Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity

Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity

by Micah Rajunov, A. Scott Duane

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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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231546102
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 04/09/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 16 MB
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About the Author

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.

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 féi 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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Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Isabelle Wagner 20 days ago
Nonbinary - edited by Micah Rajunov and Scott Duane is a book that is emotional, educational, heartbreaking and thought-provoking all at the same time. While I firmly believe in letting people live their lives the way they want to as long as other people are not harmed by it, I did not know much at all about having a nonbinary identity. This book really gives an insight into how harsh life outside of the binary can be but also how fulfilling it can be to find your place in the world. This book brought me to tears several times but also made me smile on several occasions. I am glad I got to take part in this learning opportunity and recommend it to anyone who wants to have an insight into the feelings and experiences of living outside of the binary. There are 2 reasons I did not give 5 stars on this review. I wish the book was more consistent on trigger warnings - now, I'm not sure if these were given by the original authors or the editors but nevertheless, it would have been nice if it was more uniform in that sense throughout. I was also not a big fan of the experience that was told by the parent. All of the other stories were told by those that are nonbinary themselves, experiencing it all first hand, but this one was told by the parent of a nonbinary child. It did not fit in with the rest. While it would be interesting to read more experiences by parents, that should be its own book, but I think when those stories are shared, it should also say that they were shared with the child's permission. These things were very personal and it felt inappropriate to read it told by someone else.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I've been trying to read as much as I can to gain insight into issues and things I haven't previously known or understood completely. When it comes to nonbinary gender identity, I came into this book completely ignorant. This book is an anthology of essays and short pieces written by people who are nonbinary. I find that I really love this format for topics such as this. It provides a better preview into how people of different backgrounds - race, academic disciplines, socio-economics, etc. - perceive the topic. Most people connect better to people than to abstract ideas, so this is a great way to get your arms around these concepts. The book read much more casually than those usually published by a university press, too, so I believe it will appeal to a broad audience. I came away from reading this feeling much more empathy and understanding for those who do identify as nonbinary. I wouldn't have had this opportunity to learn about this perspective come up organically (living in the solidly conservative state of Utah). I highly recommend this book. Thank you to the editors, Micah Rajunov and Scott Duane, each of the authors, Columbia University Press, and NetGalley for providing me access to this book. As always, all opinions are my own.