Literature Arts & Culture

New Memoir ‘Bi-Gender’ Rides Wave of New Nonbinary Gender Attention

By Johnny B. Gay

LGBT Editor

Gender Rebel Press has published a book on the bi-gender experience, James-Beth Merritt’s Bi-Gender: A Candid Nonbinary Memoir.

While interest in nonbinary genders is getting attention, there are few books that share firsthand accounts of people who feel they are neither strictly male nor strictly female. Bi-gender, a nonbinary identity, includes people who believe they shift back and forth between male and female.

Merritt wrote Bi-Gender as the events it recounts were happening, starting in October of 2016, when he first came across the term “bi-gender.” Before then, Merritt says, “I’d never thought it was possible to be two genders. I figured I was just a profoundly flawed human being.”

Merritt soon began living alternately as female and male, an experience that yielded “humor, upheaval, and unexpected insights.”

Awareness of nonbinary gender identities has increased  

In 2014, Facebook added more than 50 gender options, including “non-binary,” “agender,” and “bigender,” while nonbinary characters like Alex Fierro in the Magnus Chase series and Tyler Mason on Showtime’s Billions have made appearances in novels, film, and television.

Countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Nepal have given legal status to a third gender.

Canada and the U.S. have not. Vermont and the state of Washington are considering a nonbinary X as an alternative to M or F on driver’s licenses, following the example of Ontario, Oregon, California, and the District of Columbia, all of which added the option in 2017.

Being nonbinary may be advancing toward recognition and acceptance, just as being gay, lesbian, and transgender did not too many years ago.

Bi-Gender (Gender Rebel Press, 2018, $9.95 in paperback) will be released March 15th on and elsewhere. Information on the book, as well as articles and resources, are available on Merritt’s website at


James-Beth Merritt alternates between female and male.




About the author



News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.


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  • D is right, of course: while there has been strong movement toward legal recognition in the U.K., there is no full recognition of nonbinary people yet. This was my mistake and not Artvoice’s. Sorry for introducing this confusion!

  • Er, sorry but much as we are campaigning for it, the UK has _not_ legally recognised a third gender, and the government seem resolutely opposed to properly considering it. Canada kind of has, and Germany will be doing so this year too.