'I'm non-binary. This is how I feel'

Honor - who defines herself as non-binary

How does it feel when you don't identify as either male or female?

It's called non-binary and until 20-year-old Maria Munir came out in front of President Obama, you might never have heard the phrase before.

It certainly wasn't something Maria had felt confident enough to talk about with their mum or dad.

Newsbeat's been talking to 18-year-old Honor, who's also non-binary and explains what it means and how it feels.

Beyond 'he' and 'she': The rise of non-binary pronouns

'I was about 14 or 15 when I realised I didn't fit into she or he'

I was reading an article by [the actor] Richard O'Brien and he spoke about how he identified with both feminine and masculine things.

Richard O'Brien
Image caption Richard O'Brien wrote The Rocky Horror Show and presented The Crystal Maze

He said it was about 70/30 in his head and that was the first time I'd come across someone identifying as outside of a binary gender term.

I identify as agender, which is generally taken to mean "without gender" or of a neutral position.

'I don't see gender as being an important part of how I define myself'

I use they/them pronouns, meaning I like to be referred to as "them" rather than "her".

For example, "they tied their shoe" rather than "she tied her shoe".

When Maria stood up and came out as non-binary, it was very reassuring.

For me, it was incredible to see gender being talked about in such a high-profile way and covered in the media in a way which was sensitive and informative.

Finally, I feel like it'll start being taken seriously. A lot of people think it's just kids on the internet making stuff up but it's really not.

It's difficult to bring up the concept of a non-binary identity to people who may know nothing or very little about the topic, or even be misinformed in a way that could be dangerous.

Most people are quite accepting about who I am but some need to have a chat about it first - because they haven't come across it before.

I think access to trans healthcare in the UK is a widespread issue with waiting lists that are outrageously long. The outdated requirements for access only harm already vulnerable people.

The problem is made worse for non-binary individuals who feel their identity would be affirmed with the help of hormonal adjustments or surgeries.

It is worth mentioning that surgery and hormonal adjustments are never a requirement to be considered trans or non binary, and not all non binary individuals would consider themselves transgender.

'It's not something I've spoken to my parents about'

There's still a long way to go.

Whether it's registering to vote or getting a passport - there are no neutral pronouns or titles.

Those bits on forms are mandatory - you have to put "male" or "female".

It would be great to have less importance placed on gender. It would be amazing if on official identification, there could be an "x" in the spot for gender where you could opt out.

People are people.

Gender doesn't need to be something that defines you.

For more help, you can visit the BBC advice pages on Gender Dysphoria & Transgender.

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