Non-Binary Lives

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Apr 2020

Member Reviews

Non-Binary Lives is a diverse collection of personal narratives that encompasses a huge variety of perspectives, reminding readers that there are endless ways to be non-binary. There are so many identities and intersections in this book: age (including coming out at different ages), health, neurodiversity, sexuality, body size, family size (including pregnancy and parenthood), gender identity, gender assigned at birth, race, nationality, class, faith. 

I especially loved Fred Langridge's essay "Non-Binary Experience in a Liberal Faith Community," about being a member of the Quaker community. And Lucy/Luc Nicholas's essay "Am I Allowed To Be Non-Binary, Too?" hit me right in the gut. 

Cis readers will learn a great deal from this collection. There are some surprising perspectives in here, and so much to think about, even if you aren't cis. Trans and non-binary readers, you will feel seen. Is impostor syndrome hitting you hard? Read. This. Book.

We often have language for what we are NOT before we have language for what we ARE. Non-Binary Lives is the kind of book that helps give readers language for - and celebrates - who they are.
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This was a really diverse set of essays written by non-binary individuals. So many important and intersecting identities were represented. Some of the essays were more 'readable' than others. I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first. I particularly loved hearing the perspectives of the writers who were religious.
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I really appreciated reading these accounts because it gives a great perspective of how NB people navigate their lives in different cultures and intersections.
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non-binary lives is a helpfull and important collection of essays about the non-binary experience(s). I found this book to be incredibly insightful as it tackled important subjects such as non-binary pregnancy, 

My only issue is the overly biased point of view and opinions that were thrown into this book. I wished it focused more on the non-binary experience and less on politics, or the 'toxic binary'. 

Loved how this book mentioned the language barrier and how we can't be seen, or recognized, as non-binary people through gender-coded languages such as Spanish, French or German. As a french non-binary native, this is a point that specifically moved me. 

In general, as a non-binary person, I felt like my identity was well defined and represented, through its diverse forms. This collection was well compiled.
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Non-Binary Lives was such an enjoyable read! I'll be honest, it was so full and wordy that it did take me a while to complete, but I'm very glad I did. The essays were well written as well as captivating. I find that personal accounts on gender are much more exciting then the technical jargon we see in other lgbtq non-fiction. As someone who is non-binary I found that not only did this give many different perspectives, but the editors were focused on making it as inclusive as possible. 

My favorite essay was "The Soft Line In Between" by Jespa Jacob Smith. They speak of the difference in languages and gendered words, as well as finding kinship with other queer and non-binary folks.

This is definitely something I'm going to advocate for in my libraries collection, as it is an important subject and could really give people new perspectives!
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This is a smart and thoughtful book of persona. narratives from a variety of nonbinary people. This is the most diverse collection on the subject I've seen, with people from Borneo, Ghana, UK, Canada, Germany, Malta, Sweden. Other contributors are of Nicaraguan and Colombian descent and Vietnamese-Australian. Various religions are represented as well: Quaker, Pagan, Jewish, Interfaith, and not everyone is able-bodied, with writers who live with chronic illness, are hard of hearing, and autistic. 

Part of what makes this collection so powerful is how universal the stories are, even though the contributors are from all over the globe literally as well as figuratively. Many people wrote about safety and vulnerability,  and the decision to be visible or masked.  Many wrote about not feeling queer enough, and the struggle to find their places in the queer community. 

Being non-binary is to exist in a liminal space, but many people wrote on the joy and freedom that space allows. 
"Not every story ends badly. I find that more people rise to the occasion than I ever anticipate, and that gives me hope." (contributor LJ)

This is a wonderful collection of self-acceptance and hope, even in the pits of despair, We are not alone, we matter.
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I am struggling to find the words for a review, the emotional reaction I had to this book is very difficult to put into more sophisticated terms than keysmashing (ajfjfbssjdj) and screaming (aaaahhh).
After already reviewing the wonderful "Trans and Autistic", this is the second account I'm reading this year of intersectionality and overlapping identities.
The editors have done a great job compiling amazingly touching essays on diverse topics within questions for gender and intersecting identities.
They recognise that the selection was of course limited to a certain extent through the language requirements etc but does a great job in showing a realistic snapshot of all kinds of different intersecting identities that are usually forgotten in the societal/media image of non-binary people (thin, able-bodied, white, perfectly androgynous).
I completely unashamedly confess I cried a little while reading this book. I highlighted my favourite sections in pink but they turned out to be too many sections to pick one poignant quote to summarise the book. Especially because all of the stories are incredibly unique (and yet relatable for so many people for so many reasons). 
I hope this becomes a bestseller or whatever the equivalent for non-binary non-fiction is that certainly deserves a bigger market. 
I also want to mention that the royalties go to charity so after receiving this for free on Netgalley I guess I just have to buy my own copy when it comes out to further the good cause.
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This book is a collection of writings by nonbinary people, about their lives as nonbinary and how their identities intersect. It is a very moving book, definitely worth a read. I am nonbinary, which made it a particularly emotional read for me, but I think everyone, cis or trans, binary or nonbinary, should read this book.

