I got a question today on tumblr that said this:
“hey, can you explain your genders to me? I don’t know much about other genders and I really don’t ever want to offended or hurt anyone with my ignorance, so would you mind explaining? sorry to bother. I hope your day will be/has been as lovely as you”
And I wrote a huge response, and then looked it over and decided to reupload it here too:
You’re totally good. I’ve been thinking about gender a lot recently, so hopefully what I say sounds halfway coherent.
As a preface, I’m only me, and this is about my gender identity/ies. I don’t speak for anyone else in the nonbinary spectrum or trans* community.
- Genderqueer– As I understand it, this word means someone whose gender either shifts frequently, or who identifies outside of the gender binary (man or woman is the gender binary).
- Nonbinary– All of my genders except bigender are nonbinary. That means that there are days when I feel like the words “man” and “woman” are completely obsolete in the context of me and my body. Sometimes, even nonbinary doesn’t fit, and then I’m agender.
- Agender– When I’m agender, I don’t identify as any gender. I’d rather not be called “her/she/herself” just as much as I’d rather not be called “he/him/himself,” or “hir/hirself/hirs.”*
*Please note that there are more nonbinary pronoun sets, but I won’t list them all because there are dozens or hundreds of variations.
Usually I stay away from situations where people divide by genders (like gym class or class projects) and people who’ll refer to me in the context of being a woman or a girl, or having female anatomy. (because I pass as cis with everyone I interact with physically).
- Bigender– This refers to the polar opposites of my gender identification. As my gender shifts a lot, it’s rare that I’m bigender. However, there are days when I feel completely masculine, and like I want everyone to see me as a man or a boy.
And then there are days when I feel decidedly feminine, and wearing my uniform school skirt doesn’t bother me, and I usually attempt makeup on days like this. These days, I want everyone to see me as a woman or a girl.
These days are decidedly rare for me, and usually I’ll go a month or more without being either- and then one day BAM! I’m back in binary mode for a day, or a month, or a week.
- Genderfluid– If I was going to describe my entire gender identity with one word, it would be hard, but I’d say this one fits best. Being genderfluid is exactly what it sounds like- my gender is fluid, and shifts around a lot. How I identify and present myself also shifts a lot, and sometimes it’s really frustrating trying to decide who I am.