My Bigender identity is very important to me. I was technically born Intersex with Turner Syndrome, but Bigender is the easiest way for me to identify since it has a simpler explanation. This is just one source to aid parents and readers about the Bigender identity. For more sources, please visit my Resources page.
The Bigender Identity
Bigender encompasses a variety of people. Some are born Intersex, some transition and yet still feel both, and some are a duality on the inside.
Some identify as Trans and some identify as Non-binary. While some identify as neither and some identities are a different variation entirely.
The Community often doesn't even get us. We're told to represent ourselves in a certain way so we can be "identified." But Gender Expression is quite different from Gender identity.
We don't discover this as some might claim we do. We've known our entire lives. We might not have the term to describe ourselves when we are children, but we know--and always knew--we are beyond the binary.
Our pronouns are infinite. We can identify with pronouns no one knows about or can define. We can have a masculine lean (he/they), a feminine lean (she/they), no lean at all (they, them), use both masculine and feminine pronouns (he/she), or all three (he/she/they). Note: These are the popular pronouns but by no means the only ones available. Also, to use they/them pronouns a person does not have to identify equally masculine and feminine as I do.
No matter what, we do have a right to be here, to have our voices heard, and to have equal access. We, at the end of the day, are human like everyone else.
Here is a starter list of other pronouns. As you can see, there are so many to choose from when deciding. While CHARLY does not use neopronouns there are some great picture books out there about neopronouns that can be primers, but even they may not contain all that are available.
CHARLY is me and how I wish my coming out would have happened. I knew early on I was "different." And this was in the age, for many, of unacceptance. Very few wanted to acknowledge my existence or the existence of many others who identified by gender or sexuality or both. It was hard to even talk about with both family and friends.
I am lucky I had a mentor who lived down the street. W--she recently passed from cancer--born AMAB (assigned male at birth) who transitioned to being a woman recognized both myself and my identity the moment we met. (The world was a better place for having her in it. W, I love and adore you for eternity.)
We lived in a neighborhood that didn't welcome us. Come Halloween, I decided I had a novel idea to share with some friends about how I identify. It didn't work out as well as it did for Charly.
I tried to still incorporate that questioning in my picture book by having a child ask what the costume is since this can be the reaction for some when they encounter people with Bigender identities. However, I also wanted Charly to have the joy I wasn't able to have until I was older. And the reason I only use they/them pronouns is these are my pronouns. I wanted to affirm the use of these pronouns for the Bigender identity. However, I didn't want to exclude other examples of pronouns Bigender identifies use for themselves, and this is why there is back matter in my picture book as well as an extra page on this website discussing identity. There are MANY more pronouns than discussed here, but I am definitely not the authority on them and don't want to step on others' toes. Please see my resources page to view websites that can help you learn about these pronouns!
I chose Dracula for a costume since the vampire is mostly viewed as "male" due to the novel written by Bram Stoker. I chose the Red Riding Hood costume since the child is mostly viewed as "female" as written by both The Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. Both are from books. While I know both can be any sex, these versions of "binary" are popular even now as the world begins to understand identity.
I'm honored you are here to either learn about this book or learn more about me. Very happy to meet you!
Bigender Authors to Support
Note: This list will be updated as I learn about more Bigender authors. Thank you!
James-Beth Merritt, author of Bi-gender, A Candid Nonbinary Memoir
Anna-Marie McLemore, author of When the Moon Was Ours
Jasmine Skye, author of Daughter of the Bone Forest
Mia Siegert, author of Somebody Told Me
R.B. Lemberg, author of The Unbalancing
Annette Covrigaru, author of Reality in Bloom