and Elle covers.
The activist and actor has revealed they want to tell stories for those in "stigmatized circumstances."
In an interview with Dazed, they said, "I wanna destigmatize humanity through the characters that I portray. I want to see trans representation in heroine-ism...I also want to imagine what it looks like for trans people to exist in a world without transphobia. What's it like to see queer and trans people on film and TV in stories (that aren't) about their transness? What is it like to imagine a world where our stories and experiences aren't rooted and centered in the fact that the world is still trying to grab hold of our existence? What does that look like? "
Instagram photo: @janellemonae
The acclaimed recording artist, actress, author, and model confirmed in April that they are nonbinary. "I'm nonbinary, so I just don't see myself as a woman ... solely. I feel like God is so much bigger than the he or the she. And if I am from God, I am everything," Monae said on Facebook's Red Table Talk. Later, in aLos Angeles Timesinterview, they outlined their pronouns: "My pronouns are free-ass m-- and they/them, her/she."
Monae has a book out, The Memory Librarian: and Other Stories of Dirty Computer, and will be playing Josephine Baker, the bisexual entertainer, civil rights activist, and literal Nazi fighter in the A24 series De La Resistance.
instagram photo: @thejerriejohnson
Harlem's breakout star Jerrie Johnson, who uses she/they pronouns, made their TV debut on Freeform's super LGBTQ-inclusive series Good Trouble before landing the plum gig as a lead on the Prime Video's show as the lesbian lothario, Tye. The series, set in -- you guessed it -- Harlem, stars Johnson, Meagan Good (D.E.B.S.), Grace Byers (Empire), and Shoniqua Shandai (I Amthe Night) as friends navigating love, career, and gentrification. The series not only centers and uplifts Black women, but it also places Tye's relationships and hookups on an even playing field with those of her friends.
Instagram photo: @joeysoloway
The creator of Transparent came out as nonbinary in 2020 and is one of the highest-profile nonbinary people in show business. A two-time Emmy winner for directing Transparent, Soloway has used their fame to speak out for representation of diverse experiences in the stories Hollywood portrays, telling The Advocate last year, "We want the ambient sense of belonging in the world that white people and male people have, just from having grown up watching white male creators say, 'This is us.' We want, 'This is us.'"
Instagram photo: @jvn
It is no secret that Jonathan Van Ness has many talents, including hairdressing, self-care, comedy, show-hosting, and writing. Oh, and don't forget, JVN is also good at tumbling.
His first work on-screen was the much-loved Game of Thrones recap, which led to his Gay of Thrones series on Funny or Die. Then Van Ness landed a role on Netflix's reboot of Queer Eye.
As a nonbinary person, Van Ness does not subscribe to the idea that gender is a choice between one of two options and therefore uses rolling (or toggles between) pronouns.
Instagram photo: @katcunning
A modern triple/quadruple threat, Kat Cunning has emerged as an artist to watch. A dancer turned singer and actor on Netflix's Trinkets and HBO's The Deuce, Cunning came out publicly as nonbinary in 2020. Earlier in 2022, Cunning costarred in the Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson-led rom-com, Marry Me.
instagram photo: @kehlani
The successful Grammy-nominated artist spoke with The Advocate about their queerness in a cover story last year.
"All my friends, all her aunties, uncles, her godparents, everybody is just loudly queer," Kehlani said. "Our generation already kind of broke the mold of getting to that point, so I don't even think our kids are going to think about it as something that they have to identify and differentiate. I feel it should be normal. We'll be reading queer stories, queer books where the baby has two dads, two moms, two parents who don't identify as either. Movies that have that. She sees healthy queer couples. So, I don't think that [my child's] going to even think about it as, This is different from normal."
Instagram photo: @liv.hewson
Hailing from Australia, Liv Hewson has accrued a long resume over the past few years. Fans of queer-inclusive holiday rom-coms will remember Hewson in Netflix's Let iI Snow in 2019. That same year, the nonbinary actor appeared in the Margot Robbie-Charlize Theron starrer Bombshell alongside Brigette Lundy-Paine. In late 2021, Hewson became one-half of TV's most shipped queer couples opposite Jasmin Savoy-Brown in Showtime's Yellowjackets. They went on to host the Netflix podcast The Homo Schedule together.
Instagram photo: @josue_foto via @1942morningstar
MorningStar Angeline is quietly helping to shift stories about Indigenous people in Hollywood. Last year, Angeline (who uses she/they pronouns) starred in The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw, a sweet indie flick about a hat-designing dreamer who gets a second chance at bonding with her family when she's called home to her community on a remote island to help care for her ailing mother. This year they have appeared in Amazon Studios' series Outer Range, where they play an Indigenous woman who has a wife and a daughter. Before Outer Range premiered, they told The Advocate it would provide much-needed representation of queer Indigenous families: "Something as simple as that can be super powerful."
instagram photo: @poppyrepublic
Poppy Liu has amassed a wide range of credits throughout their career - Sunnyside, Better Call Saul, and even Nickelodeon's iCarly. But in 2021, the actor stole audiences' hearts as the quirky Blackjack dealer in the Emmy-winning HBO Max series Hacks.
