Meg-John (MJ) Barker (they/them) is a writer, zine-maker, collaborator, contemplative practitioner, and friend. They are the author of a number of popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including graphic guides to Queer, Gender, and Sexuality, How To Understand Your Gender and Sexuality, Life Isn’t Binary, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and IF You Want To), Rewriting the Rules, and Hell Yeah Self Care. They also publish zines, comics, and free books on themes including plurality, trauma, consent, and creativity. Website: rewriting-the-rules.com. Twitter: @megjohnbarker, YouTube: MegJohnBarkerPsych
Meg-John (MJ) Barker (they/them) is a writer, zine-maker, collaborator, contemplative practitioner, and friend. They are the author of a number of popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including graphic guides to Queer, Gender, and Sexuality (with Jules Scheele), How To Understand Your Gender and Sexuality, Hell Yeah Self Care, 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 blog and publish zines, comics and other resources via rewriting-the-rules.com, and support other creatives around queer and therapeutic writing of all kinds. Their work weaves together spiritual, sociocultural, relational, and embodied understandings and practies to explore themes of plurality, trauma, feeling, consent, connection, and creativity.
Meg-John was an academic psychologist and UKCP accredited therapist for many years before focusing on writing full time. They’ve engaged internationally on issues of gender, sexual, and relationship diversity (GSRD) and therapy, with many academic books and papers published on topics including bisexuality, consensual 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 wrote the BACP resource on GSRD, co-organised Critical Sexology for a decade, and co-presented the Meg-John & Justin podcast with Justin Hancock. Twitter: @megjohnbarker. YouTube: MegJohnBarkerPsych
A note on names and pronouns
When referring to me it’s great if you can use the name ‘Meg-John’ or ‘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, here, and here, and we often blog in the form of conversations between different sides of ourselves. This comic introduces the seven selves. You can find out more about our plural work, and read our seven biographies here.
This photograph can be used in publicity. Please credit Fox Fisher who took the picture.