Gender is a social construct, we need not identify as male or female, regardless of the sex assigned at birth. Similarly, we can use pronouns that do not correlate with the sex that we were assigned at birth. Some non-binary people use they/them pronouns. However, others use pronouns that correlate with the sex that they were assigned at birth.
Some also consider themselves transgender and non-binary. Others prefer to not identify with labels in general. No matter who they are or how they identify, some musicians are breaking down barriers. They are doing this by not hiding from the world the fact that they are able to be who they are. Below are some of the biggest non-binary artists that are breaking the gender mold!
Janelle Monáe, the Grammy-nominated artist and actor, has opened up about their gender identity, previously coming out as pansexual in 2018 on the cover of Rolling Stone. The singer revealed publicly that she is non-binary and uses they/them or she/her pronouns.
“I just don’t see myself as a woman solely. I feel all of my energy. I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she,’” the ‘Dirty Computer’ singer said. “And if I am from God, I am everything. But I will always, always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women. But I just see everything that I am, beyond the binary.”
The musician who dropped their memoir ‘The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer’ in April 2022, opened up about their sexuality in 2018 to Rolling Stone. They said at the time: “Being a queer Black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women — I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.”
Monáe initially identified as bisexual.“But then later I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am,” they added.
“I’m nonbinary,” Monáe said in an appearance on Red Table Talk’ – a Facebook series co-hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith. Monáe said they “always tried to get rid of … any labels and … show love to everyone who continues to live outside of the binary.”
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Olly Alexander identifies as non-binary. The singer uses he/him pronouns and on Spotify’s Press Play For Pride in 2016, Olly said: “I feel very non-binary, and you know, I identify as gay, and queer and non-binary.”
Demi Lovato came out as non-binary and said they would be using they/them pronouns sharing the news in an Instagram post.
“Today is a day I’m so happy to share more of my life with you all — I am proud to let you know that I identify as non-binary and will officially be changing my pronouns to they/them moving forward. This has come after a lot of healing and self-reflective work. I’m still learning and coming into myself, and I don’t claim to be an expert or a spokesperson. Sharing this with you now opens another level of vulnerability for me. I’m doing this for those out there that haven’t been able to share who they truly are with their loved ones.”
In April, this year, fans noticed that the star had updated their social media bio changing it to “they/them/she/her” after they had been going by they/them pronouns since last year.
The pop star Sam Smith came out as non-binary, asking to be addressed by the pronouns they/them. The ‘Stay With Me’ singer wrote on Instagram: “After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”
“I do think like a woman sometimes, in my head. Sometimes I’ve questioned ‘Do I want a sex change?’ It’s something I still think about, like, ‘Do I want to?’”, said Smith.
In their Instagram post, Smith said they were “at no stage just yet to eloquently speak at length about what it means to be non-binary” but that their intention was to be “visible and open.”
The singer said that listening to conversations about being non-binary made them realize that was how they identified.
In an interview with Jameela Jamil published in March, Smith said: “I’m not male or female, I think I flow somewhere in between. It’s all on the spectrum.” The Grammy-award-winning artist described being non-binary as “your own special creation.”
Kehlani opened up about embracing their non-binary identity. “I don’t mind when people say ‘she’ at all, but something feels really affirming when people say ‘they,'” the singer told Byrdie. “It feels like… you really see me.”
The ‘Nights Like This’ singer told the outlet they wish “it was more of a journey discovering how I love and what I need versus putting the emphasis on having to ‘come out’ with my sexual identity.”
“There’s always emphasis on the gender of those we love versus who that person is,” the ‘Gangsta’ singer said, going on to talk about how they’re adamant about raising their daughter with the notion that there shouldn’t be an emphasis on gender.
“I just want to worry about if my kid loves a good person. Worry about the heart of the person you’re with. If my daughter doesn’t have to go through a journey to discover she’s straight, then she doesn’t have to go through a journey to discover if she’s gay.”
They continued, “We raised her [to believe]there’s no difference. She sees her mommy with her girlfriend. She’s going to see her father with whoever he’s with. She’s going to see all her gay aunties and uncles and her trans aunties and uncles. Everything is normal. They’re going to have their own world. Don’t make them hateful little shits. Teach them to love and not judge and it’s really that simple. I don’t know how it gets so overcomplicated.”
“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,” Kehlani added. “She sees healthy queer couples. So, I don’t think that she’s going to even think about it as ‘This is different from normal.'”
In March 2021, Halsey made a quick change to their social media bios. Fans immediately took notice that the singer had updated her pronouns to “she/they”. This typically implied that a person is comfortable being referred to using “she/her” or “they/them” pronouns interchangeably. After receiving a lot of love from fans for the decision, the star posted on her Instagram story. They thanked their fans and give them some context about the update.
“For those asking RE: my updated IG bio, I am happy with either pronouns,” Halsey wrote over a photo of a house plant. “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.”
After Halsey shared a pregnancy update with her fans, the ‘Without Me’ singer spoke about how being pregnant had offered her some new insight regarding gender identity. “I thought pregnancy would give me very strong, binary feelings about ‘womanhood,’” they wrote. “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.”