Non-binary athletes are achieving recognition. Here's how the next Olympics can help.

It's hard to remember a time before the Olympics had very open, very gay athletes like we do now, but the first openly gay Olympian didn't appear until 1988 in Seoul.

Thirty years later, there's still residual public outcry. Even Vice President Mike Pence had a low-key Twitter meltdown about openly gay ice skater Adam Rippon. So it won't be long before athletes on other parts of the LGBTQ spectrum come to the Olympics to compete and cause similar waves of gratuitous handwringing.

Of particular concern are non-binary and genderqueer athletes, or people who don't identify as either male or female and otherwise fall outside the traditional gender binary. Sports are rigidly sex-segregated, and the Olympics are no exception. It's part of the reason why non-binary athletes and activists are pushing for change at more local levels (high schools, colleges), hoping their advocacy can find a way to trickle out, downward, and up.

Whether the Olympics will be prepared for them is a whole other story — and it's something advocates behind the scenes are working hard to change.

Lauren Lubin is a non-binary athlete, advocate, and founder of the "We Exist" campaign for non-binary inclusion in sports. Lubin —who uses they, them, and their pronouns —  made headlines when they became the first non-binary athlete to compete in the New York City Marathon in 2016. Read more via Mashable