Nonbinary : Memoirs of Gender and Identity

4.33 (441 ratings by Goodreads)
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What happens when your gender doesn't fit neatly into the categories of male or female? Even mundane interactions like filling out a form or using a public bathroom can be a struggle when these designations prove inadequate. In this groundbreaking book, thirty authors highlight how our experiences are shaped by a deeply entrenched gender binary.

The powerful first-person narratives of this collection show us a world where gender exists along a spectrum, a web, a multidimensional space. Nuanced storytellers break away from mainstream portrayals of gender diversity, cutting across lines of age, race, ethnicity, ability, class, religion, family, and relationships. From Suzi, who wonders whether she'll ever "feel" like a woman after living fifty years as a man, to Aubri, who grew up in a cash-strapped fundamentalist household, to Sand, who must reconcile the dual roles of trans advocate and therapist, the writers' conceptions of gender are inextricably intertwined with broader systemic issues. Labeled gender outlaws, gender rebels, genderqueer, or simply human, the voices in Nonbinary illustrate what life could be if we allowed the rigid categories of "man" and "woman" to loosen and bend. They speak to everyone who has questioned gender or has paused to wonder, What does it mean to be a man or a woman-and why do we care so much?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.4mm | 399.16g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 2 illustrations
  • 0231185332
  • 9780231185332
  • 355,984

Table of contents

Foreword: From Genderqueer to Nonbinary to . . . , by Riki Wilchins
Introduction, by Micah Rajunov and Scott Duane
Part I. What Is Gender?
1. War Smoke Catharsis, by Alex Stitt
2. Deconstructing My Self, by Levi S. Govoni
3. Coatlicue, by fei hernandez
4. Namesake, by michal "mj" jones
5. My Genderqueer Backpack, by Melissa L. Welter
6. Scrimshaw, by Rae Theodore
Part II. Visibility: Standing Up and Standing Out
7. Being Genderqueer Before It Was a Thing, by Genny Beemyn
8. Token Act, by Sand C. Chang
9. Hypervisible, by Haven Wilvich
10. Making Waves in an Unforgiving Maze, by Kameron Ackerman
11. Life Threats, by Jeffrey Marsh
12. Just Genderqueer, Not a Threat, by Jace Valcore
Part III. Community: Creating a Place for the Rest of Us
13. What Am I?, by CK Combs
14. Questions of Faith, by Jaye Ware
15. Coming Out as Your Nibling: What Happened When I Told Everyone I Know That I'm Genderqueer, by Sinclair Sexsmith
16. Purple Nail Polish, by Jamie Price
17. Uncharted Path: Parenting My Agender Teen, by Abigail
18. The Name Remains the Same, by Katy Koonce
Part IV. Trans Enough: Representation and Differentiation
19. Lowercase Q, by Cal Sparrow
20. Not Content on the Sidelines, by Suzi Chase
21. You See Me, by Brian Jay Eley
22. Clothes Make the Gender/Queer, by Aubri Drake
23. The Flight of the Magpie, by Adam "PicaPica" Stevenson
24. An Outsider in My Own Landscape, by s. e. smith
Part V. Redefining Dualities: Paradoxes and Possibilities of Gender
25. Not-Two, by Avery Erickson
26. Kitchen Sink Gender, by Nino Cipri
27. What Growing Up Punk Taught Me About Being Gender Nonconforming, by Christopher Soto
28. Rock a Bye Binary, by Jules De La Cruz
29. To Gender and Back, by Kory Martin-Damon
30. Rethinking Non/Binary, by Eli Erlick
Further Reading
List of Contributors
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Review quote

Nonbinary is a beautiful collection, filled with moving and personal stories from life outside the binary. Reading it felt like coming home to a community I'd always longed for. Folks from all across the gender spectrum should dive into these gorgeous insights and revelations about living a life of authenticity. -- Jill Soloway, creator of Transparent This book is beyond vital. It is the anthology I've always yearned for, but never realized could be real. Nonbinary blows open the core of the thing, goes straight for the heart, burrows deep and then some. In a world that insists trans and nonbinary people adopt consistent, easy-to-digest messaging about who we are, this anthology stands bravely above the noise, boldly declaring our multiplicity as our beauty, our contradiction as our multifaceted shimmer. -- Jacob Tobia, author of Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story A thoughtfully assembled collection of fresh and alert writing about the beautiful past, complex present, and dazzling future of nonbinary people and identities. Nonbinary contains the kind of specific stories, redolent of truth and feeling, that open a door for anyone, of any gender, to walk through and be engaged (and entertained, too!). -- S. Bear Bergman, author of Blood, Marriage, Wine, & Glitter What a treat to expand my understanding of gender through time and space, and be reminded that we are not a monolith. These memoirs are sure to captivate and comfort the nonbinary community and open the eyes of those who have had little reason to question the gender binary. -- Charlie McNabb, author of Nonbinary Gender Identities: History, Culture, Resources Nonbinary is a great book-timely, wide-ranging, interesting, readable, and relatable. This will be a great primer for parents, teachers, doctors, and anyone else who wants to understand the nonbinary community. -- Jen Manion, Amherst College It is fascinating to witness, as a queer scholar, how much has been accomplished in these past decades. Nonbinary makes a profound contribution through an insistence upon increasing exposure to the concepts and lived experiences of contemporary queer people and ideas. This book will do amazing things. This is a vital queer theory textbook. -- K. W. Mott, Seton Hall University The time is certainly right for a book of this sort that puts a human face on an otherwise theoretical subject. It is, altogether, an original and necessary contribution to the ever-expanding body of LGBTQIA+ literature. * Booklist * [These] essays evince a sincere desire to candidly share difficult feelings on a complicated topic. This well-meaning book will be an asset in college classroom conversations about queer theory. * Publishers Weekly * The collection is an overall strong and diverse one. . . . Nonbinary is a useful snapshot of what it means to be nonbinary now and in the past with hopes for the way forward. * Library Journal * The anthology is a good resource for people exploring their own nonconforming identity, but it's also a useful, honest read about being human in general. -- Rebecca Rafferty * Rochester City Newspaper * Engaging and accessible. . . . [Nonbinary] provides a sense of vibrant community that will be invaluable to a group often marginalized in mainstream society and queer culture alike. The book's unpretentious tone and its glossing of technical terminology will also make it a helpful resource for friends, relatives and allies. -- Lloyd (Meadhbh) Houston * Times Literary Supplement * The voices given agency here speak to everyone who has ever questioned their identity and the rigid roles assigned to them by a non-accepting society. * Advocate * This book is highly recommended for its diversity of viewpoints and the care it takes in allowing individuals to tell their own stories freely and honestly. * RGWS: A Feminist Review *
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About Micah Rajunov

Micah Rajunov is a writer, researcher, and advocate. Since 2011, Micah has created community resources for nonbinary identities through the site Micah's personal transition story has been featured in mainstream publications as well as a full-length documentary.

Scott Duane is an author, advocate, and queer trans man who has been an accidental activist for nearly a decade. He devotes his efforts to creating resources and spaces where trans voices can be heard.
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Rating details

441 ratings
4.33 out of 5 stars
5 46% (201)
4 44% (194)
3 9% (40)
2 1% (4)
1 0% (2)
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