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Beyond the Gender Binary (Pocket Change Collective)

by Alok Vaid-Menon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Pocket Change Collective

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4041163,930 (4.33)3
"Poet, artist, and LGBTQIA+ rights advocate Alok Vaid-Menon deconstructs, demystifies, and reimagines the gender binary"--

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“What part of yourself did you have to destroy in order to survive in this world?” ( )
  the.lesbian.library | Jan 15, 2024 |
Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

-Kirkus Review
  CDJLibrary | Jun 9, 2023 |

Book 4 for the #TransRightsReadathon 2023

Alok is an incredible speaker, writer, and thinker. I think I first came into contact with their work through hearing them as a guest on the Man Enough Podcast (if you haven't checked out that show please do, especially this episode!). Hearing them speak about the gender binary that first time and then continuing to read and listen to them has fundamentally changed how I see and think about gender.

In this short but powerful book, Alok dives into all things gender, self expression, and the need to free ourselves from the self-imposed cage that is our modern acceptance of what it means to be feminine and masculine.

Follow Alok on all social media channels, read their work, and most importantly listen to them speak. There is always such an eloquence in their words. When they say it, you feel the truth of it in your soul. ( )
  Victinerary | Mar 22, 2023 |
This got to the point in an easy understandable way. Hearing things explained so well has such an effect.
The couple of books from this series I’ve read have been great. ( )
  juliais_bookluvr | Mar 9, 2023 |
This is a great overview to the gender spectrum and to people who are genderfluid, non-binary, or genderqueer. Quick read that combines information on gender with experiences from Alok's own life. ( )
  Out_About_ERG | Mar 7, 2023 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alok Vaid-Menonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lukashevsky, AshleyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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