In Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity, 30 authors share how their experiences are shaped by the deeply entrenched gender binary of our society.
I have so many post-it flags marking my favorite points and memorable quotes, I’m not sure where to start. So let me list my top three favorite essays in the collection:
– “Token Act” by Sand C. Chang, about being a token among liberal/progressive allies
– “Lowercase Q” by Cal Sparrow, about not feeling sure where you belong, no label feeling quite right, yet continuing the journey because it’s part of the process
– “An Outsider in My Own Landscape” by S.E. Smith, a thoughtfully expressed middle finger to how society relentlessly labels people instead of just letting them exist as they are
The flow of this collection is really smooth from essay to essay. Each section has a distinct theme, and each essay complements all the essays placed before it. There are content warnings upfront as needed. I love how many of the authors don’t label their identity at all. Some share how they initially felt confused about their identity because of lack of representation, lack of language, etc. and needed time to figure that out. There’s an overall message that the journey, whatever form it takes, whatever path you decide to take, is valid. These are powerful reminders to other nonbinary and questioning folks.
Cis and binary trans people can learn so much by opening their mind and taking in these experiences. But I think the power of Nonbinary is its breadth, the reminder that no two stories are alike, that your relationship with your gender is going to be unique. This is a true gift of representation to so many on the nonbinary spectrum.