Exploring the Gender (Non)Binary


  • Lily Barraclough


Gender, 2SLGBTQIA , Qualitative, Artistic Exploration


This research poster is a qualitative study exploring the experiences of ALOK, a gender non-conforming mixed-media artist of colour, and Jonathan Van Ness (JVN), a white settler non-binary TV star on Queer Eye and influencer using a podcast transcript from Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness of a conversation between JVN and ALOK. The research explores what stories and narratives ALOK and JVN use to describe their experiences as non-binary people, examines how those narratives construct their queer identities through an intersectional lens, and compares the experiences of ALOK and JVN with the gender binary through identifying shared and opposing themes. The findings are presented through found poetry, a method through which the research uses phrases from the words of the participants (in this case from the podcast) to write poetry highlighting the main themes and ideas. The found poetry and discussion highlights experiences of emotional pain and trauma due to the oppression they face, experiences of being “othered”, and the lack of acceptance both within and outside the queer community of their gender identities.


A L., Nimmons, E. A., Salcido, R., & Schnarrs, P. W. (2020). “Multiplicity, Race, and Resilience: Transgender and Non-Binary People.

Brintnall, K. L. (2021). Once upon a queer theory. Religion Compass, 15(3), e12388. https://doi.org/10.1111/rec3.12388

De Laur etis, T. (1991). Queer theory: Lesbi an and gay sexualities (Vol. 3). Indiana University Press.

GETTING CURIOUS TRANSCRIPTS. (n.d.). Jonathan Van Ness. Retrieved February 28, 2021,from


E. E., & Deckman, S. L. (2019). “We cannot imagine”: US preservice teachers‘ Othering of trans and gender creative student

experiences. Teaching and Teacher Education, 86, 102915. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2019.102915

Hickson, H. (2016). Becoming a critical narrativist: Using critical reflection and narrative inquiry as research methodology. Qualitative

Social Work, 15(3), 380–391.

Hussain, S. (2019). State, gender and the life of colonial laws: The hijras/khwajasaras‘ history of dispossession and their demand for

dignity and izzat in Pakistan. Postcolonial Studies, 22(3), 325–344. https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2019.1630030

Monro, S. (2019). Non-binary and genderqueer: An overview of the field. International Journal of Transgenderism, 20(2–3), 126–131.


Patrick, L. D. (2016). Found Poetry: Creating Space for Imaginative Arts-Based Literacy Research Writing. Literacy Research:

Theory, Method, and Practice, 65(1), 384–403. https://doi.org/10.1177/2381336916661530


Souto-Manning, M. (2013). Critical narrative analysis: The interplay of critical discourse and narrative analyses. International Journal

of Qualitative Studies in Education. https://www-tandfonlinecom.ezproxy.library.dal.ca/doi/abs/10.1080/09518398.2012.737046

Stachowiak, D. M. (2017). Queering it up, strutting our threads, and baring our souls: Genderqueer individuals negotiating social and

felt sense of gender. Journal of Gender Studies, 26(5), 532–543. https://doi.org/10.1080/09589236.2016.115081