Enbies: A Guide to Understanding and Inclusivity
Enbies is a word often used on social media and magazines that talk about gender issues and gender identity. Pure tries to uncover what does this word mean and where it comes from.
What does "enbies" mean?
Actually, it's a term used to describe a non-binary person. Enby is used as a singular noun and enbies as a plural. Let us explain why. Nb means non-binary and from this abbreviation, a new word was created. Although it is not yet used in academic papers, you can always use an Urban Dictionary to help you interpret any new slang phrases or expressions. We find it very useful.
How was “enby” created
The LGBTiQ community adopted the "non-binary person" as the most accurate in reference to individuals who do not consider themselves to be of either gender in the 2000s. They were taking a cue from the term used in Southeast Asia for people of fluid gender (hijra), as well as the word used to define androgynous people among American Indians (two-spirit). The term "enbi" initially debuted in 2013 on the Tumblr, which was known for taking an aggressive stance in defending the rights of transgender people and genderqueers. Giving non-binary people a simple term for self-determination similar to what everyone is used to (e.g., male for men, female/girl for women) was the aim. We can now use "enby" in place of the lengthy "non-binary".
Curiosities on the subject
- Stepan Krasheninnikov suggested that the native Kamchatka people had five genders in his book "Description of Kamchatka Land" (1755).
- English inheritance laws from the XVII century made reference to individuals who did not fit into either gender and were referred to by the “it” pronoun.
- Mathematician Michael Spivak utilized the gender-neutral term emself in his books during the 1980s and 1990s.
- Mx is a gender-neutral pronoun in English.
So who are enbies?
Genderqueers, agenders, pangenders, androgynes, demisexuals, gender fluid people. Anyone who does not identify with the male or female gender. Anyone who does not recognize the concept of sexual binarity and sees no point in distinguishing only between the two sexes. In fact, any person who considers themselves a gender-neutral and not a man or woman can be defined as enby. Non-binary people should not be confused with transgender and intersex persons. It is all about self-identification. Often enbies choose "they" (they) pronoun, but this is not necessary — many use "he", "she", "they" in various combinations.
Want to learn more about the gender talk? Find out what AFAB and AMAB are.