Is it spelled “nonbinary” or “non-binary”?

2022-11-28 | @andrea

Is it spelled “nonbinary” or “non-binary”? 🤔

Well, it's simple: both spellings are correct.

For example, Wiktionary prefers the version with a hyphen and calls the other one an “alternative spelling”, while Merriam-Webster has an entry for “nonbinary” and redirects the hyphenated version to it. At the moment Google shows 13.7M results for "nonbinary" and 38.9M results for "non-binary". Wikipedia's article on the topic uses the hyphen in its title but there's plenty of occurrences of unhyphenated “nonbinary” throughout the text. Basically: both spellings are being used widely and are correct.

And it's not like this word is special. According to Wiktionary prefix “non-” can be hyphenated or not in all words that use it (“non-disclousure”, “nonviolent”, “non-stop”, …), except when the root is capitalised (“non-Swedish”, …).

Personally, I prefer “nonbinary” because it's simpler, and to me it sounds more like an identity in its own rights rather than existing only in opposition to something (the hyphen gives too much emphasis on the "non" part, IMO). But that's just me 🤷