I’ve been looking for a great non-fiction book about non-binary lives for a while, so I was delighted to find They/Them/Their, a factual exploration of what it means to live life outside of the gender binary.
The tone of the book is no-nonsense without being blunt, and academic without being inaccessible, a balance that I appreciated. It looks at many areas of non-binary life with a depth and breadth I’ve never seen before. Different non-binary identities are explored as a world-wide phenomenon through the lens of linguistics, classical literature, laws, medicine, interviews with non-binary people, anecdotes from the author’s life, and much more. The rich level of information is tempered by Young’s writing style, which is warmly personable and sometimes includes informative little doodles that I found very charming.
They/Them/Their mostly feels like it’s written for binary people, especially the thought exercise sections that come at the end of each chapter. There are many suggestions, discussions, and ideas geared towards potential allies and how best they can support non-binary people, which is much appreciated.
Even while much of the book seems to be aimed at binary readers, I got a lot out of reading the book as a non-binary reader. Perhaps most importantly the book left me with a sense of community, tradition, and shared experience that I haven’t been able to find before in non-fiction, and that I’ve treasured thinking about since I finished the book. The acknowledgement of how non-binary people exist, and have existed, through time and across the world really imbued me with a sense of connection to other non-binary people like me.
If you’re looking for a dense deep-dive into non-binary lives, this is definitely the book for you. This will be my go-to recommendation for loved ones who want more information about my non-binary identity in the future.
You can pick up a copy of They/Them/Their here, or wherever you like to buy books. A copy was provided to me for free in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks so much, Eris!
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