Enby is the phonetic form of NB, the acronym of “non-binary”.
It represents people who do not identify within the societal frames of man or woman, but rather a mix of both, or not on the binary scale at all.
“Enby” people are on the LGBTQ scale, and claim that the term is to be used in a similar manner as you would call someone a boy or a girl, as this is how they identify themselves.
As with many other LGBTQ terms, “enby” has caused a split between non-binary people. While many enjoy the simple, cute way of describing themselves, for others it’s the whimsical nature of the term that is a turn-off.
It is recommended that when referring to a general audience, you use the term “non-binary”, and in more personal situations, you ask whether the person is comfortable with “enby” or not before using it.
Origin of the term
The term was coined in 2013 by Tumblr user revolutionator. They defined it as ‘an nb equivalent to words like boys and girls’.
However, the concept of non-binary people has existed for the majority of humanity. Both the “hijras” in Asia, and the “two-spirits” in Native American culture have been around for millennia.
Spread of the term
In November the same year “enby” was coined on Tumblr, user teratophilia uploaded its first thorough Urban Dictionary definition.
It’s important to note that “enby” is an umbrella definition for more specific identity types, such as “genderqueer”, “pangender”, “agender”, and many more.
A couple years after the genesis of the term, it’s popularity really spiked due to multiple celebrities coming out as “enby”. An example is a 2018 Twitter post by actor Bex Taylor-Klaus, where she finished her tweet saying ‘Hi. I’m Bex, and the rumors are true. I’m v enby.’
- Dictionary.com – Enby
- Verywellmind – What Does It Mean to Be Non-Binary or Have Non-Binary Gender?