My new book with my co-author Alex Iantaffi – Life Isn’t Binary – is out today. Like Rewriting the Rules, Life Isn’t Binary is an idea I’d had for a long time before writing it. Like many ideas it started with a ‘what if…?’ Rewriting the Rules was ‘what if a self-help book centred wider structures, systems and cultural messages as the problem, instead of individual people?’ Life Isn’t Binary was ‘what if we took the non-binary approach that many people are now applying to sexuality and gender and applied it to everything?’
My main reason for not writing it sooner was that I knew there were knowledges, practices, and themes that a book like this would need to cover which I didn’t have enough understanding or experience of myself. Fortunately I now have my awesome co-author Alex, and we were looking for a follow-up to How to Understand Your Gender. Alex and I have pretty similar views, but we come from different backgrounds in all kinds of ways. We bring together different spiritual traditions (e.g. Pagan and Buddhist), different activisms (e.g. intersectional feminist, queer, disability, sex critical), different academic backgrounds (e.g. psychology, sociology, philosophy, literature, health), and different therapeutic approaches (e.g. existential, mindfulness, systemic, and somatic).
Most of these areas have something useful to contribute to the idea of thinking, relating, and living non-binary. We’re aware – of course – that there are many other schools of thought and traditions that would also be valuable but which we don’t know about personally. We hope that people with those understandings (from other faiths, philosophies, cultural contexts, etc.) will be able to bring them into dialogue with the materials in the book.
The book starts by taking you through why a non-binary approach is a useful way of understanding sexuality and gender. Alex and I have a background in bi politics, and we both identify as non-binary/genderqueer these days, so we talk about our own experiences as well as expanding out beyond the gay/straight and male/female binaries. Then we explore how the non-binary approach might also be helpful in thinking about how we do our relationships, how we think to our bodies and identities, how we relate with our emotions, and how we think about life, the universe, and everything.
You can listen to Alex and me talking more about Life Isn’t Binary here.
If you want a taster of the book, here are a few of my blog posts which cover non-binary sexualities, genders, relationships, feelings, and thinking:
- Bisexuality, pansexuality, and queer
- Non-binary gender
- Non-binary thinking about porn and trigger warnings
If it sounds up your street please do grab a copy of Life Isn’t Binary today.