Signal boosting this request for examples of nonbinary gender outside of the transgender and genderqueer communities:
As part of a nonbinary gender visibility project, I’m attempting to track down people who identify and/or express gender outside of the binary (as in something other than woman or man) despite not being involved in mainstream trans* communities.
I’m mainly active in transgender, transsexual and genderqueer communities and, as you’d expect, I know of many nonbinary people through those. These are communities that are primarily about gender transgression (of various kinds) where nonbinary experience is directly on topic.
I’m also active in various queer and (a)sexuality-based communities, most notably the asexual and bi communities and have found those to be supportive of nonbinary identity and expression, and so good places to meet others who don’t fit binary classifications. These are communities that are about sexuality that defies the hetero/homo binary and so tend to be either extremely openminded to nonbinary gender or see it as an overlapping issue. (The pansexual community would obviously fall here too).
And I feel at home and accepted as a nonbinary person at (most) literary science fiction conventions I attend (and other cons with similar feels). There (trans)gender isn’t (usually) the topic of discussion, but members of the community are generally openminded to new ideas and other ways of being, and of course there’s no shortage of science fiction that plays with gender or imagines different models of sex and gender. So this can be seen as part of a third category of community that isn’t about or related to gender transgression, but is open minded and accepting of those expressing a nonbinary gender.
Those are my experiences. What I’m now interested in doing is assembling a list of other communities where people express and find acceptance of their nonbinary genders, preferably those that are not directly related to ‘mainstream’ transgender, genderqueer and transsexual communities.
Based on my research and feedback from others, I’ve assembled the following list of communities that are (or may be) directly related to, or supportive of, nonbinary gender (which again, I’m defining as identifying or living as something other than a woman or a man):
- Intersex support groups and activist organisations
- Transvestite and crossdresser communities (those not following mainstream transgender narratives of gender identity and dysphoria)
- Radical faeries
- The eunuch and castration communities
- Extreme body modification
- Kink and fetish communities
- Drag and cabaret performer communities
- Artist communities, particularly performance art (Burning Man?)
- Empowered multiplicity/plurality/median/mid-continuum
- Female bodybuilders (perhaps? Cited as gender transgressive in Feinberg’s Trans Liberation)
- Goth and similar subcultures (Twitter suggestion)
- Certain parts of the pagan community (Twitter suggestion)
(And I should stress, I’m not saying everyone within these communities is nonbinary, any more than I’m suggesting everyone within the trans* community is, just that they may well be home to some people who see themselves as something other than women or men).
Can anyone reading point me towards nonbinary individuals from those communities, or to articles written (or documentaries filmed!) about nonbinary gender within them?
Or can anyone suggest any other communities/subcultures that haven’t been suggested yet that are home to or accepting of people who identify or live as something other than male or female?
I’ve created a page on the nonbinary.org wiki for further examples and supporting information to be recorded. Please comment here or make edits there to add your suggestions and examples:
Nonbinary gender outside of the transgender community
* The asterisk at the end of ‘trans*’ denotes that this is the wider inclusive form of trans that includes all transgender, transsexual, nonbinary, genderqueer, gender variant and gender nonconforming people regardless of gender identity or expression.