Agender is also called genderblank, genderfree, genderless, gendervoid, non-gendered, or null gender. Agender is an identity under the nonbinary and transgender umbrella terms. Agender individuals find that they have no gender identity, although some define this more as having a gender identity that is neutral.
History[edit | edit source]
In 2014, agender was one of the 56 genders made available on Facebook.
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 is similar to and overlaps 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 problem of a difference 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 recent 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."
agenderflux. Coined by perfectlybrokenbones. "Where you identify as agender but have fluctuations where you feel feminine or masculine but not male or female. ".
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.
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 and femininity."
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."
See also[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Neutrois Nonsense: On the difference between agender, genderless and neutrois
- A Fine Line: Jillian 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]
- Eve Shapiro, Gender circuits: Bodies and identities in a technological age. Unpaged.
- "New words added to Dictionary.com." May 6, 2015. Dictionary.com. http://blog.dictionary.com/2015-new-words/
- "Agender." Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agender?s=t
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