Bigender

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

Bigender, bi-gender, or sometimes dual-gender/dual-gendered, is a gender identity under the multigender, nonbinary, and transgender umbrella terms. Bigender people have two different specific 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]

In the 1980s, a trans organization called the Human Outreach and Achievement Institute defined "bigenderist" as a type of androgyne, with the latter being defined as "a person who can comfortably express either alternative gender role in a variety of socially acceptable environments."[3][4]

In 1992, Donna Mobley wrote in The Femme Mirror magazine:

« I'm neither a man pretending to be a woman nor a woman pretending to be a man. I'm dual-gendered and happily so. Don and Donna coexist and together they make up who and all that I truly am. To lose either part would leave me empty, since neither can exist without the other.[5] »

A trans man named Gary Bowen defined "bigendered" as "having two genders, exihibiting[sic] cultural characteristics of male and female roles" in his 1995 Dictionary of Words for Masculine Women".[6]

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".[7]

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.[8]

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."[9]

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."[10][11][12] 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.[13]

In July of 2014, two bigender pride flag designs by Tumblr user no-bucks-for-this-doe were posted on the blog "pridearchive".[14] The first flag has seven horizontal stripes: two shades of pink on the top, followed by a lavender stripe, white middle stripe, another lavender stripe, and two shades of blue on the bottom. The second flag is the same except that the middle stripe is a gradient of white-to-grey. The color meanings were given thusly:

« Here's what the flag colours mean:

Pinks: Femininity

Blues: Masculinity

Purple: Nonbinary

White transitioning to Grey: Agender and other neutral genders

The placement of the pink and blue stripes on opposite ends of the flag are to represent a sense of separation, yet coexistence between masculinity and femininity[14]

»

In later years, many alternate bigender pride flags were created after allegations that no-bucks-for-this-doe was transphobic and predatory.[15][16][17]

In 2015, an entry for "bigender" was added to Dictionary.com,[18] defined as "a person who has two gender identities or some combination of both."[19]

In 2017, bigender was one of the 37 gender options added to the dating network Tinder.[20]

Gender expression[edit | edit source]

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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."[1]

Notable bigender people[edit | edit source]

Canadian sci-fi writer A.M. Dellamonica, who describes themself as "bigendered".
Ukrainian author R.B. Lemberg, who describes themself as bigender.

There is more information about this topic here: 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 (aka 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.[21] 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.[22][23] 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."[24]
  • The Ukranian writer R.B. Lemberg is bigender.[27][28] 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.[30] 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![31]

Bigender characters in fiction[edit | edit source]

