Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity

Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity

This book, more than 5 years in the making, is finally getting out into the world. Around 30 contributors share their personal experiences and journeys in discovering what gender means to them, in defying gender norms and finding a place for themselves outside the gender binary. Contributors have their copies and it will be available to the general public on April 9th, through all the usual places, as well as the publisher, Columbia University Press.

When I opened the package and pulled out my copy, I immediately found my piece, sat down and read it. I don’t think I’ve read it through in over a year. It’s not flawless, of course, I see all the minor mistakes that are left. It is however, true to me and my experiences related to gender from birth to age 53. I winced at some passages, knowing that family and friends might feel a pinch seeing how I describe my interactions with them about my gender. And it’s also all true. This is the beauty and risk of memoir.

The next thing I did was scan the table of contents. I found two friends who I didn’t know were involved in the project – a pleasant surprise. There are a whole lot of other folks I’ve never heard of, which excites me… all these nonbinary writers and thinkers sharing their stories. I want to know them all. I don’t think I’m over selling when I say this is a special book, a special collection. I knew immediately I wanted to make sure it got into the hands of other enby/nonbinary folks I know, as well as to my family and community. I want to see what I can do to get this book into the hands of people who work with gender variant youth and adults, and libraries. I put out an offer on Facebook to do a bulk order for family and friends who wanted to get a signed copy. I’ve been overwhelmed by response – way more people are taking me up on that offer than I’d expect. Some are other enby/trans/queer folks, some are friends from high school, family and other friends I’ve known for a while. I’m sure some want it because I’m in it, which is awesome. I hope they will read the other pieces as well and explore the world of gender questioning as witnesses and allies.

There is interest doing some kind of book tour, based on the locations of contributors. I’m definitely going to organize something in Olympia, so I’ll post info here when I have it. Super excited to get enby folks and allies together to celebrate this book and also the work and words of other nonbinary folks in the area.

I hope you will also order a copy, read it and be as amazed as I am by the quality, quantity and variety of experiences and viewpoints represented by the stories within. It’s available on a pre-sale basis at Amazon or Columbia University Press and other sources until the publication date of April 9th. If you have the resources, please consider buying an extra copy or two for a local LGBTQ+ youth group, PFLAG, educators you know, other folks who work with youth, or, if you are blessed to know an enby youth or adult who may not be able to afford a copy, please do! Spread the love and accessibility of these stories.

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