I’ve posted about Non-Binary things before on the blog, but I have never really gone into what different identities there are. Now I may get some of these wrong, as I don’t identify as most of them and a lot of them are ones I have not done much research into. However despite this I will give it my best shot!
If you have read my post Deciphering the Code, you will have seen a variety of different genders defined on there, and may have looked at the brief descriptions and gone …what? It is an easy thing to feel confused about it, especially since it may be something you have never encountered before.
First, I want to explain that gender is a spectrum. You may have heard this in the past, indeed I went over it briefly in my ‘Gay?’ post. Your gender can be made up of more femminine traits or more masculine, or both, or neither. It can be all kinds of things, what matters is how it feels to you. Most people in the world are cisgender, meaning they identify entirely with the gender they were assigned at birth. Some cis people do present in other ways, but their gender identity is the same as what they were assigned, regardless of how they present.
Myself, I am non-binary. I present more masculine, and I am undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy and corrective surgery to feel more at home in my body, where I feel it should be more masculine, but my identity is non-binary. For me this means my gender is made up 65-90% as male and 10-35% as ‘other’ (this varies and can be more or less). I wouldn’t say I have female parts to myself. I have stereotypically feminine traits, but I am not female in any way.
I posted the above illustration in my ‘Gay?’ post and as I explained there, people’s gender and sex are different things. You can be biologically one thing and identify as another. That is totally valid. The sliding scale, or spectrum’s, are where non-binary identities come into play.
Firstly, I want to cover those identities that experience a lack of gender. Namely Agender, genderqueer, and Neutrois identities. Lifted straight from the Deciphering the Code post,
See Genderqueer, a- meaning non; being of no gender, or having no gender identity, and one identifying as such.
See Neutrois; Female to Neutrois; of Transsex/Transsexual people, the Transition from Female to Neutrois, and one pre, mid or post said Transition identifying with this.
See Agender and Bigender; being of neither, both and/or other gender in regards to the Masculine/Feminine gender binary, and/or a catch-all term for non-binary gender identities.
See Neutrois; Male to Neutrois; of Transsex/Transsexual people, the Transition from Male to Neutrois, and one pre, mid or post said Transition identifying with this.
Desiring and/or having a sexless/non-sexed body, the feeling that neither a male nor a female body would be the right body, often including a non-binary gender identity, and one identifying with this.
The main element of all of these identities is that they experience a lack of gender or sex. It is about feeling like neither male, nor female, fit you in any way shape or form, and nor does any other gender. Again, I will repeat this is a complex thing that not everyone will be able to comprehend, so please do bare with me.
Next I want to focus on those which are a mix of gender’s, in particular a mix of the usual binary of male and female. Again I shall be lifting the definitions from my previous post.
See Androgynous; andro- meaning Male or Masculine; gyn- meaning Female or Feminine; one who presents as Androgynous, or one who feels that their gender is both/between Man and Woman.
Andro- meaning Male or Masculine; gyn- meaning Female or Feminine; see Androgyne; the presentation of ambiguous gender, one who presents in such a way, or the gender that is both/between Woman and Man
See Genderqueer, bi- meaning two; being of two genders, typically Man and Woman, but not necessarily.
Inter- meaning between; the state of being between two definable genders, and one who identifies as such.
Native American gender identity similar to Androgyne or Bigender, the concept of having both a Man’s spirit and a Woman’s spirit and so being both a Man and a Woman, and one identifying as such.
All of these identities encompass two genders to make up the definition. They are about that midpoint, or a point somewhere between the two. Some, such as two-spirit, come from cultural roots and are identities only those people from that culture can generally identify as which is another post on cultural appropriation in itself (perhaps I will cover that after the A-Z Challenge is over).
There is one final group of identities I feel the need to point out, and this is those that don’t fit into the other two categories.
Gender identity which changes over time, and one identifying as such.
Non-binary gender (see also genderqueer) describes any gender identity which does not fit within the binary of male and female. It is also an identity in its own right.
Third Gender (gender)
Expanding to an at least three gender system, a gender separate from, and unrelated to, Man or Woman, and one identifying as such.
Shortened version of and slang term for Transsex/Transsexual, Transgender or Transvestite, and slang term which is sometimes used to mean all or any identities of non-Cis and non-binary sex/gender, except Intersex.
Trans Man (sex/gender)
See FTM; one who identifies as a Man, and also as Trans and/or was not born Male.
Trans Woman (sex/gender)
See MTF; one who identifies as a Woman, and also as Trans and/or was not born Female.
Trans- meaning cross; when the physical sex of the body does not “match” the gender identity of the individual, and one identifying with this.
A lot of these are catch-all terms, such as transgender and non-binary, however some are used as an identifier of their own. Some people would argue that a trans man or a trans woman didn’t belong in this list, however I disagree. While a lot of trans men and trans women are binary, there are a lot of people who use those identifiers to represent their non-binary identities. The rationale for this being that by using the prefix of trans, it is stating they are not just a man, or a woman. It isn’t all too common but it is something that happens.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, and it doesn’t even go into them all in depth, but I hope it has opened your minds a little to some of the other ways people can identify. Let me know what you thought in the comments, and don’t forget to check out the other blogs in the A-Z Challenge!