Towards Nonbinary Rhetoric: Navigating Discomfort and Sharing Gender Stories in a Binary Society




Kane, Kathryn

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The nonbinary identity and its related rhetoric, while still new in academia, is a pressing matter. This project serves to introduce, define, and explain the relevancy of what it means to be nonbinary and how nonbinary rhetoric can serve humanity as a whole, as highlighted through scholarship including rhetorical analysis of texts and autoethnography. In the first chapter, a literature review is included that focuses on the influences for this project such as queer rhetoric, the rhetorical situation, and the topic of (dis)comfort as an experience of minority groups such as nonbinary people. Next, the term “nonbinary” is defined, then is explored through different texts. The second chapter dives into texts that are written by nonbinary people explaining their experiences as part of this minority group, including an article, a TED Talk, and excerpts from a book of memoirs. The third chapter moves on to guides that are written to help nonbinary people as they navigate through uncomfortable situations and hurdles they may face in daily life, primarily obstacles that center around passing, coming out, and transitioning. Then, chapter four is comprised of an autoethnography in which I depict my own gender story and how it has been part of my journey. Finally, the conclusion addresses nonbinary rhetoric and how it relates to the current trajectory of legislation in the United States, before stressing a call to action to uphold nonbinary rhetoric. The overall aim of this project is to uplift nonbinary people and educate those who may be unfamiliar with nonbinary rhetoric with the hopes of knitting society closer together with the common interest of human understanding.



autoethnography, rhetoric, nonbinary, nonbinary rhetoric, gender, transgender, trans


Kane, K. (2023). Towards Nonbinary Rhetoric: Navigating Discomfort and Sharing Gender Stories in a Binary Society (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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