About 1.4 million adults in the United States identify as transgender. Approximately 1.2 million LGBTQA+ adults identify as nonbinary, meaning that they fall outside the man-woman binary in terms of gender. “Outside of the binary” presents intimate portraits of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming community Northeastern community members. They tell us about the joys of exploring identity, explain the frustration in arguing their existence to those who don’t understand, and emphasize the importance of community.
“The college years can be so transformative for individuals’ sense of self and identity. You have an opportunity to explore new ideas, communities, and worlds, and you’re starting to live independently. For many people, this is the first time they’re exploring their gender identity. It can be a profound and all-consuming experience,” says K.J. Rawson, associate professor of English and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.
This project honors the lived experiences of these community members, and emphasizes the importance of advocating for transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming folks. These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.