19 Best Nonbinary Gifts: The Ultimate List

If you’re buying for the gender-expansive folks in your life and you’re not what to get, we’ve gathered the best nonbinary gifts of 2021–chosen by a nonbinary person. For those not sure what nonbinary really means, check out the info below.

Looking for something not non-binary themed? You can also consider unisex gifts.

Price: $ – $
19 Listed Items

What Does Nonbinary Mean?

Nonbinary is one of those things that's simple to explain and hard to understand but I'm going to do my best to lay it out in a way that makes sense. 

First off, there's a cultural view of gender being male or female and those are your only options.

As it is now, the shape of on part of a baby's body that a doctor sees at their birth is supposed to determine things like whether they'll like trucks or dolls, be tough or caring, mow the lawn or bake cakes, be into sports or be bad at parking. Sounds silly right? It is. It's all rules that we made up and ascribed to reproductive organs.

Nothing in nature is actually that black and white so certainly nothing in people's identities is going to be that binary. 

When you think about all the amazing variety of personalities, backgrounds, looks, and passions of all the human beings on earth, it seems impossible to expect that every single one would easily fit into one of two categories. 

When a person says they're nonbinary, they're saying that they don't fit into one of those two limited boxes. This takes a lot of courage to do because we're pressured to be what we're told we were back when we were born.

Every nonbinary person is different. Once you step outside that box, the possibilities are endless and each nonbinary person defines what it means to them. Some may feel they have no gender, have a mix of masculine and feminine traits, or feel they encompass all genders at once. 

If you have more questions I didn't cover here, I highly recommend checking out your local chapter of PFLAG, an organization that provides support and education for families and friends of queer folks. 

What Are Some Good Gifts For a Non Binary Teenager?

Here's an annoying answer: whatever they're into. Normal teenager gifts. You don't have to give a nonbinary person a nonbinary-themed gift just like you don't have to give your Japanese neighbor a set of ramen bowls for Christmas. This goes for all ages too.

Just treat them like you would anyone else, taking into account the things you know they dislike or are avoiding. If you have a niece that you know is going really tomboy/boi, don't get them a bunch of makeup to try to fit them back into a box they've outgrown.

All that said, many nonbinary folks are proud of their gender and are happy to sport queer clothing and accessories. LGBTQIA+ themed gifts can also highlight your support for them.

Chocolate is always a winner too.

What Does A Nonbinary Person Look Like?

If a person tells you they are nonbinary, then the way that person looks is what nonbinary looks like. 

All nonbinary people aren't the same. Far from it. Nonbinary encompasses everything else that isn't strictly male or female. Across a spectrum of "everything else" there's going to be a huge range of ways that people identify. 

Some nonbinary folks use hormone replacement therapy to transition. Some don't. Some change the way they dress. Some don't. Some change their pronouns. Some don't. 

Nonbinary folks may have been raised as men, raised as women, or may be intersex.

They might dress androgynously or not. Being nonbinary doesn't mean you can't look feminine or masculine if you want to. If someone was assigned male at birth and they present as traditionally masculine but say they are nonbinary--then they're nonbinary. 

There is no one "look."

Who Can Be Nonbinary?

Absolutely anyone. Gender, as we know it, is a construct. We made these rules up to make our world make sense. Times have changed and we're redefining gender by expanding it.

Isn't It Just a Phase?

Three things. One: Probably not. People have this idea that gender-expansive identities are some brand new trendy fad because they weren't around when they were kids. They were. But it wasn't safe to talk about and, more often, people didn't realize they had the option or were forced to stuff down their true selves.

Second thing: So what if it is a phase? Everything is a phase. That's what being a kid and teenager is for--trying out different identities, likes, dislikes, personalities, sexualities, and yes, names and sometimes genders. There's nothing wrong with that. 

Adults have phases too where we test out some new hobby or activity that we think helps us define ourselves. "Oh, ignore that pile of leggings. They're from my running phase." Remember that time you really thought you were going to be a house plant person? (R.I.P. all those plants.)

Third thing: It's not necessarily fun. It isn't something you do for a good time or to be trendy. Being trans tends to come with a lot of discrimination, hate, difficulties, legal roadblocks, as well as mental anguish that is almost always tied to a lack of acceptance from the outside world. It's not recreational. 

