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Tilted S2: Episode 1

Listen to “Gender beyond the binary”

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On this episode

More than a third of Gen Zers know someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns. But the binary view of gender is still deeply ingrained in our society. For this episode of Tilted, we’re taking a close look at what it would mean to really break the gender mold. We talk to two amazing non-binary artists—Joey Soloway, creator of the hit TV series Transparent, and Jacob Tobia, actor, producer, and author of the memoir Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story—about their personal journeys with their gender identities and what we can all do to be more open and inclusive.

A few things you’ll learn:

  • Binary thinking isn’t limited to gender. We have a tendency to sort things into only two categories, or to see only two options—and pushing ourselves to break out of binary thinking can open up new possibilities.
  • We often assume we know someone’s gender before we even talk to them (for example, a waiter greeting a group of “ladies” in a restaurant). There’s almost always a gender-neutral alternative to gendered greetings—usually, it’s as simple as just saying hello.
  • Even for people who identify as cisgender, gender is fluid and complex. We all express and experience our gender in different ways, and for most of us, some aspect of our gender identity goes against the binary norm.

More about our guests:

Discussion starters

Whether you’re listening to this episode with friends or your Circle, these questions are designed to help you discuss personal stories, connect over common challenges, and unpack the topic together.

  • What are some places (other than gender) where binary thinking shows up in your life? What could you learn or gain by challenging that thinking?
  • Have you ever been misgendered or accidentally misgendered someone else? How did you navigate that interaction? If it happened again, what would you do differently?
  • As Jacob points out, there is no such thing as “just” a woman or a man. What are some subtleties or complexities in your personal gender identity? Are there ways in which your gender expression goes against what you think of as “expected”?

View the full discussion guide