Beyond Binary with Jackie Rivera

Gender roles are dead – it’s a mantra that Jackie Rivera, an SFA senior and Her Campus staffer, lives by. She’s hilarious, witty, and incredibly intelligent, and she’s put a lot into becoming the person she is. Though I am slightly biased – she’s my girlfriend – she’s someone who lives her life without fear of conforming, and that’s something we could all learn from.


How does Jackie not conform? She chooses to break gender roles on just about a daily basis. From living life an openly gay woman to dressing in male clothing combined with various aspects of femininity, Jackie’s style and personality are far from what traditional society expects from young women.   

Why not conform? Jackie chooses not to conform to traditional gender roles in society because, “life is much more than black and white – it’s more than a binary worldview,” she says. She does not wish to stick to only feminine or only masculine trends, behaviors and roles, but rather embraces both aspects of these concepts and combines them into what she deems “an androgynous spectrum of self-expression.”

Jackie’s views on open gender expression and gender roles stem from much of the research she has done regarding gender as well as her minor in Women’s and Gender Studies at SFA. She has hopes that the program, which is currently pretty small, “will grow and expand as time goes on, so that more people can get exposure to the many sides of gender and identity.” She believes her change to this minor from an education one is what ultimately led her to find herself and allowed for her to reignite her passion for her major – English – by teaching her how to analyze gender in media and literature.

Jackie aspires to one day be a professor in contemporary literature at a school somewhere in the Northeastern United States, where she will be able to enjoy all four seasons and also teach students about gender in literature. When she’s not reading about gender, body positivity and feminism, Jackie is generally busy working, studying, hanging out with friends or playing with our cats. She’s currently gearing up for her graduation in just two weeks and plans on ultimately landing herself in a literature grad program by Fall of 2018 – which allows for her to enjoy a year off from school.

For more on her androgynous life and to see some of her hilarious tweets and photos, follow her social media at:  

Instagram – @sentient_jack_95 Twitter – @jackrivera33