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Getting beyond peeing and pronouns: living non-binary gender in higher education

Benato, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-3227-1265, Fraser, J. & White, F. R. (2024). Getting beyond peeing and pronouns: living non-binary gender in higher education. Journal of Gender Studies, pp. 1-13. doi: 10.1080/09589236.2024.2334067


Non-binary people make up just over half the UK trans population and younger people are more likely to identify as non-binary than those over 35. Despite this increasing recognition, non-binary identities and experiences continue to be widely misunderstood. Similarly, if university trans inclusion policies focus solely on models of binary or medical transition, they will not fully address the needs of non-binary students. In the context of an increased focus on the participation and success of marginalized social groups in higher education, and a social and political backlash against equality, diversity and inclusion work, questions of how non-binary students thrive in universities are pressing. Non-binary inclusion and experiences in higher education have received little dedicated attention. This article draws on data from the largest survey to date of non-binary students in the United Kingdom and begins to fill those gaps. We highlight the prominence in the survey of issues around ‘peeing’ and ‘pronouns’ in the lived experiences of non-binary students and demonstrate the detrimental impact of the lack of recognition on students’ learning and lives at university. We conclude universities must get beyond ‘peeing and pronouns’ to reimagine higher education as an accessible and inclusive space.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Publisher Keywords: Non-binary, transgender, higher education, student experience, 1608 Sociology, Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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