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Trans-Affirmative ParentingRaising Kids Across the Gender Spectrum$
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Elizabeth Rahilly

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479820559

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479820559.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 19 October 2021

“Picking the ‘Other Box’”

“Picking the ‘Other Box’”

Troubling the (Non)Binary

Chapter:
(p.93) 3 “Picking the ‘Other Box’”
Source:
Trans-Affirmative Parenting
Author(s):

Elizabeth Rahilly

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479820559.003.0004

This chapter examines parents’ newfound awareness of nonbinary possibilities. These were often described as being “somewhere in the middle” of the spectrum, where a child “doesn’t have to be just one or the other.” Despite increasing sociopolitical emphasis on nonbinary, gender-fluid, and/or genderqueer possibilities—especially those that defy trans-normative, gender-normative ideals—most of the children in this sample were adamantly binary-identified. For many of these parents, nonbinary possibilities proved more of a crutch to evade “truly transgender” outcomes than any reality of their children’s authentic selves. In making sense of these options, parents engaged in queer deconstructionist debates about the gender binary, hearkening to age-old polemics about “reifying the binary” or not. However, this material also emphasizes the challenges of living out nonbinary identities for male children specifically.

Keywords:   nonbinary, gender binary, queer, transgender

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