The first-generation Chinese-American actor shares the screen with a largely queer cast, debunking what she calls, in an interview with Out, a "myth" that there's got to be "the token queer person in the show" or "the token Asian person," and "you can't have both."
Paving the way as a queer, nonbinary, genderfluid immigrant, Liu shared that they did not fully embrace their identity until after college.
"A lot of the queer visibility that I saw was around white queerness," Liu said. "And it just didn't feel like it was like a space for me."
As they discovered other members of the queer Asian community, something finally "clicked."
"I think that's part of what is really important about visibility," Liu reflected. "As humans, we learn by imitation, we learn by seeing something -- a blueprint...to be like, 'Oh, yeah, that's for me and this is it.'"
instagram photo: @q.uintessa
One of the three stars of the two-season Netflix charmer Trinkets, Quintessa Swindell broke ground for nonbinary actors in lead roles. They went on to play a troubled young queer person opposite Uzo Aduba in the acclaimed fourth season of HBO's In Treatment. For viewers who missed those hidden gems, Swindell also guest-starred in Euphoria's first season as the alluring partygoer who hooks up with Hunter Schafer's Jules.
instagram photo: @rivbutcher
An up-and-coming nonbinary-trans stand-up comedian and podcast host, River Butcher is putting gender-bending comedy on the map. Butcher first garnered attention while co-hosting the 2014 web series She Said for Amy Poehler's Smart Girls network. Most recently, Butcher starred in his own Comedy Central stand-up special, A Different Kind of Dude.
In November 2021, Butcher shared his name and pronouns with the world - he/him and they/them - writing on Twitter, "I made myself small for many reasons over my 39 years and I am on a path to take up the space I was created for, slowly and surely. I am very lucky to be able to live publicly as myself."
instagram photo: @samsmith
Sam Smith continues to push the envelope as a nonbinary singer-songwriter in a massively cis-hetero industry. The Four-time Grammy-winning artist has generated countless hits over the past decade including "Stay With Me," "I'm Not The Only One" and "Dancing With A Stranger."
In a 2019 conversation with actress Jameela Jamil about body image, Smith opened up about their relationship to their body, expressing the fluidity in which they view themselves.
"I'm not male or female, I think I flow somewhere in between. It's all on the spectrum," they said during an episode of I Weigh.
Later that year, they officially came out as nonbinary in an Instagram post, writing, "After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out."
instagram photo: @therealsararamirez
Renowned actor, vocalist, and Tony winner, Sara Ramirez, continues to carve a path for those who come after them. The former Grey'sAnatomy star made history playing Callie Torres, one of network TV's first bisexual characters. In 2021, Ramirez's nonbinary stand-up comic and podcaster, Che Diaz, was just about all anyone could talk about on the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That. Ramirez is also an ardent and important queer activist at the intersections of all of their identities.
instagram photo: @theogermaine
An actor who came up in the Chicago theater world, Theo Germaine had a breakout year in 2019 with a pair of auspicious and refreshing roles. One was in the Golden Globe-nominated Netflix series The Politician and the other in the critically lauded Showtime series Work in Progress. Now, Germaine stars in the progressive They/Them, a summer camp slasher flick that centers authentically cast queer actors, meaning the characters and actors share sexual and gender identities. The film costars Kevin Bacon, Anna Chlumsky (Veep, Inventing Anna), and Austin Crute (Booksmart).
instagram photo: @puertoricaninja
A star of Amazon Prime's S.O.Z.: Soldiers or Zombies, Vico Ortiz was not one to sit on their laurels when offered the role of Sergeant Valencia. They told The Advocate last year that before stepping into their character's camouflage, they made a pitch to make the character nonbinary and to expand what that may look like to viewers.
"Whenever someone's like, there's a nonbinary character, the industry immediately says things like Oh, androgynous, white, thin, and whatever," Ortiz said. "A nonbinary person isn't necessarily androgynous and doesn't need to act a certain way or behave a certain way, they just are. [Valencia's] arc has nothing to do with their identity. They're just simply the same way that every other character exists."
Currently, Ortiz stars as Jim in the breakout HBO Max comedy Our Flag Means Death.
Ortiz has previously starred in the web series These Thems, which featured a cast of primarily nonbinary and trans folks, and in Starz's very queer Vida.