Way back in December, I was interviewed for an article titled The Shadow Sex, which appeared in San Francisco Magazine, both in print and online.
Later, the accompanying photography series by Chloe Aftel got picked up by several news media outlets some of which continued to build on the stories of genderqueer and non-binary individuals, as well as the photographer herself. Here are some sources that re-distributed it:
- What Being Between Genders Looks Like on Refinery29
- Portraits of Genderqueer Nation on Vocativ
- Agender: Portraits of Young People Who Identify as Neither Male or Female on Feature Shoot
- Intimate Portraits of Young PeopleWho Identify as Non-Gendered on Flavorwire
- Intimate Photos of Agender Youth Challenge What It Means to Be Born a Boy or Girl on PolicyMic
- Profound Portraits Of Young Agender Individuals Challenge The Male/Female Identity in Huffington Post
- Meet the Agender Young Adults Challenging the Gender Binary in The Advocate
- Intimate Portraits of the Genderqueer Community in San Francisco in Slate
And then it began to appear in other countries and languages…
- Un futuro sin género: 6 retratos de jóvenes que no se sienten ni hombre ni mujer de PlayGround Noticias (España). [Interestingly, a few people from high school in Mexico saw this article and recognized me in it.]
- Senza genere de Il Post (Italia)
- “Agender”: El proyecto fotográfico que retrata a quienes no se identifican como hombre ni mujer de BioBio (Chile)
- Agênero: Nasceu mulher, mas trabalha como modelo masculino no Sem Qualiragem (Brasil)
In the midst of that media storm, I was interviewed and featured in Vanity Fair (Italia): Non sono né donna, né uomo.
It’s interesting how just one article spun off into so many, and with such wide reach. I’m grateful for the increased visibility of non-binary people and our lives. (I’ll withhold further commentary on the articles themselves.)
What I’d like to see from future journalists on the subject is deeper coverage on:
- acknowledging that gender identities outside of male or female exist.
- the unique obstacles we face as individuals finding our place in a world in which our gender does not exist: in legal forms, in the medical world, in clothing stores and pronouns, we are erased and invisible.
- the cycle of discrimination in healthcare, employment, family, and society that leads to disenfranchised communities: gender non-conforming individuals are kicked out of their homes and communities, fired from their jobs, harassed, untreated by doctors, or simply emotionally overwhelmed from lack of support.
- positive acceptance and other ways people can help, such as awareness, self education, and advocating for our rights.
- how our identities can prompt a dialogue on what gender means to everybody else, because we still have a long way to go in terms of gender equality and respect.
Fortunately, a few reporters are slowly picking up on this trend of “getting it right” and setting the precedent for a new standard. After speaking with Monica Hesse about a possible article on non-binary gender, I was pleased to read the result of months of research: “When No Gender Fits” an in-depth profile on the front page of The Washington Post.
Following that article, many bloggers pointed out how it would be great to see more diversity among those generally featured. I believe this speaks to the dearth of journalism on the subject of genderqueer identities, and the untapped potential for rich, engaging, thoughtful stories one could find within this vibrant community.