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Yinyang ren (traditional Chinese 陰陽人, simplified Chinese 阴阳人, Pinyin yīnyáng rén) is a slur frequently used against intersex people, and sometimes used against people who do not fit inside the gender norms, presenting being assumed as intersex a bad thing. Even if some activists in China think the term should be reclaimed through their research of traditional cultures and text, in modern and contemporary Chinese culture it still has a mostly negative connotation, so it is advised to not use this term to refer to nonbinary people or even intersex people without asking for their permission.
That said, an organization for intersex rights called Organization Intersex International Chinese (OII-Chinese) reclaims this slur, using yinyang ren as a word for intersex people, in their effort to eradicate the stigma on intersex people. Its site says,
"Yin and Yang are people whose physical gender cannot be clearly classified as male or female. A yin and yang person may have the characteristics of both sexes or lack the physiological characteristics that are defined as a gender. Yin and Yang people are born, derived from changes in genes, chromosomes or hormones. Environmental effects such as endocrine disruption may also play a role in causing some differences between yin and yang. Yin and Yang people do not mean people who deliberately choose to change their physiological characteristics."
See also[edit | edit source]
- Gender-variant identities worldwide
- Glossary of Chinese gender and sex terminology
[edit | edit source]
- Note that this quote is machine-translated and may have errors. "何謂陰陽人/雙性人/間性人？" OII-Chinese. https://sites.google.com/site/oiichinese/Home/what-is-intersex