Side note: Are Nonbinary People Transgender?

Sort of! The transgender umbrella encompasses everyone who doesn't identify only with the gender they were assigned at birth. So yes, the term transgender is accurate for nonbinary people.

However, not all nonbinary people identify as trans so if they call themselves trans, go with it, and if not, take cues from them.

Why Is Everyone Nonbinary Now?

An article published in the Cambridge University Press has a graph that shows the percentage of the population that was left-handed around the year 1900 was about two percent. One hundred years later, that number jumps to 11 percent. 

It wasn't some trendy fad to be left-handed all of a sudden. It's that teachers stopped hitting kids for writing with their left hands and we invented non-quill pens that lefties could use. Lefties just weren't forced to hide anymore.

It's the same with gender-expansive folks, transgender people, and folks of all sexualities. We're not new. Scientific American has a great article on the world's first transgender clinic founded in 1919 in Berlin, Germany that almost no one knows existed. They were doing incredible work and study there on the nature of human sexuality, gender identity, and gender-confirmation surgeries. 

But we lost all of that knowledge when the Nazi Party raided the institute and burned all their book and research. 

As gender-expansive folks, we've always been here but it hasn't always been safe to be open about it. Our elders have forged a lot of roads for my generation and the younger generations but it still isn't safe in a lot of cases--so keep that in mind when buying. If your person isn't out, then they probably won't want a hoodie announcing their gender to the world.

What Should I Do if Someone I Love Says They're Nonbinary?

The best thing you can do for a nonbinary person in your life is support them, let them know you love them no matter what, and take it from there. 

The neat thing about loving a transgender/nonbinary person is that it's not that your child/friend/partner is actually changing. They already are this person. It's that they're trusting you to know them fully. 

That's not something you can stop with disapproval. It's only something you can cause them to hide from you.

It sometimes helps families to think of it less as a person "wanting" or "deciding" to be a different gender and more that they are that gender. Imagine for example, that you, as a woman (born and raised) woke up with a beard, broad shoulders, and all the other parts to match. You have the wrong voice and people call you "Sir" at the store. But nothing about your mind has changed. You're still you but the rest doesn't match and no one is seeing you for who you are. That's what it's like to be trans. 

Like I said, it's not something you do for a fun time.

Are Nonbinary People Gay?

Maybe! Nonbinary refers to someone's gender which is separate from their sexual and romantic orientations. Nonbinary folks can identify as anything including gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, or just the umbrella term queer. 

What's With All the Pronouns?

Some nonbinary folks change their pronouns to better align with their identities. This can mean switching to singular they (they/them), a neopronoun (ze/zir), or a mixed set like she/they meaning they are comfortable with both. If they're genderfluid, their gender may change over time and they might switch pronouns too.

Our language is set up for the outdated two-gender model and it needs updating. We don't call or married women "Goody" or use thee/thou anymore either. We use words like "email" and "text" in ways older generations wouldn't have understood. Languages change. It's a normal process.

They/them gets a lot of resistance from people saying it's grammatically incorrect, but it isn't. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the use of they as a singular pronoun back to 1375. For perspective, in the 1600s, if you used the word "you" as a singular, you were ridiculed as a fool. See what I did there? "If you used you as a singular?" It's so commonplace now we don't even notice it. 

It's the same for singular they. We already use it all the time to refer to people whose gender we don't know.

To make it easy, call people by what they've asked to be called. It's only polite.

When you mess up (you will and that's okay) apologize with one word, correct, and move on. As in, "He said--sorry, they said..." That's all you need. If you're trying, being sincere, and not purposefully cruel, generally folks are quite understanding while people relearn their pronouns. 

Are You Nonbinary?

Yes, I have been out as nonbinary for around a decade now because that's when I discovered the word for what I am. I've been nonbinary ever since I could remember. 

I've sat on a panel for trans issues in a mental health conference, served on the board of my state's chapter of PFLAG, and I'm married to a gender therapist. 

That said, I can talk about the foundational information but I can only speak to my personal experience of what being nonbinary is like for me. Things are always shifting and changing and that's normal. Gender identity will be different for everyone and they are the authority on who they are so always listen to them as they express their needs over whatever info I may give you.


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