LIFI23 A World Beyond The Binary

Words by Simon Fogal
From Chapter 81

Event 5 for #LIFI23

In a world where identity becomes less rigid every day, where gender norms are constantly being challenged, and where new modes of self-expression emerge continually, we joined Drag Race icon Bimini for a progressive conversation around shifting stereotypes and embracing fluidity.

With everything from non-binary identification and queer expression to performative roles and emotional boundaries on the agenda, it’s time to open up a world beyond the binary. Hosted by Divina De Campo. 

Top 5 Takeaways

  • The drag scene is very turf-orientated.
  • No drag is wrong or right. Any drag is valid
  • ‘Follow what you want to do and don’t listen to anybody else. When you get other people’s voices in your head, you won’t do your best. You’ve got to do what is in your heart and true to you.’
  • We need to be conscious of each other’s feelings. It is all about understanding that everyone is different with their own point of view.
  • Community is more important now than ever. We need to rally together.

Explore More

Related Books

Life Isn’t Binary – Alex Iantaffi and Meg John Baker 

Much of society’s thinking operates in a highly rigid and binary manner; something is good or bad, right or wrong, a success or a failure, and so on. Challenging this limited way of thinking, this ground-breaking book looks at how non-binary methods of thought can be applied to all aspects of life, and offer new and greater ways of understanding ourselves and how we relate to others.

Using bisexual and non-binary gender experiences as a starting point, this book addresses the key issues with binary thinking regarding our relationships, bodies, emotions, well-being and our sense of identity and sets out a range of practices that may help us to think in more non-binary, both/and, or uncertain ways.

A truly original and insightful piece, this guide encourages reflection on how we view and understand the world we live in and how we all bend, blur or break society’s binary codes.

Find this book on Waterstones HERE.

How To They/Them – Stuart Getty 

This charming and disarming guide unpacks all these questions and more with a fun, visual approach. From a real-deal they/them-using genderqueer writer, this book makes it humorous and easy to learn so that everyone can get it. No soap boxes or divisive comment section wars here.

Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always human, this 101 primer is about more than just bathrooms and pronouns. It’s about gender expression and the freedom to choose how to identify. While they might only be for some, that freedom is for everyone!

Find this book on the Gay Pride Shop HERE

Gender Euphoria – Laura Kate Dale 

So often the stories shared by trans people about their transition centre on gender dysphoria: a feeling of deep discomfort with their birth-assigned gender, and a powerful catalyst for coming out or transitioning. But for many non-cisgender people, it’s gender euphoria which pushes forward their transition: the joy the first time a parent calls them by their new chosen name, the first time they have the confidence to cut their hair short, the first time they truly embrace themself.

In this groundbreaking anthology, nineteen trans, non-binary, agender, gender-fluid and intersex writers share their experiences of gender euphoria: an agender dominatrix being called ‘Daddy’, an Arab trans man getting his first tattoos, a trans woman embracing her inner fighter. What they have in common are their feelings of elation, pride, confidence, freedom and ecstasy as a direct result of coming out as non-cisgender, and how coming to terms with their gender has brought unimaginable joy into their lives.

Find this book on Waterstones HERE.

Related Podcasts 

Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast 

Gender dysphoria has become a minefield for public discussion, with many afraid to express their views or question the narrative. Our mission is to examine this important and complex topic from a range of perspectives, but always through a psychological lens. By openly considering and examining gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella, we hope to give all interested parties permission to engage these fascinating topics with less fear and more honesty. Interviews and discussions will involve clinicians, medical professionals, academics, transgender people, parents, detransitioners and other interesting individuals whose lives have been touched by the concept of gender.

Conversations between two practicing therapists give listeners an opportunity to contemplate gender from a depth perspective not currently taken up in most of today’s accessible debates. As a result of their work with gender dysphoric therapy clients as well as their personal divergent experiences with gender, Stella and Sasha hold a refreshing and informed perspective.

Listen: HERE.

Two Bi Guys

A podcast about fluid sexuality, gender, masculinity and femininity, intimacy,

relationships and more — hosted by two bi guys.

Listen: HERE

The Transgender Show 

The transgender stories podcast. Every week on The Transgender Show, Emily interviews members of the greater trans community as well as friends, family and allies. Listeners will find comfort, encouragement, and growth throughout the program as guests share their lives and transition experiences. their successes and challenges. The show is recorded live on Twitch and edited for rebroadcast.

Listen: HERE

Further Help 

If you have been affected by any of the topics in this discussion, please find a host of helpful websites and LGBTQIA+ charities below. 

LGBTQIA+ Charities 

Useful Websites 

Related TEDTalks 

Words by Simon Fogal
From Chapter 81