Bigender

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Bigender
Bigender.png
Meaning
Pink: Woman; Blue: Man; Purple: Androgyne/mix of woman and man; White: Agender.
Related identities Androgyne, Bigenderfluid, Ambigender and Ambonec
Under the umbrella term Multigender
Frequency 3.7%
Bigender-2.png Click here to see alternative flags!



Bigender, or bi-gender, is a gender identity under the multigender, nonbinary, and transgender umbrella terms. Bigender people have two distinct gender identities, either at the same time, or at different times. The latter is a form of genderfluid identity, and may involve only two distinct genders, or it may involve "shades of gray between the two."[1] The two genders of a bigender person can be the two binary genders, female and male. This is what people usually assume bigender means. However, some people who identify as bigender have a different pair of genders. For example, their two genders might be female and neutrois. Or the two genders might be both nonbinary, such as agender and aporagender. Bigender is recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) as a subset of the transgender group.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

A 1997 paper concerning the "gender continuum" in International Journal of Transgenderism noted that "a person who feels or acts as both a woman and a man may identify as bi-gendered." The paper also described individuals who were "genderblended", being both binary genders but either "more man than woman" or "more woman than man".[3]

A 1999 survey conducted by the San Francisco Department of Public Health observed that, among the transgender community, less than 3% of those who were assigned male at birth and less than 8% of those who were assigned female at birth identified as bigender.[4]

In a 2010 encyclopedia, bigender is listed as a type of "androgyne" gender: "Androgyne identities include pangender, bigender, ambigender, nongendered, agender, gender fluid, or intergender."[5]

In 2012, Case and Ramachandran gave a report on the results of a survey of genderfluid people who call themselves bigender who experience involuntary alternation between female and male states. Case and Ramachandran gave this condition the name "Alternating gender incongruity (AGI)." Case and Ramachandran made the hypothesis that gender alternation may reflect an unusual degree (or depth) of hemispheric switching, and the corresponding suppression of sex appropriate body maps in the parietal cortex. They said that "we hypothesize that tracking the nasal cycle, rate of binocular rivalry, and other markers of hemispheric switching will reveal a physiological basis for AGI individuals' subjective reports of gender switches... We base our hypotheses on ancient and modern associations between the left and right hemispheres and the male and female genders."[6][7][8] These doctors think that when bigender people feel a change between their gender identities, it might have to do with a change in how they use parts of their brains. The gender change might also have to do with one of the cycles that everyone has in their body, specifically, a valve in the nose that changes sides every two days (the nasal cycle). This is only a hypothesis, meaning that it is an interesting idea that doesn't have proof for now.

In 2014, bigender was one of the 56 genders made available on Facebook.[9]

In 2015, an entry for "bigender" was added to Dictionary.com,[10] defined as "a person who has two gender identities or some combination of both."[11]

In 2017, bigender was one of the 37 gender options added to the dating network Tinder.[12]

Gender expression[edit | edit source]

Bigender people "move between feminine and masculine gender-typed behaviour depending on context. Some bigendered individuals express a distinctly ‘en femme’ persona and a distinctly ‘en homme’ persona […] others have shades of grey between the two."[13]

Notable bigender people[edit | edit source]

Ukrainian author R.B. Lemberg, who descibes themself as bigender.

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 word "bigender" or "bi-gender" for themselves.

  • The Slovakian musician B-Complex B-Complex (Matia or Maťo Lenická) is a drum and bass music producer and DJ. Prefers the name Maťo when presenting as a man and the name Matia when presenting as a woman.[14] The artist's first major label release was "Beautiful Lies", which appeared on the compilation Sick Music from Hospital Records. The compilation went on to reach the top 30 on the iTunes UK Download Chart, and was in the top 5 on the Beatport Drum and Bass Chart.[15][16] B-Complex goes by she/her pronouns (according to her Soundcloud bio), and says, "I happen to be a transgendered person as well, bi-gender in particular."[17]
  • The Ukranian writer R.B. Lemberg is bigender.[18][19] Lemberg's speculative fiction has been published in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Sisters of the Revolution, and Uncanny Magazine.
  • The young adult novelist Mia Siegert is bigender.[20] Siegert's debut novel Jerkbait made it into Goodreads Best YA of May 2016, Top 12 Indie YA from Barnes & Noble Teen Blog, and Top 10 YA of 2016 from AndPop![21]

Bigender 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 word "bigender," either in their canon, or by their creators.

