“Human diversity is neither a weakness, a threat, nor a fiction. Our diversity is a gift, and it is an undeniable reality,” writes Joshua Ferguson, an activist who is the first person to receive a non-binary birth certificate with an “X” gender designation in the province of Ontario. Their memoir, Me, Myself, They: Life beyond the Binary explores the personal struggle behind that “X” and the great lengths Joshua has gone to fight for non-binary representation.
Gender expression, sexuality, and sex are highly nuanced subjects. Me, Myself, They takes on the challenge of explaining a deeply personal, sensitive subject in a way that is comprehensible without being reductive. The memoir dives into Ferguson’s identity and describes what “life beyond the binary” feels like to them. The book opens with a disclaimer: obviously, Ferguson can’t and doesn’t try to speak for their community. However, their personal experiences are shared with courage and vulnerability. Non-binary identities are unique, they remind us, but compassion must be universal. A glossary of terms such as “transgender narrative,” “gender expression,” and “cisgender” is included.
Me, Myself, They is organized thematically. Each of the memoir’s thirteen chapters is a short essay on a theme, such as “The Survivor” and “The Amazon.” Ferguson writes explicitly about their past, including suicidal ideation and sexual and gender-related trauma. At the same time, the book is rich with happy memories. Passages about Ferguson’s husband, Florian, are especially moving, and stand as important reminders that queer pain is powerful, but queer joy will change the world.
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