The pieces of writing are all very personal, it really feels like you're getting to understand the writers and their identities and lives. Some of the pieces occasionally take on a more informative tone, which, given that this book is talking about topics that not everyone knows much about, is helpful. I know there was some information about queer history and feminism that I didn't know much about, despite being both queer and a feminist myself. Each piece of writing shows a different person's journey to their identity. There are so many different ways to be nonbinary, and so many ways to figure out that you are nonbinary, and I think this book does a really good job of showing that.

I particularly liked that the writers are a very diverse group. There are stories that talk about religion, disability, being a person of colour, and how those things affect the person's identity and story. One of them, focusing on disability, really moved me, because it rang very true to my own experience. This is a good book to read both to learn about other people but also to see yourself in the writing as well. Older nonbinary people have voices in this book, which is incredibly important because it often gets seen as a phase, just teenagers 'trying to be special'.

I found the chapter about a nonbinary child, written by a nonbinary parent, particularly moving. 

There is a nuanced discussion about definitions and language at the start of the book, which I really appreciated, because different people use different terms in different ways. Even the word nonbinary can mean different things to different people!

There are also cartoons at the start of each chapter, which I loved! 

Ultimately, this is a wonderful book, and I really do think everyone should read it. Because the writings are split up into chapters, roughly grouped into themes, it would be easy to dip in and out if you didn't want to read it in one sitting (although it's engaging enough to read it all through at once!).
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Non-Binary Lives is an anthology of stories, thoughts and perspectives from non-binary people across the world. The book opens with an introduction, giving definitions and discussing the main terms and ideas presented in the book before leading into the collection of articles.

This book presents stories from a wide range of non-binary people from different countries, cultures, religions and backgrounds. The reader is given a great insight into the issues that non-binary people face, as well as how gender identity is viewed and treated in different countries and cultures.

I enjoyed reading this anthology and feel that my ideas and horizons have been broadened. Unfortunately, I will not be purchasing a copy of this book as it is not suitable for my library collection.
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Wow. This was an incredible book. 

As someone who is questioning their gender identity, when I saw this book I knew that I had to read it. I'd never seen a book wholly written by non-binary and genderqueer authors, and I thought that it might give me some insight about what it's like to be non-binary. Through the range of voices, I got a taste of what it is like to be non-binary and also a parent, a student, and someone who has newly come out. I thought that the range of experiences of realising their gender identities was particularly useful for me. Until reading this book, I had always assumed that non-binary people just knew from birth that they weren't their assigned gender. But that isn't the case at all! This made me feel a lot more assured in my current gender questioning. 

I think that the range of authors will also make this book accessible to a lot of people. I personally connected with the essay by H Howitt called 'Is It Still a Body?' In this essay, they talk about being non-binary and disabled. As a person with a range of disabilities, I found their thoughts about being a non-binary person in a health/hospital setting very interesting, and something that I could definitely relate to. And that was just one of the essays - there's a whole range of people of different races, classes, disabilities, faiths, and sexualities in this book of essays. 

I would absolutely recommend this book to cis queer people who want to learn more about non-binary people, as well as to other people who are questioning their gender identities, like me. Reading this book was the first time that I thought there might be people out there who understand me, too.
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An interesting collection of essays by and about non-binary persons. From wikipedia:
Non-binary is a spectrum of gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine — ‌identities that are outside the gender binary. 

Most of the authors are living and working in the UK, though a few were from other countries.  My impression is that most are therapists and / or gender study students or professional academics.  

While a few of the essays proved to be overly jargonistic or borderline offensive (one railed against the “ableist, capitalist, patriarchal, white supremist, cisgenderist dominant society” and another kept mentioning “toxic gender binary notions”), most were well-written and explored aspects of the non-binary gender concept that were new to me.  Many examined the intersectionality of being non-binary within different cultures or religions as experienced by (for example) a Vietnamese Confucianist, a Jewish feminist, a Quaker, and an Hispanic. One essay explored the effect of motherhood (via the traditional biological pathway) on someone who self-identified as non-binary.  

I was naively surprised by the references to infighting between differently gendered groups.  Said one author: “…the phenomenon of self-identified transsexual folk who are vehemently opposed to non-binary as a concept as they feel it undermines the realness of their own identities.  The vitriol they express is nearly as bad as the right-wing opponents of ‘gender ideology’ who are freaking out about the end of gender and gender roles.”  Another bemoaned the fact that as a non-binary person, they were no longer able to benefit from the many women-only groups and privileges they had been enjoying. They had been happy to be part of women’s theater companies who were “dedicated to presenting lesser-told stories” as compared to the more “mainstream” companies, “dedicated to working their way through the safe Western dramatic canon of plays by dead cishet white dudes,” and were now unhappy to be automatically lumped in with the outsiders.

