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Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  26 reviews
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 na
ebook, 286 pages
Published March 1st 2019 by Columbia University Press
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4.32  · 
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 ·  44 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.

I got an ARC of this book.

I spend a lot of my time reading about binary trans identities. That is the world that makes the most sense to me since I am a binary trans person. I lived in Berkeley for a while and absolutely hated it. I figured out it was because the trans space that was so anti-binary that it became a social death sentence to identify binary. I felt erased and hated. I wanted to read this book to start to put some of my own issues with
I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The good:

This is a collection of personal life stories by people who identify as nonbinary in some way. These people are a variety of identities, races, ages and assigned genders, with different opinions on transition and identity. What I really liked was that many, if not most of them are over 30 (with several over 50) which really goes against the idea that being nonbinary is just something young people made up. Also, while i
Bryn Hammond
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
First person life stories, or slice-of-life stories, from nonbinary people. There was a wide range of experiences and of circumstances: complicating factors such as poverty and race not neglected. Of course, I found a few wise, a few very moving. With thirty contributions, and with the editorial eye to difference, you must find stories that resonate or teach.

One chapter jarred for me because it was a parent writing about their nonbinary child. Inevitably (should I be optimistic and write 'almos
Jay -hooked on books
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews-written
There's no singular, one size fits all definition for being nonbinary. At least, not one that encompasses the full breadth of it. This book does a beautiful job of shining the light on nonbinary voices, representing the diversity within a single label. The book arranges various memoirs under different themes they share - addressing the basic question of what gender is, what visibility means for nonbinary community, understanding 'community', representation etc.

Admittedly my genderqueer self is b
Sara Codair
I'll write a longer, more detailed review soon, but for now, I'll say that this is a collection of moving, well-written essays that not only validated my identity as a non-binary person, but boosted all types of non-binary voices.
Fran (The Ramblebee)
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, arc
You can also read this review on my blog.

I'm agender. Sometimes I use the terms trans, genderqueer, or nonbinary for simplicity, to simply signal that I don't want to be gendered as either male or female, and to emphasise that those are communities that I belong to. For the longest time of my life, I believed in the male-female binary and identified as a cis woman. It never sat quite right with me: I always felt a twinge of discomfort when people called me a woman, and I was upset at the changes
Nicki Markus
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Nonbinary was both a touching and informative read. Through the stories presented, it's clear to see that a nonbinary identity can mean different things to different people, and that all presentations as such are equally valid. With some within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum still relatively invisible, I believe this is an important work to highlight the experiences of those still marginalised within the community, and I applaud those who came forward with their stories for their courage and willingness ...more
C. S.
May 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF at 31%. First and foremost I'm just not in the right mental space to be reading this right now. While nothing says that writing about your personal experience requires you to write upliftingly, I just got an overwhelming sense of tiredness and jagged emotional edges from essays. Essays that also failed to form a cohesive narrative, making it difficult to read the book as a whole and to navigate to the different identities expressed.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I hope this book gets read widely.

While cisgender myself, I am familiar with gender identity, with the idea of gender as a spectrum and people falling at different places, or multiple places, along that spectrum. I am aware that gender is separate from sexuality and also separate from visible gender characteristics and sexual organs, both of which are also nonbinary in their categorization. I know the basics. However, this book and it's long list of memoir short stories really brought home the d
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. - per
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I find reviewing Non-Fiction Anthologies so difficult, because how do you judge someone's truth? Are all the stories in here fascinating and must-reads? Honestly no, and some of them need a bit more editing, but overall I found the collection satisfying.

As a Transwoman who has always felt comfortable within the Binary, I did learn a lot from this and I do really respect those who are brave enough to live their truth. There are some really excellent stories in this, and every one of them is info
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC Review: Received for free via Netgalley for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

TW: ableist slurs, racial slurs, gender slurs, depression, suicide ideation, murder threats

I think the biggest message that all these stories tell us is that there is no one way to be nonbinary, there aren't a set of rules that tell you how you should or shouldn't act/be/dress like, that nonbinary comes in all shapes and sizes and colour and that it's not just one type of person that is nonbinary.

These st
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
As nonbinary person I'm glad this exists and I think it's likely a great read for both cis and binary trans folks to maybe gain insight from. But I found exhausting. Some of it is emotionally rough, the emotional weight of experiences similar to my own and the recognized pain in the divergent ones. For my personal enjoyment this book was very low on positivity. Lots of stories of coming out/self discovery/self repression, that were about how painful that was, or how pain it still is to be onesel ...more
Barbra Williams
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"If an object is not green, it doesn't mean it is yellow; it can be blue or red or purple or grey, or a vast range of colors in between. I am not trapped because gender is no more binary than the color wheel, and green has never been either black or white."

This book is really incredible. A member of my family recently came out as nonbinary and I've already purchased a copy of this collection for them. When you identify as someone on the LGBT+ spectrum, you can never really have enough support an
Sylvia Ward
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of short stories written by the many people who live between the binary terms of male and female is a must read. As the parent of a queer son, and as the teacher of students struggling with their identities and places on the binary spectrum, this book was very enlightening. The Introduction was especially informative and well-researched. Knowledge and information about a subject that many of us are unfamiliar with will only help allies support everyone - those who are nonbinary, ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I received an ARC from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Nonbinary collects a diverse range of personal accounts around identifying, living and presenting outside of a male-female gender binary. As a nonbinary reader I think the book offers a lot for both nonbinary people and others questioning their gender, as well as an educational resource for cisgender or binary-gendered trans people. It explores a range of viewpoints across race, class, culture and age and helps
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
Every single story in this collection approaches a different side of being nonbinary, each with their own understanding and history with the term itself and gender at large. Each story has its criticisms of society and the strict binarism that it enforces on people, while many also offer a very personal insight into their own journey.

The collection is actually representative of a wide range of people identifying as nonbinary; it addresses race, transmisogyny and the value placed on being passin
Jelke Lenaerts

I barely retained anything from this book. It just never really grabbed my attention while reading this and ended up skim reading most of this book. Overall this book is about an important topic and I definetly recognize the importance of this book. I just can't give a higher rating as I know for sure I won't remember anything about this book in about a week. So yeah, I would still recommend it if you're interested but this just didn't match with me a
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: review, non-fiction
I’m so gutted to say I couldn’t finish reading this collection. The stories were completely different (which is the whole point and something great, yay rejecting monolithic approaches!!!) but they were so... underdeveloped, in my opinion.

None of the stories really interested me, and I feel awful saying this. I had really wanted to like it, but alas it wasn’t for me...

Thank you to the publisher for giving me a review copy of this book via NetGalley.
Kayla Bruner
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great look at individual essays written by non-binary individuals. A great look into the lives of those who do not fit into a binary. I was really intrigued. ARC had formatting issues that are distracting, but fantastic.
LGBTQ read list for 2019.
rated it it was amazing
Feb 20, 2019

“Most of us were raised to believe that gender is a dichotomy: male and female. But underneath this foundational “fact” lies a complexity we’ve been truing to untangle.”

DISCLAIMER: The book is given by NetGalley, the author and the publisher in exchange of an honest review. All the review written is not related to any personal issues or connection.

TRIGGER: This is a non-fiction book which offers several discourses related to gender through the stories written by several contributors.

Full revie
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Lee Eubanks
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Shavontae Williams
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Apr 24, 2019
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Apr 15, 2019
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