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They Them Their by Eris Young - Review

Thursday, November 5, 2020

I saw a tweet in May by the author about this book, looking for reviewers. I responded, and Eris passed along my details to their publisher, who emailed me the book for review. So thank you very much to Hachette for the chance to read and review this book! I was not otherwise compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Eris is a non binary author who has lived in both the US and the UK. In this book they talk about what being non binary is, what it's like to live outside of the gender binary, what it's like to be a queer person in the LGBTQ+ community, whether being non binary means being trans, what transition might look like for non binary people, and many more things. 

This is the Amazon blurb:

Chosen as one of The List's Hot 100 in 2019.

In this insightful and long-overdue book, Eris Young explores what it's like to live outside of the gender binary and how it can impact on one's relationships, sense of identity, use of language and more.

Drawing on the author's own experiences as a nonbinary person, as well as interviews and research, it shares common experiences and challenges faced by those who are nonbinary, and what friends, family and other cisgender people can do to support them. Breaking down misconceptions and providing definitions, the history of nonbinary identities and gender-neutral language, and information on healthcare, this much-needed guide is for anyone wanting to fully understand nonbinary and genderqueer identities.

I really enjoyed the book. I'm a cis woman, but I have non binary friends so I'm not coming at this from a place of total ignorance. I also think that most cis people have never interrogated gender up to and including their own gender and that that is something we should all do. I 'know' I'm a woman - but how do I know that? How would I feel if everyone else was convinced I was actually a boy at birth, but I knew better? I think it's useful for all of us to keep an open mind here, and this book would certainly help with that. 

It's written in quite an academic way, but it's also really readable and accessible. There's a lot of theory, but interspersed are anecdotes from several non binary people that Eris interviewed, which make the book feel more personal. There's also a ton of resources in the back, if you feel you may need more information or help. 

I'm giving this four out of five, I really enjoyed it and through Eris wrote in a really approachable way about something that is personal to them but which may be new to a reader. I would definitely read something else by the same author, and am really grateful for the chance to read this. 

And remember, there's nothing radical or feminist about transphobia. TERFs have no place in this world in 2020. 

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