The Vermont Connection


The narratives and experiences of nonbinary people and nonbinary college students are still infrequent in scholarship and are viewed as abnormal, niche experiences. Normative ideals are further enforced by the severe lack of nonbinary scholars and researchers. In this paper, I name the challenges of normativity and use the existing literature to explore current obstacles to nonbinary students’ senses of liberation, safety, and belonging at their institutions of higher education. I use normativity, specifically transnormativity, and binarism frameworks to explore barriers to nonbinary students’ liberation and full engagement in higher education, and the uniqueness of nonbinary students’ experiences compared to other members of the wider trans community. The article concludes with imperative implications that I have identified through my experiences as a nonbinary student and as a nonbinary professional entering into the field of student affairs.