  • But I'm A Cat Person by Erin Ptah - Urban fantasy webcomic featuring a bigender character - Timothy/Camellia Mattei - as well as numerous 'Beings' who are able to take on both male and female forms. Also features various LGB characters. Updates three times a week.
  • Mia Siegert's novel Somebody Told Me has a bigender protagonist who goes by Alexis and/or Aleks.[22]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Schneider, M., et al. APA Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance, and Intersex Conditions, 2008 http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/transgender.pdf (PDF)
  2. Schneider, M., et al. APA Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance, and Intersex Conditions, 2008 http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/transgender.pdf (PDF)
  3. 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.
  4. Clements, K. "The Transgender Community Health Project." San Francisco Department of Public Health. 1999. http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite?page=cftg-02-02
  5. Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies, page 894, SAGE Publications, 2010.
  6. Case, L. K.; Ramachandran, V. S. (2012). "Alternating gender incongruity: A new neuropsychiatric syndrome providing insight into the dynamic plasticity of brain-sex". Medical Hypotheses 78 (5): 626–631. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2012.01.041. PMID 22364652. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22364652
  7. "Bigender - Boy Today, Girl Tomorrow?". Neuroskeptic. April 8, 2012. http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/2012/04/bigender-boy-today-girl-tomorrow.html
  8. Stix, Gary (2012-04-20). "'Alternating Gender Incongruity' Causes Rapid Shifts Of Gender, Scientist Claims". The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/alternating-gender-incongruity_n_1438911.html
  9. Eve Shapiro, Gender circuits: Bodies and identities in a technological age. Unpaged.
  10. "New words added to Dictionary.com." May 6, 2015. http://blog.dictionary.com/2015-new-words/
  11. "Bigender." Dictionary.com. Retrieved May 18, 2015. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bigender
  12. Mallenbaum, Carly (15 November 2016). "What you need to know about Tinder's new gender identity terms". USA TODAY. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  13. Schneider, M., et al. APA Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance, and Intersex Conditions, 2008 http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/transgender.pdf (PDF)
  14. Pecíková, Laura. "Prelomil/a B-complex: Keď som muž, tak som Maťo, keď žena, tak Matia" [B-complex explained: When I'm a man, I'm Mato, when a woman, Matia]. Denník N (in Slovak). Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  15. Kivex (15 June 2009). "Interview: London Elektricity & B-Complex". Broken Beats. Archived from the original on 17 January 2015. Retrieved 2014-09-17. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  16. "Hospital Records - B-complex". Hospital Records. Archived from the original on 2013-05-14. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  17. Facebook post, June 6, 2015
  18. http://rblemberg.net/?page_id=16
  19. @RB_Lemberg (July 25, 2018). "@bogiperson is my spouseperson and Mati the Child is our childperson. We are all #ActuallyAutistic :) I forgot to mention that I am bigender and use the pronoun "they." Good to see you here - come say hello if you feel like it! <3" – via Twitter. line feed character in |title= at position 102 (help)
  20. "Writing from a Place of Truth". Diversity in YA. Retrieved 2 May 2020. I’m bigender, identifying as both a mostly-hetero female and a gay male.
  21. Mari (January 7, 2020). "Sensational Sophomores: Interview with Mia Siegert". musings of a book girl. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  22. "A Book Trailer, Podcast, and Mia Siegert's Playlist for Somebody Told Me". The Lerner Blog. Lerner Publishing Group. May 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2020.