Non-Binary Lives – An Anthology of Intersecting Identities Book Review

Summary: 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 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.

Thoughts: Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for my review.

I tend to have a hard time reviewing books that are about real people’s lives because these are personal stories and how do you decide if you like them or not. I focus a lot more on the style of the book and its structure to decide how I feel rather than the content when it comes to these types of writings.

I felt that the opening to the book read much more like a text book than the rest of the book and that put me off. I skimmed through most of that section of the book and put it aside for a while because it wasn’t what I was expecting. Something that I did enjoy about the beginning of the book once I went back and read it after finishing the book was the disclaimer to the lack of diversity in the stories included. I felt that it was important to include that disclaimer because as I was reading often times I was discouraged and disappointed that I found very few people who represented my experience as a non-binary queer latinx person in the U.S.

As I decided to skip the introduction and read that once I was done with all the stories I was thrilled to get a chance to read this book. I really appreciated each individual’s vulnerability in putting their story on paper for others to see. I thought it was important that each story was unique and that they were all told in different manners.

There were quite a few pieces that I was able to relate to and I found myself re-reading those pieces as I found a little bit of myself in them. Something that I really enjoyed was the way this book was separated into four different sections that discussed different ways that people see a non-binary identity. Each section discussed what non-binary means in relation to different intersecting identities and I thought that piece was important to include.

Something that did throw me off was that it was written in a way that isn’t accessible to everyone. It’s written in a way that is meant for individuals who have access to education. I think this is important to note especially for a book that others may recommend to people who are new to understanding what non-binary means. I don’t think this is a book that can be used to help educate others on non-binary matters as there were parts that I didn’t understand.

You can get this book at Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, or look for it at your local library.

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