Black: absence of gender; grey: partial gender; green: gender that isn't related to male or female.
|Related identities||Agenderfluid and Agenderflux|
|Under the umbrella term||Nonbinary|
Agender (also called genderblank, genderfree, genderless, gendervoid, non-gendered, ungendered, or null gender) is an identity under the nonbinary and transgender umbrella terms. Agender individuals find that they have no gender identity, although some define it more as having a gender identity that is neutral. (See gender neutral for a related identity.)
History[edit | edit source]
A 1997 paper in International Journal of Transgenderism states that "An individual of any genetic sex may also regard him-herself as [...] an ungendered person, who does not or will not identify with any conventional gender."
The 1998 book Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender College Students: A Handbook for Faculty and Administrators lists "ungendered" as a label used by some transgender people.
"Non-gendered", "genderless", and "agender" were mentioned in a list of valid nonbinary identities in the 2013 text Sexuality and Gender for Mental Health Professionals: A Practical Guide.
Salem X (also known as "Ska" or as their Tumblr user name "transrants") created the agender flag in 2014, sharing the design on Feb 18th. In reference to the colors chosen, they said "The black and white stripes represent an absence of gender, the gray represents semi-genderlessness, and the central green stripe represents nonbinary genders." In 2014, they also created the demiboy, demigirl and deminonbinary flags.
On March 10 2017, a resident of Portland, Oregon, USA requested in court to be legally agender, and the request was approved.
A 2018 survey of "Attitudes to Gender", ran by the Britain-based "Future of Legal Gender" project, asked people if they agree or disagree with the statement "More people will identify as agender (not having a gender) in the future." 32.4% selected "agree" and 13.7% selected "strongly agree". 20.6% selected "neither agree nor disagree" and 19.7% "don't know", compared to a mere 6.6% "disagree" and 7% "strongly disagree". (71% of nonbinary respondents agreed or strongly agreed.)
Agender as gender identity or lack of gender identity[edit | edit source]
Some agender people feel that they have no gender identity, while others feel that agender is itself a gender identity. This can be similar to or overlap with the experience of being gender neutral or having a neutral gender identity.
As some agender people have no gender identity, it is important to not talk about nonbinary or transgender people's experiences only in the sense of gender identity.
Difference between genderless and neutrois[edit | edit source]
There is little agreement about the difference between terms such as agender, genderless, non-gender, gender neutral, and neutrois. These terms are often used interchangeably, or defined differently by individual writers in ways that don't necessarily match the self-definitions of others using those terms.
It is often said that non-gender or genderlessness is the experience of having no gender identity at all, whereas gender neutral or neutrois is the experience of having a gender identity, a gender identity which is not male or female, but neutral. However, these statements don't match the experiences of everyone who has taken up these identities as their own. This is a result of a disagreement between word definitions that are prescriptivist (telling everyone how they should use a word, and saying that many people use it wrong) and descriptivist (describing how people have actually been using a word, without telling them to change).
Non-gendered as an umbrella term[edit | edit source]
Some activists, such as Christie Elan-Cane, use non-gendered to mean all gender outside of the gender binary. This use comes from several years before the term nonbinary, but is seen as problematic because it gives the idea that nonbinary gender identities don't exist, or that all nonbinary people are genderless. Nonetheless this usage is in some official organisations' documents and resources as the term to cover all nonbinary people. This is most common in the United Kingdom, for example throughout the 2011 UK Government Transgender Action Plan.
List of kinds of agender identities[edit | edit source]
It can be difficult to describe and name a gender identity that involves a lack of inner gender identity. In order to do so, some people see the need to make new names for that gender identity, or to distinguish between different but similar genderless identities. A list of these names, in alphabetical order:
anongender. "A gender that is unknown to you and others".
apogender. Coined by queerspike. "Greek prefix apo, meaning away from, separate, at the farthest point; a subset of agender in which you feel not only genderless but entirely removed from the concept of gender."
agenderfluix. A cross between agenderfluid and agenderflux; "a gender identity that is predominantly agender, but is fluid in nature and fluctuates in intensity over time." May also be called gxnderfluix, agxnderfluix, afluidflux, or flxidflux.
