From Broadway stars to lawmakers to the leads of hit TV shows, the nonbinary trailblazers on list have boldly claimed the spotlight, bringing visibility to issues of gender nonconformity and speaking out in support of LGBTQ+ rights more broadly.
This week is Nonbinary Awareness Week, so we want to call attention to 13 gender nonconforming icons who have worked to raise that awareness in their public lives.
Bella Ramsey is the 19-year-old star of HBO's hit series The Last of Us, a role that won them massive acclaim. They came out as nonbinary in January, telling The New York Times that their gender has "always been very fluid."
Janelle Monáe has been dazzling us of late with their unabashed joie de vivre. The singer shared that they identify as nonbinary during an interview on Jada Pinkett Smith's "Red Table Talk" in April 2022.
Bob the Drag Queen, who is nonbinary, won RuPaul's Drag Race and then won the world over. The comedian, podcaster, and creative has been preparing to join Madonna on tour — which has recently been postponed after Madonna was hospitalized.
Emma Corrin, who came out as nonbinary in 2021, rose to fame for their masterful portrayal of Princess Diana in Netflix's historical drama The Crown. Corrin also starred opposite Harry Styles and David Dawson in 2022's My Policeman.
English singer-songwriter Sam Smith came out as nonbinary in September 2019. "I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out,” they wrote on Instagram. This year, Smith won a Grammy for their smash hit "Unholy" with Kim Petras.
At this year's Tony Awards, Alex Newell made history by becoming one of the first out nonbinary actors to win a Tony, in this case Best Featured Actor in a Musical for their performance in Shucked. "Thank you for seeing me, Broadway," Newell said in their acceptance speech.
Alongside Alex Newell, J. Harrison Ghee became one of the first nonbinary actors to win a Tony Award. Ghee won Best Leading Actor in a Musical for Some Like It Hot, a Broadway retelling of the classic Billy Wilder film of the same name.
The creator of the queer-inclusive Cartoon Network series Steven Universe, Rebecca Sugar's nonbinary identity inspired them to create the acclaimed show's characters in the first place.
"I think a nonbinary lens offers clarity and truth," Sugar told Entertainment Weekly's Beyond the Binary Podcast. "This is a way that people have been since people existed. And the reason that it feels like that might not be true is because of all of these different forms of erasure and violence against people who are not conforming to this sort of very rigid idea of 'male' and 'female.' We see this everywhere through time, all around the world. And I think if that's not something that you can personally relate to, to not have that perspective somewhere in your life is to really miss out on a massive part of the human experience."