Welcome back to our strange sex series where we encourage you to let your freak flag fly! This week we are hoisting freak flags with a rainbow background. Gender refers to the behavioral, cultural, and psychological traits typically associated with males and females. So, what does it mean when someone deviates from these traits, or doesn’t conform to them at all? If the terms gender non-conforming or gender variance are a bit mind boggling to you, don’t worry we are here to help break down what it means to be gender non-conforming.
Gender Identities that fall under the Gender non-conforming umbrella
There are actually a few forms of gender identification, and while most people typically identify with the gender that was assigned to us at birth, the journey of discovering our gender doesn’t stop there. Typically, one’s gender is revealed over time through an exploration of one’s body, identity, and expression. Defining one’s own gender is a part of an individual’s gender identity.
Agender (or neutrois, gender neutral, or genderless) – someone who has little or no personal connection with gender.
Bigender – someone who identifies with both male and female genders, or even a third gender.
Genderfluid – someone whose gender identity and/or expression varies over time.
Genderqueer (or third gender) – someone whose gender identity and/or expression falls between or outside of male and female.
Intergender – someone whose identity is between genders and/or a combination of gender identities and expressions.
Pangender – someone whose identity is comprised of all or many gender identities and expressions.
Breaking the Binary constraints
Acknowledging the range of ways that individuals can experience gender can help affirm people’s identities and is a more accurate way to understand gender. Some people who are gender non-conforming may identify as transgender, and others won’t. Additionally, some people consider themselves neither men nor women. Others identify as both men and women. It’s also possible to be non-binary and identify outside of the male/female divisions, but still be able to identify with a clear gender identity.