cancegender. coined by prideful-concerto. "An individual is agender as their “base” gender but experiences fluid/fluxing gender feelings in tandem with their emotions. These gender feelings may confuse or upset the individual and cause their emotional state to go haywire, which causes more gender changes." Synonym agenderfluid.
genderblank. As described by Damloz: Having no gender. Also, as described by anonymous: "a gender so indescribable that the only thought one gets when trying to describe it is a blank space"
genderfree. As described by polyamaesthetic, "someone whose gender is not present; someone who feels their gender is insignificant or irrelevant; someone whose gender is kind of ambiguous, but definitely queer; someone whose gender feels blurry, cloudy, whimsical, and free" Caution: sometimes used by trangender-exclusionary feminists to identify themself as someone who rejects the concept of gender identity.
gendernull. As described by Baaphomett, "A gender like gendervoid but without the void."
gendervoid. As described by Baaphomett, "A gender consisting of the void (also/originally used to mean the same thing as genderless)."
librafluid. Coined by otterlyradical and pride-flags-for-us. "Mostly agender, but has a strong connection that fluctuates between masculinity, femininity and/or androgyny." See also libragender.
null gender. Coined by dieselwolfe. "Undefinable, intangible, the uncreation of gender. Its taking everything everyone throws at you, saying male, female, pick one, pick this, pick that, and taking it in, only to expel it, poisonous crystals erupting from your skin, armor against those who don’t listen. A 'I don’t want a label because labels don’t fit but they help shut people up sometimes, so here have a label' gender label. A fall-back plan, a red herring to give people who can’t conceptualize the absence, void, nullification of gender. It is, and is not. All and none. Nonexistant but present."
oneirogender. Coined by anonymous. "Being agender, but having recurring fantasies or dreams of being a certain gender without the actual dysphoria or desire to actually be that gender day-to-day. e.g. oneiroboy, oneirogirl, oneirononbinary, etc."
Notable people[edit | edit source]
See main article: Notable nonbinary people
There are many more notable people who have a gender identity outside of the binary. The following are only some of those notable people who specifically use the words "agender," "genderblank," "genderfree," "genderless," "gendervoid," "non-gendered," or "null gender" for themselves.
- Actor Ellie Desautels describes themself as nonbinary, transmasculine, genderqueer, and agenderflux.
- Christie Elan-Cane is a non-gendered activist based in the UK, "fighting for legal and social recognition outside the societal gender system".
- Tyler Ford (b. 1990) is an American writer and public speaker of mixed black and white Jewish ethnicity. Ford appeared as the first transgender contestant on The Glee Project in 2012. They are agender.
- Public Universal Friend (1752 - 1819), an evangelist who preached against slavery in the early United States. The Friend was genderless and asked to be called by no pronouns at all.
- Raeen Roes (Angel Haze) (b. 1991), a well known agender rapper. They have been nominated for awards with MTV, O Music Awards, BET Awards, and GLAAD Music Awards. They announced on Twitter that they were agender.
- Andre J. (b. 1979) is an American party promoter who is a presence in the New York City fashion scene. They have been featured in photo spreads in French Vogue and V magazine. They are genderless and agender.
- Amita Kuttner, PhD., is an astrophysicist who is in the race for leader of Canada's Green Party.. They call themself nonbinary, genderfluid, and agender.
- Juno Mitchell is an American model. They walked alongside Miley Cyrus in the 2020 Marc Jacobs New York Fashion Week show. Their Instagram profile says they are agender.
- Jinkx Monsoon (b. 1987) an American drag performer, actor, comedian and singer best known for winning the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. In a Facebook post about transphobia and the drag scene, Monsoon said, "I, myself do not identify as cis-gendered. I am genderless."
- Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (b. 1982) is a cosmologist and science writer based at the University of New Hampshire. She was a founding member of the American Astronomical Society's Committee for Sexual Orientation and Gender Minorities in Astronomy. In an interview, she described herself as a femme agender cis-sex woman.
- DeAnne Smith is an award-winning Canadian-American comedian, writer and columnist. Smith is agender and transmasculine.
- Bogi Takács is a Jewish poet, writer, psycholinguist, editor, and translator who has written Torah-inspired work. They won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Transgender Fiction. Their Twitter bio says they are agender.
