Non-binary gender and LGBT history

Non-binary gender and LGBT history

February is LGBT history month which is always a busy time for me, hence few blog posts. I’m taking part in several events, mostly talking about the history of the non-binary gender movement which is a topic that I’ve written about – with Ben Vincent and Jos Twist – in this awesome new edited collection from Christine Burns: Trans Britain.

The deep history of the non-binary movement is also a topic covered in this book that Christina Richards, Walter Bouman and I edited, Genderqueer and Non-Binary Genders. We really hope that this book will become a go-to volume for therapists, doctors, gender clinicians, and others working with non-binary folks. Feel free to recommend it to your counsellor, GP, or other relevant professional.

If you’d like to read more about non-binary gender in the context of LGBT history, check out this interview that I did with Steve Topple.

We need to talk about non-binary gender. It could be a game-changer for society

Our society faces many challenges: climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and population growth – to name just three. But does the answer begin with the recognition of an issue that has a history stretching back thousands of years? Something which those in power may prefer wasn’t acknowledged?

A journey through space and time

Non-binary gender (sometimes referred to as ‘genderqueer’) is a term for people who don’t identify as male or female. As the Terrence Higgins Trust explains:

Gender is often referred to as a ‘binary’, meaning two – male and female. The term ‘non-binary’ refers to people who don’t believe that there are just two genders and who exist outside of the gender binary. Non-binary people class themselves as neither exclusively male nor female. They’re under the trans umbrella but may not consider themselves trans.

With February being LGBTQ+ history month, non-binary gender is being featured in the OUTing the Past festival. At its hub at the London School of Economics on Thursday 15 February, a presentation called Non-Binary Gender Across Time and Space is being given, providing the brief – often hidden – history of the UK non-binary movement. And its host Dr Meg-John Barker has spoken to The Canary about how non-binary gender has risen from societal invisibility to begin to become a movement; and what this could mean for our future, as a species. Read more…

Meg-John (MJ) Barker (they/them) is a writer, zine-maker, collaborator, contemplative practitioner, and friend. They are the author of a number of zines and popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including graphic guides to Queer, Gender, and Sexuality (with Jules Scheele), and How To Understand Your Gender, Sexuality and Relationships (with Alex Iantaffi).