I’ve been fascinated with the concept of gender and gender fluidity ever since reading Gender Mosaic by Daphna Joel and Luba Vikhanski, and I enjoyed many of the essays in this book.  They forced me to examine my own perceptions and actions: Why do I care what gender a person is? Or whom they prefer as a sexual partner? And yet I notice that if I can’t tell at a glance, I spend time trying to figure it out.  For some reason I feel I need to know.  Does this mean I treat people differently based on gender or simply that I have a great need to keep things categorized in my head? I have no idea!

I do know that I am greatly in favor of more inclusion in society, but not at the expense of other groups. Let’s hear more stories and give more opportunities to previously unrepresented groups — but why is it necessary to exclude people simply because some  perceive them to have been part of a “privileged” group?  Today’s white, cishet, men should not have to suffer because in the past *some* white, cishet, men benefited at the expense of other groups.  And why on Earth would we want to belittle the great works of the past simply because their creators were white men when there were others at the time who did not have the same opportunities?  Shakespeare’s plays are still amazing as are the works of Mozart, Rembrandt, and Sir Isaac Newton.  Let’s work on making the world a place where we can have more greatness, not less.  

I hate identity politics, and I’m happy to say that most of this book was focused more on individual experiences and perceptions than on politics.  Worth a read if you’re curious about the concept.
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I thought this book was a fantastic and very important read. I find it supremely important to read stories and listen to the perspectives of those different from and that challenge our own perceptions and views. And while I identify as queer, I am very much cis, and this book did just that. This book is a collection of essays from non-binary authors. In addition to telling their stories of being non-binary in a world that really likes it’s binaries, they also consider the intersectionality of race, faith, class, age, sexuality and more. I fully believe this book should find a home in every library. As the world expands its understanding of gender, it’s important to hear from those who identify as non-binary. 

Important things I came away from this book with:

- As limited as the English language is, when we discuss gender and identity, it’s far more malleable and free of gender constraints than other languages. Authors whose first language was Spanish or German and others, expressed how they felt excluded and unseen in such binary and gendered languages.

- Simply adding a third gender box to tick doesn’t always cover it. There needs to be more gender freedom across the board and we need to get rid of traditional ideas of what masculinity and femininity mean and how they present. Too many people feel that they do not present non-binary enough for onlookers. It is not anyone’s place but the individual to determine what qualifies as “enough”. Let humans wear, say and play how they wish, and as long as it doesn’t harm others, it’s no one else’s business to say they are “enough” or not.

- No one is perfect, not even LGBTQ+ folks. A theme I was saddened to see repeated over and over was the backlash the authors received from the LGBTQ communities they had been a part of when they came out as non-binary or genderqueer. That by expressing their true selves, a lot lost friends in the community.

Everyone should read this book. Hopefully in doing so, we can gain a greater understanding and gentleness for one another as human beings just trying to live our lives as happily as possible.


I read this book as a free digital ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I am afraid I thought much of this book - the pseudo science aside - was self indulgent nonsense. I started it with an open mind, but it quickly became apparent to me that these are what they call "first world problems" and that the stories within the book are perfect examples of victim literature. Dreadful, unreadable crap.
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Non-Binary Lives is a collection of personal essays by non-binary people on elements of their lives and identities. As a whole, the anthology considers the range of experiences of being non-binary in the modern day, and how gender identity intersects with race, class, disability, faith, sexuality, and more. The writers come from various backgrounds and the book shows a real range of narratives, showing that there isn't one way to be non-binary nor is there a typical non-binary person. The pieces are short and numerous, making it easy to keep reading, and the author bios after each essay allow you to connect the writer to their other work easily.

This is an important collection, both in bringing these stories together to be shared and opening up a range of experiences to show people—regardless of their gender—how varied non-binary lives are and expose them to different points of view.
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Superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL			
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			

What does it mean to be non-binary in the 21st Century? Our gender identity is impacted by our personal histories; the cultures, communities and countries we are born into; and the places we go and the people we meet. But the representation of contemporary non-binary identities has been limited, until now. Pushing the narrative around non-binary identities further than ever before, this powerful collection of essays represents the breadth of non-binary lives, across the boundaries of race, class, age, sexuality, faith and more. 

Leading non-binary people share the stories of their intersecting lives; how it feels to be non-binary and neurodiverse, the challenges of being a non-binary pregnant person, what it means to be non-binary within the Quaker community, the joy of reaching gender euphoria. This thought-provoking anthology shows that there is no right or wrong way to be non-binary.

This is such an important book - we ALL NEED TO BE ALLIES of non-binary persons and everyone else on the LBGTQ/non-binary rainbow spectrum. In my opinion, Asia Kate Dillon made non-binary persons come into the forefront of the world and it was about effing time that we accepted them for doing so. It is not just important to be accepting but to be positive and an ally and a hero for the people who identify as non-binary and gender fluid.	

The book is well written and presented and I would be remiss in saying that every library, school, church, doctor's office, social service organization, etc. needs this book on their shelf. THAT IS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS! Read the book, understand and take a stand on supporting non-binary people! (#lectureover)

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈
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