Over the last 5 or so years there has been increased visibility of non-binary people (coupled with increased visibility of binary trans people). However, the narrative of what it means to be non-binary is relatively thin, with little representation of the diversity of experiences and non-binary people’s lives. As non-binary people, our gender identities intersect with multiple aspects of our identities and our histories; our gender does not exist in isolation. We come from families, communities, values, and locations that shape out worldviews. We exist across the boundaries of class, race, sexualities, relationships, health, age, politics, appearance, faith, activism, ethnicity, disability, religion, careers, education, spirituality, and many more; all of these coming together in different ways to define who we are (and in different ways at separate times of our lives).
We (Jos Twist and Ben Vincent) are editing a book of personal essays about the intersecting aspects of non-binary people’s lives. We are seeking submissions of abstracts (300 word summary/outline). The topics you may wish to consider writing about are wide. There may be a story from your childhood you wish to share, looking back on it now through a different perspective. There may a lesson you have learnt in a separate area of your life that has helped you navigate a binary world as a non-binary person. It may be that your identity as a non-binary person has led you to a particular career, community project, or activity. You may wish to share how you came to take the name that you now use. There may be several areas of your identity where you consider yourself to be non-binary, such as your heritage, health status, or sexuality, in addition to gender that you wish to discuss. It may be the case that your experience of your gender as non-binary has impacted on how you engage with your relationships with others, including family, friends, lovers, and community. The relationship you have with your body, appearance, or style may have either led you to understand your gender as non-binary, or understanding yourself as non-binary may have caused you to relate to these factors differently. It may be that you have found non-binary, trans, or queer communities inaccessible in relation to a different aspect of your identity. There are many ways our different selves may combine, contradict, compliment, or compete in relation to our gender(s).
We are interested in stories of a variety of themes and emotional content. There are only two guidelines. Firstly that essays are personal, reflective and you speak from your own experiences and perspective (thus written in the first person). Secondly that they discuss how an aspect of your experiences/identity of being NB overlaps or intersects with a further aspect of your identity (at least one further aspect of your identity, but if you can discuss multiple aspects this would be welcome).
The book will be for a general audience, not for particular professionals, nor academic in nature. Thus, the aim is that it will be accessible to people from a range of backgrounds. So please keep this in mind when choosing a topic and considering what kind of language and writing style you may wish to employ. In terms of word count we are looking for final articles ranging from around 1,500 to 3,000 words. We are also hoping to include several longer pieces of 4,000-6,000 words, which may be invited from among the abstracts we receive
The new submission deadline for abstracts (a 300 word summary/outline of proposed essay) is 12th March, including an estimation of the word count for your final essay. We will inform people by 30th April whether their submission has been successful. Deadline for submission of your essay will be 10th June.