Beyond the Binary

By Nez Covington

Theo Barklage, 18, reflects on his identity as a trans man, and the ways in which his experience of gender differs from dominant society’s limiting idea of the gender binary.  His family’s unwavering support enables Theo to bring “reckless optimism” to OUTright Youth, a nonprofit organization that provides support to and creates a safe and anonymous environment for middle and high school age LGBTQ+ youth.

Theo is seen as a mentor figure to many of the younger individuals in OUTright Youth, and is wholeheartedly committed to helping them question and explore their identities by being his most authentic self and encouraging them to do the same inside the safe space OUTright Youth creates.