Gender non-conforming (GNC) is a term describing people who do not follow gender stereotypes[1] and differ from their society's conventional binary expectations of masculine men and feminine women.[2][3] Gender non-conformity can encompass many things, such as gender expression, gender roles, or another aspect of gender. It is typically apparent in people whose gender identity is a binary gender (male or female), whether they are cisgender or transgender; for instance, a feminine trans man and a feminine cis man are both non-conforming with expectations of masculinity.[2]

The term is not equivalent to non-binary or trans,[2][3] but despite this, it is seen as an umbrella term for people who are not cisgender when used in the initialism "TGNC" (trans and gender non-conforming). Other terms include gender diverse, gender expansive, and gender variant.[1] Some trans or non-binary people identify as gender non-conforming.[2][3]

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The flag shown on this page is a proposed design that is intended to represent gender non-conforming people. It was first published on July 19, 2015 on Facebook and on the website for the Freedressing Campaign group.[4][5][6] The creator of the flag is credited as Leslie Krause.[5]

This design consists of two large horizontal lavender bars, with a more narrow white bar between them. The choice of lavender in particular is meant as combination of the pink and blue colors from the trans pride flag. It also symbolizes "the blurring of the conventional ideals associated with masculinity and femininity". Meanwhile, the use of white here is meant to represent "freedom of gender expression".[5][6]

Also note that the creator of the flag had simultaneously proposed "gender creative" as an alternative term to "gender non-conforming". Thus this flag design is often referred to as the gender creative flag.[4][5][6]



Gender non-conforming has been misunderstood as a synonym for non-binary,[1] but it does not equate with a non-binary gender identity. Men and women, whether cisgender or transgender, may also engage in gender non-conformity.[2]


Gender non-conforming has also been misunderstood as a synonym for transgender. Cisgender people may also be gender non-conforming and non-conformity does not mean someone is necessarily trans or non-binary. Many trans people are gender conforming by being conventionally masculine or feminine in their gender expression.[3]

Perceptions and discrimination[]

"Gender non-conforming" is considered the preferred term in the LGBTQIA+ community over the term "gender expansive", which is used by some parents and allies. Individual preferences vary.[1]

In the United States, results from the 2008 National Transgender Discrimination Survey suggested that transgender adults may experience more transphobic discrimination after transitioning if they are perceived as non-conforming. In the survey data, trans women were more likely than trans men to be perceived by others as non-conforming. However, the survey was not a nationally representative sample, among other limitations.[7]


Public figures[]

  • Joey Soloway, a gender non-conforming queer person[8]
  • Jonathan Van Ness, who uses the labels gender non-conforming, nonbinary, and genderqueer[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "National Glossary of Terms" by PFLAG on <>(Archived on 2024-02-20)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Gender Non-Conforming (GNC)" by The Trans Language Primer on The Trans Language Primer(Archived on 2021-11-04)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Glossary of Terms - Transgender" by GLAAD on GLAAD Media Reference Guide - 11th Edition(Archived on 2024-04-09)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Gender Creative Pride Post" on <>. Published 2015-07-19 by Gender Creative Pride. (Archived on 2021-01-22)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Gender Creative Pride Flag" on <>. Published by Freedressing Campaign. (Archived on 2022-10-04)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Pride Flag Identification Guide" on <>(Archived on 2024-04-17)
  7. "The Social Costs of Gender Nonconformity for Transgender Adults: Implications for Discrimination and Health" on <>(no backup information provided)
  8. "Transparent's [Joey] Soloway: 'The words male and female describe who we used to be'" by Freeman, Hadley on The Guardian. Published 2017-05-21. (Archived on 2022-06-09)
  9. "Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness: 'I'm Nonbinary'" by Fran Tirado on Out. Published 2019-06-10. "The older I get, the more I think that I'm nonbinary -- I'm gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman. I don't really -- I think my energies are really all over the place. Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I'm here for it. I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It's this social construct that I don't really feel like I fit into the way I used to. I always used to think 'Oh, I'm like a gay man' [...] I just am either like gender-bendy or nonconform-y or nonbinary and somedays I feel like a boy and somedays I feel like a girl. I didn't think I was allowed to be nonconforming or genderqueer or nonbinary -- I was just always like "a gay man" because that's just the label I thought I had to be." (Archived on 2024-04-10)