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Non-Binary Identities

Agender Means No Gender

Next week we will be covering Androgyne, with youtube and wordpress activist Lane S. Go check out their channel, and their website:

http://www.androgyneity.wordpress.com

https://m.youtube.com/user/JohannDrivesMyBus

Agender identities can have many meanings. It varies between different people. Sometimes it means no gender, or feeling a lack of connection to gender, while other times it may mean that the person feels ultimately neutral, between the 2 binary genders. Then another definition is that sometimes people feel their gender is something outside the binary, though there, is unknowable or hard to define.

Agender people can present and express their gender in many different ways, masculine, feminine, or androgynously as they feel fit. I spoke with several Agender people and asked them how they expressed their gender, and how it meant to them. They explained how their gender affects their expression.

Someone on Reddit called “ciniceasura” explained to me, they being Agender meant they were genderless, and followed up by explaining to me that “they don’t have a gender to express.” Which I assume means they dress however they want, regardless of gender. Another person under the username “NeoMahler” told me they feel outside of gender. Someone called “thebatmancuber” I found through an LGBT amino explained to me that it means that they don’t need to fit gender stereotypes. That they felt allowed to be whoever they wanted! All different and personal reasons for identifying in the way that they do. Being Agender for these people is what makes them comfortable, but as with any trans identity, it comes with its own dysphoria.

The batmancuber told me that they felt dysphoric about their chest, and their hair, which some, like myself can relate to. They told me that they preferred their short hair, or they felt too feminine. They also told me they didn’t strive for the typical androgynous idea that nonbinary people are usually cast as. They dress masculine, and feel comfortable in their gender identity, dressing that way. Neo told me that their gender dysphoria was mostly socially based, when people insinuated their masculinity or blatantly called them out as male.

Dysphoria is really different for everyone in the Nonbinary community, but I found that it is very similar to trans binary people. I myself came to figure out I was Nonbinary due to the gender dysphoria that I experience, and due to this, it prompted me to ask these people how they figured it out.

“I realized that gender didn’t really mean anything to me.” Cinceasura told me, “after years of not sympathizing with women or associating myself with them conceptually, I started settling on the idea that I just don’t have a gender or really believe in gender at all.” I liked that. They felt apathetic to gender, and that women were a different gender to their own, outside of gender.

When I talked to neo about being Agender, they explained to me that they had seen a documentary, which had triggered the questioning. “At first, I thought I was a girl, but that just didn’t feel right… Finally I googled ‘I’m not a boy, I’m not a girl’ and stumbled upon Nonbinary identities.” They told me that they felt most comfortable with the Agender label.

Another important question I felt compelled to ask, was “What do you want people to know about being Agender?” And I received great replies.

“We aren’t just ‘inventing’ it. We aren’t the first Nonbinary people in the world…” Neo then referenced the Hijra, an Indian Nonbinary identity, usually relating to trans feminine people, who were protectors, or the Bugi people from Indonesia who recognize 5 genders.

“We are valid.” batmancuber told me. They said that though it’s not typical or easy to understand, that they should be accepted. I couldn’t agree more.

Though we all see gender through a different lense, I believe that gender, or the lack of, can sometimes be a frustrating topic to figure out on your own. These people have all identified as Agender, anywhere from a few months, to several years, and all of them struggled or really thought about who they were. If you are questioning or think you may be Agender, then I urge you to take your time. I hope this resource and article have helped you. If you have further questions, feel free to email me at CaseyCashew77@gmail.com.

Casey

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What is Non-Binary?

This is the first in a series of posts which I plan on writing and posting every Monday. Feel free to stop by next week for our next installment “Agender means No gender.”
When many people think of the word Transgender, they think of someone who has or will transition to the opposite sex. Most people don’t realize that there are many other identities that also fit under this umbrella term, known as Non-Binary genders. There have been examples of this throughout history with the Centuries old Indian Hijras or the Native American Two-spirits.

Today however, people are identifying with many more labels that are less rooted in culture and more rooted in self discovery. These labels explain where people fall on the spectrum, being anything from completely neutral (Neutrois, or Androgyne) or being outside the gender spectrum all together (Agender or Maverique).
When Non Binary genders come into the Transgender discussion, some people get upset, and say that they don’t exist, but that just isn’t true. There are many examples of Non Binary people existing long before any of us started using these labels. The science is still kind of lacking in this area, but people didn’t really start using these labels until the 90s when some of these labels were coined. Only in recent years has visibility for the identity become a thing, so no wonder there aren’t 10 year studies and dissertations on the topic. But history is on our side, and each and every Non Binary person is an example of its existence.
Non Binary people are much like other Transgender people. They experience Gender dysphoria, a term the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) vol. 5 states as a person being uncomfortable with their body, surrounding ones gender. The only difference is that they experience dysphoria a little differently. For example, a female born person may be uncomfortable with their breasts or their voice. They may wish their chest was flat and their voice was more masculine, however not masculine enough to be perceived as male. They may not want to be Male, but want more masculine characteristics.
They also experience discrimination in a lot of the same ways trans people do, possibly even more so, as it is such an unknown identity spectrum. They struggle with getting health care, and finding jobs or adequate housing, just like trans people do. The difference here is that even some people in the LGBTQ+ community do not accept them.
Unfortunately, Non-Binary genders have been painted to be nonexistent, and somehow linked to attention seeking behavior, due to a vocal minority of people, through YouTube, and Tumblr. At one point in time, pronouns such as Xir/Xim were tried out in the community instead of the gendered He/She. This was quickly made a meme by mainstream media, and created further stigma around the topic of gender.
Now, as Non-Binary people strive to educate people, they are trying to change the way people view them. They fight the stereotypes, and work towards relieving the stigma around their identities. Support has been rallied by other LGBT people and YouTubers such as UpperCaseChase1 (a trans man) and Kat Blaque (a trans POC woman). A community is beginning to grow and bud, with a whole gender tag being produced by Ashley Wylde, a Non-Binary activist, which opened up the conversation to gender expression. Hopefully in the future, Non-Binary Identities will be accepted and treated fairly, like everyone should.

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