Meg-John Barker is the author of a number of popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including Queer: A Graphic History, Gender: A Graphic Guide, How To Understand Your Gender, Life Isn’t Binary, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and IF You Want To), Rewriting the Rules, The Psychology of Sex, and The Secrets of Enduring Love. They have also written a number of books for scholars and counsellors on these topics, drawing on their own research and therapeutic practice. Websites: rewriting-the-rules.com, megjohnandjustin.com. Twitter: @megjohnbarker, Instagram: @meg_john_barker.
Meg-John Barker is the author of a number of popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including Queer: A Graphic History and Gender: A Graphic Guide (with Jules Scheele), How To Understand Your Gender and Life Isn’t Binary (with Alex Iantaffi), Enjoy Sex (How, When, and IF You Want To) (with Justin Hancock), Rewriting the Rules and The Psychology of Sex. They also work as a one-to-one writing mentor, as a creative consultant on various projects, and speak and train on gender, sexual and relationship diversity. They are half of the Meg-John and Justin podcast (megjohnandjustin.com) and blog and publish zines and comics on rewriting-the-rules.com. They regularly speak on their areas of expertise in the media, including Radio 4, Cosmo, and being featured in the Independent on Sunday Rainbow List.
They were an academic psychologist and UKCP accredited therapist for many years before focusing on writing full time. They are an internationally recognised expert on gender, sexual, and relationship diversity (GSRD) and therapy, with numerous academic books and papers on the topics of bisexuality, open non-monogamy, sadomasochism, non-binary gender, and Buddhist mindfulness. They co-founded the journal Psychology & Sexuality and the activist-research organisation BiUK, through which they published The Bisexuality Report. They have advised many organisations, therapeutic bodies, and governmental departments on matters relating to gender, sexual, and relationship diversity (GSRD) including writing the BACP document on the topic. They’ve also been involved in facilitating many public events on sexuality and relationships, including Sense about Sex and Critical Sexology. Twitter: @megjohnbarker, Instagram: @meg_john_barker.
When referring to me it’s great if you can use the name ‘Meg-John’. I’m also happy for people to use ‘MJ’ for short.
My pronouns are they, them, their, so I’d prefer that you said ‘they are the author of Rewriting the Rules’, for example, rather than ‘she/he is the author of Rewriting the Rules’. You can see more examples of how ‘they’ can be used in the biographies above, and you can find out more about the singular they pronoun for non-binary people here.
I’d like to be referred to in non-binary gender terms, for example saying ‘we’ve got all women and non-binary speakers tonight’ (rather than ‘all women’); saying ‘Meg-John is a person who has done…’; calling me ‘mate’ or ‘friend’ rather than ‘madam’, ‘sir’ or ‘miss’; referring to a group I’m in as ‘folks’ or ‘guys’ rather than ‘girls’ or ‘ladies’, or introducing an event with ‘friends and colleagues’ rather than ‘ladies and gentlemen’.
Feel free to ask me directly if you’re not sure. If you slip up it’s fine just to apologise and move on. Also please note that other people have different preferences with these things, so it’s always worth checking with the person concerned.
I – or I should say we – also experience ourselves as a plural system, rather than a single individual. It’s something we’ve written about here and here, and we’re increasingly blogging in the form of conversations between different sides of ourselves. This post introduces the seven selves in comic form. Here is a brief biog for each of them:
You can see my full CV here.
This photograph can be used in publicity. Please credit Fox Fisher who took the picture.