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What does agender mean?

Robyn Exton

Mar 15, 2023

What does agender mean?
  • Agender is a term used to describe people who don’t identify with any particular gender. Agender folks tend to feel a disconnect from the traditional gender binary, and don’t feel a sense of connection with being “male,” “female,” a combination or the two, or somewhere in between.

    They’re just happy being who they are! Gender? No thx. It’s 2023, y’all — let’s think beyond the binary. 

    Where did the term come from?

    The actual term “agender” made its first appearance back in the year 2000, on an online forum called UseNet. That practically makes it vintage, baby! (And me, prehistoric?).

    Ever since, agender people from all over the world have been using the term to describe their gender identities in a way that actually represented how they felt within. 

    Now, remember, like with most things — terms are created out of necessity. Not because things are new. Agender people have been around since the literal beginning of humankind — just like the gays and the they’s. 

    I mean, hey, if you’re up for a cool fact and brief history lesson — many religions like Sikhism, Hinduism, and Islam consider their God as agender. In fact, the original chat room discussion where the term “agender” was first coined, was when a user wrote:

    God is amorphous, agender, […] so image can’t be a physical or gender or sexual thing.

    How do agender people present?

    How do straight people present? How to lesbian women present? How do the gays present? In a gazillion different, and equally-as-valid amount of ways! 

    Since no two people’s experiences are the same, different agender people are gonna present and express themselves in different ways. 

    There’s no right or wrong way to be agender. The thing that matters most is that we, as a community, make sure we’re making safe spaces for our agender friends to embrace themselves exactly as they want. We all deserve to feel cute, comfortable, and free to outsource our gender identities as we please.

    What pronouns do agender people use?

    It depends! Some agender people like to go by they/them pronouns while others don’t mind the more common she/her or he/him. It’s all down to personal preference.

    What’s important is respecting the wishes of the agender person in question when referring to them. 

    Is being agender the same as being asexual?

    The short answer: no. The long answer: nooooo. Keep in mind, gender and sexuality are two different things. Asexuality describes people who don’t experience sexual attraction. This is very different to not experiencing gender. 

    Some agender people might be asexual — just like some trans, cis, and nonbinary people are asexual — but not all agender folks will be. 

    Honestly, the biggest reason for this common misconception is probably just because, both, “asexual,” and “agender,” begin with an “a.”

    The reality is that agender people can identify as straight, queer, pan, gay, etc. 

    What’s the difference between agender and non-binary?

    Think of “non-binary” as an umbrella term similar to “queer.” It refers to a range of genders that don’t exclusively fall into the “man” or “woman” categories. 

    Agender people exist under the umbrella of nonbinary, but not all nonbinary people are agender. Some nonbinary people may identify as demiboys, demigirls, bigender, polygender, or otherwise – a whole variety of choices!

    Another word associated with nonbinary is genderqueer – meaning your gender identity doesn’t conform to the mainstream. Agender people may identify as either, neither, or both nonbinary or genderqueer – the key is respecting them when they tell you what labels they’ve claimed for themselves.

    Are agender people gender-fluid?

    Gender-fluid essentially means your gender can ebb and change over time. This can mean you may feel more masculine on some days, more feminine on others, or neither at all.

    Some agender people are gender-fluid but not all gender-fluid people identify as agender. When in doubt, it’s always okay to ask since no two people will ever have the same exact preferences when it comes to describing their relationship to being agender. 

    Show me the agender flag!

    Abso-effing-lutely I’ll show you the agender flag! It uses black and white stripes to represent an absence of gender and a green stripe to represent other non-binary genders.

    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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