Based on in‐depth interviews, we explore how people who do not identify exclusively or consistently as either women or men (i.e., nonbinary people) navigate a culture that bifurcates people into women or men. Using an interactionist approach, we first analyze how interviewees employ discourse (e.g., names, identity labels, and pronouns) and the body (e.g., expressions, decoration, and transformation) to present themselves as nonbinary, which we conceptualize as ungendering social selves. Second, we examine the emotional benefits (e.g., authenticity, pride, liberation) and burdens (e.g., fear, rejection, exhaustion) of ungendering. Third, we uncover the emotional, social, and structural conditions under which our nonbinary‐identified participants sometimes present themselves as binarily gendered, which we conceptualize as gendering social selves. We conclude with discussing empirical and theoretical contributions.
- 'Sociological Forum, Volume 34, Issue 3, Page 572-593, September 2019. '