14 July: International Non-Binary People’s Day 2022 and its Significance
Every year, 14 July is observed as International Non-Binary People’s Day. The aim of this event is to raise awareness and organize around the issues faced by non-binary people around the world.
The term “non-binary” describes someone who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman. Non-binary folks may identify as being both a man and a woman or as falling completely outside of these categories. Many non-binary people also identify as transgender, though not all do.
Numerous countries don’t recognize non-binary as a legal gender, so most non-binary people still have gendered passports and IDs.
Now, Non-binary gender options are available on passports in various countries — Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, USA and many more. India’s Supreme Court recognized transgender people as a third gender, in a landmark ruling in April 2014.
Recognition of Third Gender in India
There’s evidence of them in Hindu holy texts like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, where Hindu hero Arjuna becomes the third gender. In South Asian history, third gender people have often been revered. For example, the Mughal Empire in the 15th to 19th centuries generously patronized third gender Indians. Under Hindu and Muslim rulers, many rose to power. About 3 million third gender people live in India alone, according to 2014 estimates.
The hijras are the most common third gender group in South Asia. Hijras are often born male but look and dress like girls. Most people choose to undergo a castration ceremony to honour the Hindu goddess Bahuchara Mata by removing their male genitalia. Some hijras are born intersex. Hijras are often called transgender by outsiders, but they consider themselves third gender – neither male nor female, not transitioning. They’re of a different gender. However, hijra identity is complex, and recently, some have identified as transgender and sought gender reassignment procedures.
By 2014, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh had all officially recognized third gender people as citizens deserving of equal rights. The Supreme Court of India stated,
It is the right of every human being to choose their gender,” and that recognition of the group, “is not a social or medical issue, but a human rights issue.
All third gender groups should have equal access to education and jobs. The first hijra mayor was elected in Raigarh in 2015, and the city of Kochi hired 23 hijra to work on their public transit system in 2017. Even so, progress is slow, and most third-gender people still live in poverty.
Theme of International Non-Binary People’s Day 2022
International Non-Binary People’s Day is observed each year on 14 July. It is aimed at raising awareness and organizing around the issues faced by non-binary people around the globe. There is no specific theme for the day.
Quick facts about Non-Binary People
Here are quick facts about Non-Binary People
- only one-quarter of people in the United States supported trans rights, and support increased to 62% by the year 2019. Despite this progress, the trans community still faces considerable stigma due to more than a century of being characterized as mentally ill, socially deviant and sexually predatory.
- Trans people experience violence at rates far greater than the average person. As per study by HRC, over a majority (54%) of trans people have experienced some form of intimate partner violence, 47% have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime and nearly one in ten were physically assaulted in between 2014 and 2015.
- In US, 22% of trans people and 32% of trans people of colour have no health insurance coverage. More than one-quarter (29%) of trans adults have been refused health care by a doctor or provider because of their gender identity.
Significance of International Non-Binary People’s Day
The observation is aimed at raising awareness and organizing around the issues faced by non-binary people around the globe. “Non-binary” describes someone who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman. Non-binary folks may identify as being both a man and a woman or as falling completely outside of these categories. Many non-binary people also identify as transgender, though not all do.
Nom-binary people are often subject to inhuman treatment, violence which is comparatively higher than fellow humans. The day aims to enhance people’s awareness of the community and nudge them to treat them in such a way anyone like to be treated.