Non-binary scholar and librarian Charlie McNabb will host an interactive book reading and discussion about the legacy and representation of non-binary gender identities in popular culture at Lane Community College on May 9.
McNabb, a graduate of the University of Oregon, is the author of “Nonbinary Gender Identities: History, Culture, Resources,” a new book that explores non-binary gender representation and legacies in the United States. In addition, their book provides an extensive guide to other books and media about non-binary genders, including academic theses, fictional works, movies, TV shows and online publications.
McNabb also runs their own consulting firm, based in Salem, which specializes in cultural sensitivity training, archival work and crafting annotated bibliographies highlighting literature from marginalized communities.
The talk is sponsored by both the LCC Library and the Gender Equity Center.
“We just wanted to get the word out about someone who has lived the experience,” Jerry de Leon, director of the Gender Equity Center, said. “To be able to share their expertise in an academic fashion is important for other people’s experience.”
McNabb’s book comes at a pivotal moment in the struggle for non-binary representation, as more young Americans begin to identify somewhere between the male and female ends of the gender spectrum. While there have been few statistical analyses of the non-binary population in the United States, a study published by the National Institute of Health estimates that between one million and five million transgender and non-binary Americans live openly in the U.S.; this number is likely to rise considerably in the next few years. Legal representation is growing too: in 2017, Oregon became the first state to legally recognize non-binary as a third gender option on driver’s licenses, with California and Washington, D.C. following soon after. With the publication of McNabb’s comprehensive volume of non-binary literature, both activists and academics can further explore the voice and work of non-binary Americans.
“The idea of gender equity is very important to us here at Lane,” LCC interim library director Linda Crook said. “And we’re very excited to bring this voice to campus.”
According to Crook, the college has purchased a copy of McNabb’s book for the library and will also be offering discount coupons to students who wish to purchase one.
The reading will be held in the LCC Library in Room 229 on Wednesday, May 9 at 2 p.m.