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 is also called genderblank, genderfree, genderless, gendervoid, non-gendered, ungendered, 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]
A 1997 paper in International Journal of Transgenderism found 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."
"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.
Tumblr user transrants (also known as Salem X or "Ska") created the agender flag in 2014.
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 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.
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)."
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.
- 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.
- 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. 
- 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.
- 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.
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 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 by Kagome is a comic that features an agender protagonist.
- *Eri the Cyborg by Ren is a comic that features an agender protagonist.
- Biaggio, in the movie "The Kings of Summer," asserts that he doesn't see himself as "having a gender."
- In the video game NiGHTS into Dreams 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.
- Bubby from the Half Life AR but the AI is Self-Aware
- 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 14 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.
- http://mogai-archive.tumblr.com/post/94743909934/genderblank (Dead link)
- http://mogai-archive.tumblr.com/post/91736136744/masterpost-of-genders-coined-by-baaphomett (Dead link)
- 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.
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.
- http://mogai-archive.tumblr.com/post/91779169274/null-gender (Dead link)
- "What Does It Mean to Be Agender?". them. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
- Richards, Christina; Barker, Meg (2013). Sexuality and Gender for Mental Health Professionals: A Practical Guide. SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781446293133.
- 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
- O'Hara, Mary Emily (23 March 2017). "Judge grants Oregon resident the right to be genderless". NBC News. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
- "Survey Findings". The Future of Legal Gender. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- Williams, Rachel Anne (25 April 2019). "Can You Actually Be #Genderfree?". Medium. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- Childress, Sarah (30 June 2015). ""I Like to Exist as a Person": What It Means to Live Beyond Gender". FRONTLINE. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- "angxl hxze on Twitter", February 14, 2015
- "angxl hxze on Twitter", February 14, 2015
- Peg A. Lamphier, Rosanne Welch, Women in American History (2017), p. 331.
- Catherine A. Brekus, Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845 (2000), p. 85
- Juster & MacFarlane, A Mighty Baptism, pp. 27-28; Brekus, p. 85
- AlphaKitty (29 November 2007). "Andre J is glam, genderless &....an Alpha Kitty". YouTube. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Wolfer, Alexis. "Andre J. : On Real Beauty". Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
- Instagram bio, retrieved 17 May 2020
- Parsons, Vic (10 March 2020). "This astrophysicist could become the first non-binary person to lead a major political party in Canada". PinkNews. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
- Kuttner, Amita (2019). "Identity in Politics". amitakuttner.ca. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
- Lankston, Charlie (2 March 2020). "EXCLUSIVE: Genderless trans model who strutted the Marc Jacobs runway with Miley Cyrus opens up about their 'refreshing' heart-to-heart with the singer - while urging the industry to be more accepting of non-binary people". Daily Mail. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
- Instagram bio accessed 1 June 2020
- McNeill, Leila (9 May 2019). "Bonus: Talking Feminist Astrophysics with Chanda Prescod-Weinstein — Lady Science". Lady Science. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- TheMelbComedyFest (14 May 2017). "DeAnne Smith - Comedy Up Late 2017 (S5, E2)". YouTube. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
- Twitter bio
- "On Writing and Growing: A Q&A with Eris Young". The Ampersand Project. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
- Inglis, Becca (10 September 2019). "Eris Young on They/Them/Their: 'It's like a primer guide to being a non-binary person'". The List. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
- @Young_E_H (10 February 2020). "I identify sometimes or partly as agender but also partly or sometimes as genderqueer!" – via Twitter.
- A Voice for Vorthos – Posts tagged with “Ashiok”, Retrieved 29th September 2014, Doug Beyer’s Blog – A Voice for Vorthos.
- A Voice for Vorthos – Ok so when are we going to learn more about the specifics about Ashiok? Ashiok is not in the first novel at all and nothing is depicted in the cards.', 7th May 2014, Doug Beyer’s Blog – A Voice for Vorthos.
- The Adventure Zone Wiki: Roswell
- Mike Taylor, "Interview: Takashi Iizuka Talks NiGHTS" December 5, 2007. Nintendo Life http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2007/12/interview_takashi_iizuka_talks_nights