Gender is a complex concept. As time goes on, more diverse gender identities keep expanding, even though non-binary genders have been around for a long time. Not everyone has a gender identity that will fall within just masculine and feminine, which we now understand that gender is non-binary. That’s where agender identity comes into play. This identity is within the non-binary umbrella.
What Is Agender?
Agender describes not having a gender. For example, some people who identify this way may say that their identity lacks gender or is gender-neutral.
Agender can also be known as:
Where Did the Term Come From Originally?
An article in them. said that the word “agender” was first found in an internet forum called UseNet, in 2000.
The forum was in a chat room, where one user posted: “God is amorphous, agender, […] so image can’t be a physical or gender or sexual thing.”
What Does Being Agender Look Like?
Like any gender identity, being agender means different things to each person.
For example, some agender people might transition; some may not. The choice is personal.
In addition, some agender people may change their name, pronouns, or gender expression, but that is also a personal choice. All in all, the option is theirs, and there is no “right” way to identify as an agender.
Is Agender the Same Thing as Gender-Nonconforming?
Being gender nonconforming is not the same as being agender, even though the terms can often overlap.
In other words, a gender-nonconforming person doesn’t conform to expected gender norms. However, some gender-nonconforming people are agender, but many identify as different identities.
Why Do Agender and Asexual Get Mixed Up?
A simplified explanation of asexual is that it’s a term that means that you experience little or no sexual attraction to others. However, agender means that you don’t have a gender.
Some people might get confused because of the letter “a-” at the beginning. But, these terms are two different concepts.
What Pronouns Do Agender People Use?
Agender people can use any pronouns. Some agender people avoid using gendered language to describe themselves and present their gender in any way that feels right. For example, their gender expression can be masculine, feminine, both, or beyond the binary. In addition, gender people can experience gender dysphoria if they cannot express their identity in a way that feels comfortable for them.
How many agender people are there in the United States?
Studies are limited in how many agender people there are in the United States or North America. However, some estimates believe approximately 1.2 million non-binary people live in the United States. Since agender are underrepresented in the media, it can be challenging to find a community.
Why Might Someone Use This Term Over Others?
The words that someone uses about their gender are usually based on their own identity, feelings, and beliefs. If someone chooses the word agender, likely, they don’t feel like they identify with a particular gender. In addition, some may use this word over terms like genderless because they feel more connected to it on an emotional or intellectual level.
How Is This Term Different From Being Non-binary, Genderqueer, or Gender-Fluid?
The word “non-binary” is described as an umbrella or more broad term that encompasses many genders that don’t fall within the binary “male” or “female” categories.
However, remember that even though agender can fall under the non-binary umbrella, not all non-binary people will identify as agender. For example, some non-binary people may identify as other identities like demiboys, demigirls, bigender, polygender, or more.
The term genderqueer is when people don’t identify exclusively as male or female. Essentially, “genderqueer” means that a person’s gender identity doesn’t conform to the mainstream.
The concept of being gender-fluid means that your gender can shift as time goes on. It’s essential to note that someone can be both agender and genderfluid, even though they’re not the same concept.
In addition, you can identify as agender and non-binary, genderqueer, and/or genderfluid all at once.
What Is the Best Support for Agender People?
If you know someone who is agender, there are many ways you can support them. Here are a few ideas:
- Respect and use the correct names and pronouns they want you to use.
- Be sure to tell them that they have your support. In addition, ask them how you can show your support and have a discussion with them.
- Provide them with space to talk openly about being agender while also expecting that they may not want to always talk about it.
Agender people often identify as not having a specific gender and fall within the non-binary umbrella. By learning more about different types of gender and showing your support, you can be a better ally to agender people and give them the voice and visibility they need.