The following study examines the experiences of non-binary people living in a society that emphasizes a gender binary, along with how being non-binary affects participants’ views of the world and themselves. The study also looked to establish a working definition of “non-binary.” I interviewed 17 participants who self-identified as non-binary regarding their lived experiences as non-binary people. Narratives were used to establish codes and themes. Adopting a narrative approach to the data, the study puts forth working definitions of non-binary and related terms, such as gender non-conforming, androgyny, and genderfluid. The study found that most participants saw themselves as breaking the norms by being non-binary and in other ways, including their sexuality and religion. Participants placed an emphasis on visibility, asserting that by being visible as non-binary they help society move away from strict binary constructs. Participants also described many adverse experiences associated with being non-binary, including being misgendered and safety concerns, which can impact non-binary people’s mental health. This study forms a basis for further research into non-binary experiences, both in relation to lived day-to-day experiences and in terms of associated mental health outcomes.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Kupper, Carly E., "Non-Binary Identities: How Non-Binary People Move Through A Gendered World" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 911.