Gender-fluid or genderqueer are terms ascribed to people who don't necessarily feel they belong to one gender and thus experiment with clothes typically consigned to those of the natural sex.
Such gender expression has even seen top fashion houses dress models in clothes that only a few years ago would be at odds with societal norms, but thanks to forward-thinking campaigns, as well as a host of gender-fluid celebrities coming out, gender-fluid people are finally gaining more acceptance.
Here are 15 forward-thinking stars whose gender fluidity made it easier for others to express themselves.
1. Ruby Rose
The androgynous model and actress got her big break in a guest role on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, and came out as gender-fluid shortly after. Laden in tattoos, and with her signature slicked-back hair, Rose doesn't dress how society deems she should, and she was one of the first in Hollywood to be open about her views on gender.
"I am very gender-fluid and feel more like I wake up every day sort of gender neutral," she said.
2. Jaden Smith
Actor and musician Jaden Smith is always making headlines for his philosophical musings on social media, while his music in recent years has also diverted from the commercial norm that catapulted him to superstardom in films like After Earth. The son of Will Smith, Jaden may not be everybody's cup of team, but he has gained plaudits- even among his many critics- for being a pioneer of gender fluidity.
The distinctive personality even starred in a gender-fluid editorial for Vogue Korea and posted himself wearing a skirt, so children don't feel scared to express themselves.
Speaking about his views on the topic, Smith said, "In five years when a kid goes to school wearing a skirt, he won't get beat up and kids won't get mad at him. I'm taking the brunt of it so that later on, my kids and the next generations of kids will all think that certain things are normal that weren't expected before my time.
3. Eddie Izzard
Eddie Izzard has long made it known that he crossdressers, and he's been incorporating his different outfits into his comedy sketches for many years now.
However, in terms of identifying with a gender, Izzard has always been adamant that he is a man. "I am 100% boy, plus extra girl."
4. Pete Townshend
The guitarist of The Who spoke about the issues of gender identity long before it had entered the public realm of discussion.
While Townshend prefers to stay out of the limelight, he bravely admitted that he sometimes identifies as a woman. "I know how it feels to be a woman because I am a woman. And I won't be classified as just a man."
5. Jinkx Monsoon
Reality star Jinkx Monsoon burst onto our screens as the winner of season 5 of RuPaul's Drag Race. While in drag, participants do not have a gender and instead go by they/them pronouns.
Monsoon said of her gender, "They said, "I, myself do not identify as cis-gendered. I am genderless."
6. Tyler Ford
The former agender contestant on The Glee Project may look like a woman, but Ford is biologically a man. The best friend of the singer Ariana Grande and one-time date of Miley Cyrus, Ford wrote an eloquent essay on the topic of the preconceived gender binary that persists in society.
"Non-binary people have always existed, but we are only just beginning to be acknowledged by the media and only just gaining mainstream visibility."
7. Miley Cyrus
A liberal advocate for a host of causes, Miley Cyrus's choice of dress has always been genderqueer, with the singer refusing to conform to the ideals the music industry expects an attractive female singer to look like. In an interview with Paper Magazine, Cyrus said, "I don't relate to being a boy or a girl, and I don't have to have my partner relate to being a boy or a girl."
While the Party in the U.S.A. hitmaker still appears to go by she/her pronouns, Cyrus made headlines when she appeared at an amFAR event with the aforementioned gender model and poet Tyler Ford as her date.
8. Tilda Swinton
Long considered one of Hollywood's most interesting personalities, Swinton's overt androgyny and open marriage suggests she is open to many things, and the artist also admitted in an interview that her gender also deviated from the norm.
In a past interview, Swinton revealed, "I don't know if I could ever really say that I was a girl - I was kind of a boy for a long time. I don't know, who knows? It changes." She concedes, however, as an adult, I am probably a woman."
9. Andreja Pejić
Andreja Pejić made headlines around the world when she made the transition from an androgynous male model to a female one in 2014.
The premier fashion model underwent sex reassignment surgery to become a female, and has since donned the covers of some of the most prestigious magazines in the world.
10. Tom Phelan
You may know Tom Phelan for his role as the transgender male character Cole on the ABC show The Fosters, a role he has won many plaudits for. However, while Phelan is not transgender himself, he does identify as gender fluid.
Phelan prefers to be referred to by the pronouns, they/them.
11. Rae Spoon
The gifted songwriter Rae Spoon first identified as a transgender male after growing up as one in his hometown of Calgary, Canada, but now considers themselves non-binary.
Speaking about the pronoun, he said, "I think the ‘they’ pronoun is a pretty cool thing. It’s letting a lot of people not have to identify as a man or a woman. Whatever it means to them."
12. David Bowie
David Bowie was one of a kind and one the first music acts to celebrate his androgynous features and feminity on stage.
In doing so, Bowie paved the way for a host of other sars to embrace their clothing choices and come out as nonbinary.
While the singer has never come out as gender-fluid, she has often sported more masculine attire, and her sexuality, while straight, has often been speculated as bisexual.
Despite dispelling these rumors, Pink produced a music video with Channing Tatum celebrating all facets of nonbinary gender and even admitted that she is raising her daughter as gender-neutral.
14. Marylin Manson
Marilyn Manson's real name is Brian Warner, a name he very rarely uses anymore ever since he found global fame with his feminine stage name, despite not identifying as a woman.
However, Manson has explored gender-bending roles throughout his career and continues to be an outspoken critic of middle America's obsession with traditional conservatism.
It seems only fitting that we end this article by including the iconic Prince, who, in many ways, was ahead of his time in both his lyrics and way of dress.
Often sporting an array of feminine outfits at a time where black singers were still going unnoticed by the mainstream pop market, Prince even touched upon gender in his hit song "I Would Die 4 U." A poignant lyric in the track reads," "I'm not a woman. I'm not a man. I'm something that you'll never understand."