Someone wrote…

I think I’m genderless or gender-fluid, but I want a self-defining word that doesn’t contain the word “gender.”

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on August 4th, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 14 comments »

14 Responses to “Self-Definition”

  1. Fizz

    That’s a hard one. Some contexts work better than others–“Are you a boy or a girl?” “Nope.”


  2. Andy

    If you think you’re genderless, you might want to look up the term “neutrois.” I’m not sure what gender-fluid word you could use, unless you find the word “queer” acceptable in that context.


  3. Fizz

    Per AVEN, neutrois is a little more specific than agender, which might not be what the OP intends: … but “agender” contains “gender,” so that doesn’t help.


  4. Poet

    Just say you’re “poly”


  5. Jade

    @ Poet: poly is usually taken to mean polyamourous so that might not be the best idea.

    fabulous maybe?


  6. --Z--

    It’s not the best for being precise, but I tend to find that the word “queer” is very generous in what it can encompass. Especially when a full explanation is elusive.


  7. Mae

    I like the term androgynous.


  8. Anonymous

    As soon as you begin to put things into words, you limit them.


  9. Anonymous

    “epicene” is an old adjective you don’t hear that often, but might fit you.

    i’d also second investigating “neutrois” and “androgyne”. they have their own connotations, but they might fit, depending.

    some people outside of the male/female dichotomy simply call themselves “non-binary”.

    you can always apply non-gender words to your (lack of) gender: “not applicable”, “apathetic”, “confused”, “radical”, “unfathomable”, etc. they don’t have a community associated with them like the identity terms, but they could allow you to be more creative/precise and doubly establish your non-genderedness.

    as someone who doesn’t really feel like they have a gender identity and is generally confused about the concept, i have a hard time picking a label that indicates where i stand. i think it is because most of the identity terms are taken to indicate shades within the gender-spectrum rather than one’s relationship to gender business as a whole. personally i sort of am partial to “queer” because it does specify a relationship to gender as a whole– i am “queering” gender– but it sort of sounds like a *positive* quality (i.e. denoting the presence of something) rather than a *negative* one (i.e. denoting the lack of something). which is not really what i am looking for, as i too feel “genderless”.

    hope you can find what you’re looking for, chris! good luck.


  10. Fizz

    Most recent anonymous: what you describe is what I call agender in myself. :) It’s not on the spectrum, it’s checking out of that system and observing it from outside.


    Anonymous replied:

    6:13 anon again

    that’s the shortest term i think that would apply to me, and what i would probably state if somebody asked (not that anyone ever really does, lolz). i do sort of consider myself “checking out of the system”. that’s a good way of putting it.

    our submitter chris wanted something without “gender” in it and i have to say i am sort of liking that sentiment, though.


    Fizz replied:

    Yeah, I can definitely understand that, although I don’t feel the need to avoid it as strongly myself.


  11. Elliott

    So well put, original poster. I’m enchanted.

    I’m yet to find a gentle way of rejecting gender AND gender-fluidity. I tend to just scoff at everything. Not to be recommended.

    I’m happier when I cling to my chosen name and live as the best Elliott. Also, I find if you talk only to cats, you can use the “I” pronoun forever and never hear anything back! : )

    (urgh, my name-link was supposed to take people to


  12. Moose

    I read a comic/zine once about a non-gender-conforming family who described themselves by their personal characteristics, such as “Scratchy-Face-Belly-Laugh” instead of “Dad.” I forget the others, but it was very cute.


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