There is more information about this topic here: 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 LGBT characters. Updates three times a week.
  • Mia Siegert's novel Somebody Told Me has a bigender protagonist who goes by Alexis and/or Aleks.[32]
  • The protagonist of Baker Thief, by Claudie Arseneault, is bigender and aromantic.[33][34]
  • Why We Fight, by T.J. Klune, has a bigender protagonist.[35]
  • Currently-in-development dating sim The Office Type includes the character Mx. Hura Stapleton, who is bigender.[36]
  • Currently-in-development dating sim Repurpose includes the character Cheri, who is bigender and omnisexual.[37][38]
  • Currently-in-development visual novel ValiDate: Struggling Singles in your Area includes the character Emhari Abdi, who is a bigender lesbian. Emhari uses both "he/him" and "she/her" pronouns.[39][40]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 author=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)[Dead link]
  2. Schneider, Margaret; Bockting, Walter; Ehrbar, Randall; Lawrence, Anne; Rachlin, Katherine Louise; Zucker, Kenneth (2006). "Answers to Your Questions About Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity" (PDF). American Psychological Associaton. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2010.
  3. "Brochure for the Human Outreach and Achievement Institute." Ephemera. 1980. Digital Transgender Archive, https://www.digitaltransgenderarchive.net/files/8g84mm373 (accessed October 02, 2020).
  4. The Human Outreach and Achievement Institute. "Abstracts of a Symposium on Gender Issues for the 90s (Jul. 20, 1988)." Pamphlet. Digital Transgender Archive, https://www.digitaltransgenderarchive.net/files/5q47rn80n (accessed October 02, 2020).
  5. Mobley, Donna (Winter 1992). "A Question of Balance". The Femme Mirror. Reprinted in a 1993 issue of TV/TS Tapestry Journal.
  6. Bowen, Gary (15 May 1995). "A Dictionary of Words for Masculine Women". FTM International. Archived from the original on 5 November 1996.
  7. 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.
  8. Clements, K. "The Transgender Community Health Project." San Francisco Department of Public Health. 1999. http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite?page=cftg-02-02
  9. Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies, page 894, SAGE Publications, 2010.
  10. Case, Laura K.; Ramachandran, Vilayanur 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. ISSN 0306-9877.
  11. "Bigender - Boy Today, Girl Tomorrow?". Neuroskeptic. April 8, 2012. http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/2012/04/bigender-boy-today-girl-tomorrow.html
  12. 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
  13. Eve Shapiro, Gender circuits: Bodies and identities in a technological age. Unpaged.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Bigender Pride". Pride Archive. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  15. "Bigender Flag – What Does It Represent?". Symbol Sage. 2021. Retrieved 6 July 2021. A few years back, there were accusations flying around that the original creator of the 'official' bigender flag showed signs of being transphobic and predatory. Thus, many members of the bigender community felt uncomfortable associating with the original bigender flag. There have been many attempts across the years to conceptualize a brand-new bigender flag – one that's free from the questionable reputation of its designer.
  16. "a little note on the bigender flag". 13 October 2020. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  17. @SidiPopsicle (15 June 2021). "BEGGING people who add Bigender to pride tweets to research that the original flag was made by a transphobic and abusive pedo, and that there are two other popular redesigns to choose from (i personally prefer the one with the purple stripe in the middle, pictured below)!" – via Twitter.
  18. "New words added to Dictionary.com." May 6, 2015. http://blog.dictionary.com/2015-new-words/
  19. "Bigender." Dictionary.com. Retrieved May 18, 2015. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bigender
  20. Mallenbaum, Carly (15 November 2016). "What you need to know about Tinder's new gender identity terms". USA TODAY. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  21. 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.
  22. Kivex (15 June 2009). "Interview: London Elektricity & B-Complex". Broken Beats. Archived from the original on 17 January 2015. Retrieved 2014-09-17. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. "Hospital Records - B-complex". Hospital Records. Archived from the original on 2013-05-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. Facebook post, June 6, 2015
  25. "Press Kit – A.M. Dellamonica". alyxdellamonica.com. Retrieved 8 August 2021. Dellamonica tells people they are bigendered, bisexual and bisectional. (The latter means they sing both alto and soprano.)
  26. @AlyxDellamonica (June 15, 2016). "Bigendered, bisectional, bisexual. The middle means I sing alto and soprano. I write SF/F/H. Legally married to @kellyoyo #QueerSelfLove" – via Twitter.
  27. http://rblemberg.net/?page_id=16
  28. @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.
  29. Harrison, Margot (27 February 2019). "Quick Lit: 'Bi-Gender: A Candid Nonbinary Memoir' by James-Beth Merritt". Seven Days. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  30. "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.
  31. Mari (January 7, 2020). "Sensational Sophomores: Interview with Mia Siegert". musings of a book girl. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  32. "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.
  33. Simkiss, Ceillie. "Author Interview: Xan West". Let's Fox About It. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  34. https://gumroad.com/l/bakerthief
  35. "Book Recs: Twitter's Favourite Trans Books". Reads Rainbow. 13 May 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  36. Heavy Thought Studios - Projects
  37. "Repurpose (Demo) by Eros". itch.io. 11 June 2020. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  38. Resident Rabbit. "Repurpose". Kickstarter. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  39. @ValiDateGame (18 July 2020). "Our first mini interview is with Nasr (@trashyvoid ), the artist of Emhari!" – via Twitter.
  40. ValiDate: Meet The Cast!