The effects of non-binary representation in media

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Willans, Abbie
Blom, Robin
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Thesis (M.A.)
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The goal of the project is to show the importance of representation in media for nonbinary people. The lack of vocabulary surrounding gender identity is a contributing factor to the misconception that it is a new idea. In reality, the concept of non-binary identity has been around for thousands of years. Many people today do not understand what non-binary means, or have misconceptions about it. Non-binary representation in media can give young people the words that they need to describe themselves, whether that is through fictional coming-of-age stories or by news publications using the correct pronouns for non-binary celebrities. This project is a series of photo essays featuring non-binary individuals of various ages and backgrounds telling their own stories about their lives, struggles, and how media representation has affected them. The photo essays could later be incorporated into an informative social media campaign to raise awareness and increase representation. It will serve two audiences: non-binary people and how they want to be represented, and people who are unfamiliar or have a misunderstanding of what the term means. Using the idea of the contact hypothesis and recreating its effects through storytelling could help reduce stereotypes and positively affect people’s attitudes toward non-binary individuals and the issues they face.