What is trans? And why is non-binary sometimes included in trans and sometimes not?

Today, we are launching our BVT* short video series, in which we give short and understandable explanations for basic trans topics. Our goal is to publish two videos each year in cooperation with trans and non-binary artists. The videos will be available in different languages.


© Bundesverband Trans* e.V. 2021

Video concept and production: Elliot Blue / instagram: @elliot.blue

This video is available in five languages: German, Turkish, Arabic, English and in German sign language.

English subtitles: Elliot Blue



What is trans? And why is non-binary sometimes included in trans and sometimes not?

Trans people are people who do not, or not only identify with the gender they have been assigned with at birth. Mostly, only two genders are societally recognized, i.e. „man“ or „woman“. Gender is therefore often understood as binary. Trans can mean that people feel they belong to „the opposite“ gender. There are also trans people who can’t or can only partially find themselves in these two categories. This is then called non-binary.

Some non-binary people also use the term trans for themselves, other don‘t. That is why we often speak of „trans AND non-binary people.“

It is important to know that there are many more terms that people use for themselves: Trans and non-binary people are nothing „new“: In many societies there are and have always been more than two genders. Placeholders such as the asterisk or the underscore stand for the many individual gender self-designations. Trans* and non-binary are umbrella terms, but there are many, many more.

Discovering your own gender identity is a wonderful thing. Which terms feel good and appropriate for YOU at the moment? ]


The video features flags at certain points. Here is what they represent:

00:41: Trans flag in the colors blue, pink and white. Nonbinary flag in the colors yellow, white, purple, and black.

00:55: Five flags from top to bottom: Genderqueer, Genderfluid, Neutrois, Bigender, Agender.

01:00: Three flags from top to bottom: Two-Spirit, Hijras or Khawaja Sara, Māhū.

You can find explanations for many of the community terms that appear here in the Queer Lexicon (in German): queer-lexikon.net