If you’re questioning your gender at all, you’ve probably used the internet to help you out. And if the internet proves anything, there’s a whole lot of discourse (in inside voices and outside) over gender.
There are camps saying there are only two genders (by which they usually mean sexes) and other camps saying there’s a wide, burgeoning spectrum of genders. It’s hard to find your fit among people’s opinions and uses of facts.
However, here’s what I have to say: If you think there are men and women, you think gender exists (a dog or dolphin or Tyrannosaurus Rex cannot be a man or woman, but they can certainly be male or female).
So if you think gender exists at all, and you think gender exists in a binary, then the opposite on it’s binary is true.
If gender exists, gender can be absent as well. This is where agender people come in.
What is Being Agender?
As it’s described, someone who is agender does not feel associated with any gender at all.
According to the Gender Wiki, people who are agender typically feel:
- Genderless or lacking gender.
- Gender neutral. This may be meant in the sense of being neither man or woman yet still having a gender.
- Neutrois or neutrally gendered.
- Having an unknown or undefinable gender; not aligning with any binary or non-binary gender.
- Having no other words that fit their gender identity.
- Not knowing or not caring about gender, as an internal identity and/or as an external label.
- Deciding not to label their gender.
- Identifying more as a person than any gender at all.
That’s the essence of being agender. Gender is such a non-concern in most developed countries in the Global North. Gender is becoming less of an inherent trait of who we are, how we should regard ourselves, and how people should regard us. An agender person would say, “I’m not a man or woman, I’m just a human. I’m me.”
The feeling of gender may seem arbitrary. Being agender would be like being in a world designed for only blondes and brunettes when you have red hair. In this world, blondes have to pee in one room, brunettes have to pee in another room. The agender red-head would ask “Why does hair color even matter?”
An agender person finds gender roles and expectations the last of their concerns. They don’t care if they act or look “unladylike” or “unmanly.” They have their own wants and desires that do not adhere to what people with their body expects of them. If anything, their gender role is the last of their concern.
Common Agender Traits
This is not a comprehensive list. Further, you don’t have to hit every single point on this list to be agender. Hopefully after reading this list, though, you have a better sense of what it means to feel agender.
- Feeling like a human rather than a man or woman. (E.g, “I’m not a man or woman, I’m just me.”)
- Gender non-conformity in action, though someone could act stereotypically feminine, such as putting on makeup and dresses simply because they like it.
- Odd feelings about the increasing prominence of your secondary sex characteristics during puberty.
- An attraction toward an androgynous body, mostly in yourself but also for other people.
- Apathy or little negative feelings towards your genitals, secondary sex characteristics, birth names, and assigned pronouns.
- Not necessarily having gender dysphoria but being frustrated with people’s gendered expectations of you. E.g, “Act like a man!” or “Women should be good listeners!” mean nothing to you.
- Repulsion towards institutionalized gender clothing, speech, or behavior, such as wearing a dress or suit for a formal event, having someone call you “Sir” or “Ma’am” out of politeness, etc.
- You don’t think you’re trans, but you’re not cis either.
- A desire to have gender nullification surgeries to reduce how your secondary sex characteristics look.
- A sense that gender is a bit odd or silly.
Can Agender People Have Gender Dysphoria?
Agender vs Genderless
You might be wondering, “Well what the heck is the difference between agender and genderless! The words by definition should mean the same thing, so what gives?”
The phrasing gets a little tricky (as it usually does describing gender). But for the most part, agender can be described as someone who identifies as gender neutral. Genderless is described as someone who simply lacks gender. To paraphrase the YouTuber Vi Hart, “Some people identify as a man, others as a woman. I simply refuse to identify.”
Good Videos to Watch
Because who reads anything anymore? Here are some great YouTube videos I recommend.
Vi Hart – “On Gender”
Hart eloquently and succinctly describes her experience growing up as a genderless/agender person in a gendered society. While she mostly focuses on her own experience, other people who have had similar experiences will resonate with her thoughts.
Will Macfie – “Being Agender”
Will gives some definitions on agender and gender dysphoria before describing their own experience with being agender. For example, when will was a child and went through the drive-through, they felt confused when the drive-through attendant asked, “Boy or girl?” for the toys. It didn’t matter to Will.
Them. – “Shamir Explains the History of the Word ‘Agender’”
An informative video explaining exactly what the title says, in addition to how the label “agender” flourishes now.
Call Me Crashy – My Agender Dysphoria
Crashy describes where they feel dysphoria. Some of it has to do with their secondary sex characteristics such as breasts, but the dysphoria extends to other parts of their body as well. There’s not a lot of people talking about how agender feel dysphoria, so I think this is a very helpful video. Besides, Crashy is adorable!
Ashley Wylde – “Non-Binary Dysphoria”
I know, I know, non-binary isn’t the same as agender, but I think Ashley’s experience can relate to people who don’t feel like a man or woman and want to maintain some sort of androgyny. It’s an interesting and well-spoken video for sure.
Only you can decide how you feel in your body, but I hope this article helped you address some confusion. Take a look at some other articles around this site.
Thanks for stopping by! Love ya 😀