Note: location change to Cafe Nero @ 733 Centre St
Our July nonfiction pick is another memior, or rather a collection of memiors, edited by Micah Rajunov and A. Scott Duane called Nonbinary: Memiors of Gender and Identity.
Note on availability: this book is available through the library Hoopla app, two copies on order at BPL. Minuteman has three copies. Request early if you're a library hard-copy reader ;)
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?
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)
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)
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)
About the Editors
Micah Rajunov is a writer, researcher, and advocate. Since 2011, Micah has created community resources for nonbinary identities through the site genderqueer.me. 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.