- Eris Young is a multi-genre writer known for their debut book They/Them/Their: A Guide to Nonbinary & Genderqueer Identities, published in fall 2019. They are agender and genderqueer.
- Jesse "Plumbella" McNamara, a youtuber and twitch streamer known as one of the main heads of the Sims community, came out as agender (along with being asexual and heteroromantic) in a livestream on March 29th, 2021 and in various tweets.
Agender characters in fiction[edit | edit source]
See main article: Nonbinary gender in fiction
There are many more nonbinary characters in fiction who have a gender identity outside of the binary. The following are only some of those characters who are specifically called by the words "agender," "genderblank," "genderfree," "genderless," "gendervoid," "non-gendered," "null gender," or not having a gender, either in their canon, or by their creators.
- “Ashiok” from the popular card game Magic: The Gathering is explicitly referred to as being nongendered. Though some depictions of the character include “he” as a pronoun, a lead designer from the company that makes the game has insisted on numerous occasions that the character is explicitly nongendered. Even going so far as to write stories which avoid referring to Ashiok using gendered pronouns at all. Ashiok's card can be found here.
- Roswell, in the podcast The Adventure Zone, is an Earth Elemental made of living clay in a suit of armor, who talks via a small bird. Roswell is agender and uses they/them pronouns.
- Chaos Life Archived on 17 July 2023 by A. Stiffler and K. Copeland - A light-hearted, semi-autobiographical webcomic about the everyday idiosyncrasies of an agender person, their female partner, and their cats.
- 6ses Archived on 17 July 2023 by Kagome is a comic that features an agender protagonist.
- *Eri the Cyborg Archived on 17 July 2023[Dead link] by Ren is a comic that features an agender protagonist.
- Biaggio, in the movie "The Kings of Summer," asserts that they don't see themself as "having a gender."
- In the video game NiGHTS into Dreams Archived on 17 July 2023 the character "NiGHTS is neutral, and therefore has no gender. The impressions of the character with regards to gender are totally up to the player" according to Takashi Iizuka, the lead designer of the game.
- Bone Dance by Emma Bull. Character: the protagonist, Sparrow, is canonically described as "sexless" and "genderless." The exact details of their identity are a matter of debate (spoilers).
- The entire race of Chronicoms from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are vehemently agender, though they are a race of extraterrestrial androids. They use gendered pronouns based on their current form.
- In the indie romance visual novel My Cup of Coffee: Earl Grey Forever After, the protagonist can be male, female, or "gender free". The player can make all other characters genderfree as well, which results in the game using gender neutral language, ne/nem/nir pronouns, and the Mx title.
See also[edit | edit source]
|There are 37 alternative pride flags for this identity.
Go to gallery!
[edit | edit source]
- Neutrois Nonsense: On the difference between agender, genderless and neutrois
- A Fine Line: J.M. Cottle talks about Genderless identity
- Chroanagram: Gender neutral=Genderless?
- Genderqueer Identities: Genderqueer identities and terms list
- Nonbinary Tumblr: When activists don't represent, Christie Elan-Cane and Gender Identity
- Hell Yeah, Agender! (blog)
- Agender on Gender Wiki
References[edit | edit source]
- This quote is a snippet from an answer to the survey conducted in the year 2018. Note for editors: the text of the quote, as well as the name, age and gender identity of its author shouldn't be changed.
- Eyler, A.E.; Wright, K. (1997). "Gender Identification and Sexual Orientation Among Genetic Females with Gender-Blended Self-Perception in Childhood and Adolescence". International Journal of Transgenderism. Archived from the original on 17 July 2023.
An individual of any genetic sex may also regard him-herself as neither a woman nor a man, but a member of some other gender, as is common in non-Western cultures (and is becoming increasingly recognized in the West as well), or as an ungendered person, who does not or will not identify with any conventional gender.
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- Sanlo, Ronni, ed. (1998). Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender College Students: A Handbook for Faculty and Administrators. p. 37. Archived from the original on 19 July 2023. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
Transgender persons are those who are not comfortable living within the confines of the social stereotype of gender as applied to themselves. Labels used include cross-dresser, drag king, drag queen, intersexed, transsexual, butch, femme, ungendered, androgynous, and more. The labels are many and changing, and they are not always accepted by the people to whom they are applied.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
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My core identity is neither male nor female
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