Emmys Had Surprising Response To Non-Binary Star Asking About Award Gender
Asia Kate Dillon, of Showtime's hit series "Billions," questioned the Television Academy about their gendered categories and how people who identify as "non-binary" fit into them.
A non-binary person, according to GLAAD is:
[Someone] who experiences their gender identity and/or gender expression as falling outside the categories of man and woman. They may define their gender as falling somewhere in between man and woman, or they may define it as wholly different from these terms. The term is not a synonym for transgender or transsexual and should only be used if someone self-identifies as non-binary and/or genderqueer.
Because their identities are not reflected by traditional pronouns like "he" and "she," they prefer to be referred to as "they" and "them."
Their identities are also not represented in every daily occurrences like bathroom signs, applications and yes, like Asia Kate Dillon's dilemma, awards show categories.
Dillon, who identifies as non-binary and also prefers the pronouns "they/them," wrote a letter to the Academy asking about the gendered "actor" and "actress" labels.
They wrote in a letter excerpted by Variety,
I'd like to know if in your eyes 'actor' and 'actress' denote anatomy or identity and why it is necessary to denote either in the first place? The reason I'm hoping to engage you in a conversation about this is because if the categories of 'actor' and 'actress' are in fact supposed to represent 'best performance by a person who identifies as a woman' and 'best performance by a person who identifies as a man' then there is no room for my identity within that award system binary. Furthermore, if the categories of 'actor' and 'actress' are meant to denote assigned sex I ask, respectfully, why is that necessary?
The Academy issued a surprising response, Dillon told Variety.
Anyone can submit under either category for any reason. The Academy supports anyone's choice to do that, and the Academy is not going to do any sort of check.
Basically? The Academy is and has always been open to inclusion and respecting every person's choice.
It pays off to stand up for yourself and ask the questions that you need for clarity when it comes to your identity.
Of course, this doesn't mean the non-binary struggle is over.
The fight for the LGBTQ+ community to have its identities acknowledged is ongoing.
GLAAD created a petition for the legal recognition of non-binary gender identities on government documents in 2014, yet legal papers still don't reflect non-traditional genders.
Non-binary people also struggle with people who deny someone like them could exist altogether or refuse to address them using their preferred pronouns.
Bottom Line? Non-binary people exist and are demanding to be recognized.