LGBTQ Advocacy

Non-Binary Identities Are Our Future – Thank Goodness

Matthew Clements

Matthew Clements

California State University, Northridge

Workshop Session #1

9AM - 10AM -

Session Overview

This workshop introduces the history of oppressing non-binary gender and sexual identities in U.S. starting with anti-masquerading laws in the early 1900's, Cold War 1950s Lavender Scare, police entrapment & criminalization of gender non-conforming individuals in all major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles. We ask why. We chart the ways binary understandings of gender and sexuality have held us all in a limited paradigm re: what is our humanity. We then look at present-day, non-binary explosions in gender identity and expression as well as at the current increase in non-binary sexualities. What do these explosions tell us? We explore the current pioneers of non-binary identity and note their impact on present-day society. We engage in small group discussion re: our own gender identities and expression, especially in light of current non-binary revolution: how does it impact us? We then regroup to posit how we can better support non-binary identities within our families, schools, workplaces, churches and community. We exit the workshop stoked on the healing benefits non-binary identity offers society.


Matthew Clements holds a BA in English from Occidental College and an MFA in Film & TV Directing from UCLA. Matthew started teaching in the CSUN Queer Studies Program in Spring, 2014. He teaches a range of courses including: freshman composition (QS 115), upper division GE Perspectives in Queer Studies (QS 301), QS Advanced Topics: Queer Film & Video (QS 401 QFV.) Matthew’s sections of QS 301 are designated as  course offerings in (1) GE Path: Arts, Media & Culture, with an emphasis on Comparative Cultural Studies; (2) GE Path Social Justice, with an emphasis on the ways socially constructed beliefs and expectations associated with race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, developmental challenges, gender, and/or sexuality become institutionalized and facilitate and/or limit people’s ability to exercise equal social, political, and economic rights. Matthew has written a number of new Queer Studies Program course proposals, currently in the CSUN Educational Policy Committee approval process: QS 204: Queer Identity: Pop Music and Its Audience 1980s to Now; QS 206: Queer Identity: FanFiction; QS 304: Queering the Screen, Queering the Spectator. In April 2017, Matthew co-hosted Town Hall on LGBTQ+ Needs and Wants in the San Fernando Valley (co-coordinated event with Project Q, Parent Advisory Council, USC, CSUN Queer Studies Program, CSUN Pride Center.) Matthew is the author of the 2010 novel Year of my Sticky by Sebastian Long. Matthew is also the writer, producer, director of a 43-minute featurette Free Zone (ZDF/Arte). Both of these products explore bisexual male identity within a wider socio-political-cultural context. In addition to his work with Queer Studies Program, Matthew teaches in CSUN’s Academic First Year Experience Program and Communication Studies. Matthew has also taught Queer Studies: History, Theory & Expression; Pop Culture and Queer Representation; and Performance Art at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA. At Art Center, Matthew also served as co-chair, Faculty Council. Matthew presented to the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Art, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, paper title: “Social Engagement in the Design Curriculum & Research for Designers,” June, 2007. Matthew currently serves as a member of the San Fernando Valley LGBT+ Coalition and as a member of the LAPD LGBTQ Working Group.