ARC Review: They/Them/Their

I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley

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They/Them/Their by Eris Young

Septembre 19, 2019

CW: discussions of homophobia, transphobia, discrimination, mental illness

Note: The book is hard to find on Goodreads if you search by title

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Because the existence of trans & nonbinary people is constantly challenged, most resources are forced to cover the basics and teach cis readers how to respect trans people and their identities. As a result, few of these 101 resources get the chance to take a deeper look into the consequences of enforcing the gender binary on the lives of nonbinary people. In They/Them/Their, the author starts from the same foundation, but soon goes further in exploring the social, legal, and medical challenges faced by nonbinary people.

The book shines in how to tackles myths and misconceptions about nonbinary people. With a look into the historical presence of genderqueer people and their inclusion in LGBT symbols we see that even with the rejection from culture and community, genderqueer and nonbinary people have always existed and that they are not all thin, white, and able bodied.

The book is very academic in tone, which while making the writing denser, shows the urgent need for more research. The rigor with which claims about nonbinary people as a whole is handled gives the book more punch when it challenges incorrect assumptions in the legal and medical treatment of trans people.  Since there is so little research available, I would have liked to have seen more theory included and more information about why the contemporary academic view of gender is the way it is.

With the guiding questions at the end of each chapter and the inclusion of guidelines to help schools and workplaces to create a welcoming environment for trans and nonbinary people this book is a great tool for educators.

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