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Maia celebrates: International Non-Binary People’s Day

14 July 2022

3 mins

Thursday 14 July marks International Non-Binary People’s Day. The day was first introduced in 2012 and was chosen as it is precisely between International Men’s Day and International Women’s Day – not that non-binary identities are that easily defined.

If you are unsure about what identifying as non-binary means, Loughborough colleague, David Wilson has previously written a fantastic blog post that covers this.

The non-binary flag

Why is celebrating our non-binary community important?

Occasions like today give us the opportunity to celebrate and highlight the diversity within our community. We are also afforded a chance to reflect on the progress being made towards equality for the non-binary community and acknowledge that there is much more we can do to make our society more inclusive to all. Sharing stories from those who identify as non-binary and resources that aid understanding increases the visibility of non-binary people and helps us move towards increased representation. 

How can we support non-binary staff and students on campus?

The importance of inclusive language

Consider including your preferred pronouns during introductions or in email signatures. Normalising the practice of sharing them makes it easier for people whose pronouns are less obvious and makes the environment more inclusive. The University template for email signatures (please note sign-in is required to access this page) now includes the option for including your pronouns. More information on supporting others in understanding how pronouns can support inclusive practice is also available.

As well as sharing individual preferred pronouns, you can think more generally about ways to make your language more gender-inclusive: 

  • When addressing groups of people try ‘folks’ or ‘everyone’ rather than ‘ladies and gentlemen’
  • You can refer to colleagues or students by using the singular ‘their’ instead of ‘his/her’ eg when my colleague finishes their work
  • Consider whether using titles is necessary and if so give a range of options such as Mx (pronounced Mix or Mux) as well as Mr and Mrs. Examples of this include providing options on forms, in surveys and on delegate badges

Teaching and Research

The University has provided guidance to support gathering data on Gender and Sex which may be useful when reviewing survey design.

Trans and non-binary staff and students also have the option of sharing a preferred name. For students there are times when this is not the default name displayed within our IT systems. Please consider taking the time to double-check a student’s preferred name – for example by looking on their co-tutor dashboard. This is important when communicating directly with students and also if sharing lists, such as for group work.

Support for staff and students

The University has a range of support available, including the staff and student networks:

  • Maia Network: Loughborough’s Women’s Network welcomes trans-women and non-binary people
  • LGBT+ Staff Network welcomes all staff that identify as trans and any other minoritised gender identity as well as allies of the community
  • LSU’s LGBT+ Student Association provides a mix of support, advocacy, education and fun for LGBT+ students

Meredith (they/them) and Emily (she/her)

Advocacy and Allyship Champions – MAIA

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Reflections, comments, discussion and opinion on EDI topics from Loughborough University staff and students

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