The Frisky: “Agender”: Neither Man Nor Woman, But Definitely Fabulous -
The article also challenges the commonly presented view that androgyny is the only way to present a nonbinary gender.
Excellent and highly recommended response to the flawed NY Mag Agender article from The Frisky:
It’s a common assumption that non-binary people were all assumed female at birth, i.e. born with the body parts we typically associate with girls. With the exception of Pejic, who doesn’t have a pronoun preference and has de-emphasized the importance of gender in interviews, there are few visible examples of assumed-male-at-birth non-binary people. Kopas explained how this narrow POV can harm assumed-male-at-birth people and others who fall outside the typical presentation:
It seems that we’ve started treating the most visible examples of non-binary people as if they represented the full range of ways of being. […] Who does this leave out? People of color, fat people, male-assigned people… As a male-assigned non-binary person, it’s sometimes felt like a struggle for me to have that part of my identity recognized even by other gender-variant folks. People want to place me as either as a man because of my physical features, or a woman because of how I dress or because I’m on [hormone replacement therapy]. But there’s no non-binary uniform or medical regimen — nothing says that someone can’t dress femme and still identify outside of a gender binary. So if non-binary is to mean more than a particular kind of androgynous expression, then we need to talk about the range of ways that it can look and feel.
In short? “Agender” may sound like a tidy little label — but that would be an underestimation of every agender person that you meet.
Read the full article at The Frisky
New York Magazine: Agender Article -
The feature article in today’s New York Magazine is on agender, nonbinary and neutrois experience. The article is generally positive, presenting three different people’s experience in their own words.
Debate has ensued on Twitter about the journalist (or editor)’s choice to focus more on bodies than lives and to only feature people coercively assigned female at birth and not comment on the disparity.
Is there are barrier on CAMAB agender or nonbinary identity (or disclosure) that this article’s editorial decisions perpetuate or is it simply voyeuristic and intrusive to focus on the narrative of transition, birth assignment, surgeries and bodies?
A new article about agender / neutrois people came out. I’m featured in the article as Micah. All I’ll say is, it’s tougher than I expected to put yourself out there. Thoughts?
“I didn’t really want nipples,” Cory said, running a hand through a mop of bleached blond hair. Born female, 23-year-old Cory uses the pronoun co—and asked that we refer to co that way, too—and got elective surgery to remove co’s breasts last year. But co is not transgender in the traditional sense, transitioning between female and male. Co wants neither gender. So co joined the ranks of the agender—or, in a more florid recent coinage, the gender neutrois.
“You read stuff on Tumblr about how us nonbinary people just want to be special snowflakes,” explained Cory, who is special but made of sturdier stuff than a snowflake. Was Cory’s desire to remove co’s secondary sexual traits a ploy for attention? A reaction to internalized sexism? The result of sexual repression? “I tackled all that stuff with my therapist. We came to the conclusion that I was not okay with this part of my body. Regardless of where that came from, it was there.” Co has neither breasts nor nipples now.
“It is so perfect,” Cory said. “For me this is what neutral looks like and feels like.”
I found Cory through the #nonbinary #agender #neutrois tags on Tumblr. The social network has become an unofficial home for the gender neutral. Though most group themselves with the transgender community, they reject the narrative of a person born into the wrong, oppositely-gendered body. All five neutrois individuals I spoke to have no need for masculinity or femininity at all.
Full article: NY Mag: Neither Man Nor Woman: Meet the Agender
A gender-neutral third-person pronoun has arisen spontaneously as a part of kids' slang in Baltimore -
2008 article on how teens in Baltimore started using ‘yo’ as a gender neutral third person pronoun (often accompanied by a pointing gesture):
“What’s also interesting about the kids’ language is that people — mostly academics — have been trying to introduce a gender-neutral singular pronoun into the English language for about 200 years, with very little success. And then a group of kids in Baltimore just make one up and start using it.”
Grammar Girl: Yo as a Pronoun
"Growing up with Gynecomastia" (or, the Gender Binary bites back) -
Excellent trans* and genderqueer-friendly article on gynecomastia in The Guardian, exploring what cultural attitudes to ‘moobs’ say about society’s binary view of gender:
Matt Cornell grew up with gynecomastia, a harmless condition that made his school days a misery. From the bullying to the surgery that followed, he looks back on what ‘moobs’ meant to him
This article was very interesting due to Matt’s analysis:
This fixation on “man boobs” reveals our culture’s obsession with binary gender, but we have all the evidence we need that biological sex and gender are not as rigid or fixed as we imagine. There are intersexed people. There are transgender people and genderqueer people. There are millions of men and boys like me with gynecomastia, a medically harmless (though socially lethal) condition. The prevalence of gynecomastia in adolescent boys is estimated to be as low as 4% and as high as 69%. As one article notes, “These differences probably result from variations in what is perceived to be normal.” You think?
An excellent reminder of what the ‘trans*’ umbrella term covers.
* Asterisk Uses You Should Know *
Sam from It’s Pronounced Metrosexual weighs in on the use of the asterisk in Trans*
(read more here)
Student researcher looking for nonbinary interviewees in Glasgow -
Signal boosting. Are you nonbinary and live in Glasgow, Scotland?
I’m being interviewed for a study on being trans in Glasgow, the person conducting the study is looking for 2 more people, age ranges early 20s and 50+, non binary identities please! This is her explanation of the study;
“My research is looking into the lived experiences of four transsexuals in Glasgow. I recently interviewed a transwoman who had made Glasgow her new home for another piece of research and arising from this interview I wanted to explore this area more. I really want to get a sense of how transsexuals have created and continue to manage their new identity and overcome the many barriers that society places. The reason I have chosen Glasgow is that it still tends to have a tough image with strong sectarianism in football and a working man’s image of work hard play hard so it can be considered unforgiving with anything and anyone that is considered against the”norm” so to speak. Whether the people I interview are transmen or transwomen I want to explore if Glasgow and Scotland’s culture and history has helped or hindered their transition. I don’t have an end goal in mind I just believe and hope that the more information that is out there about such matters can help educate and hopefully reduce discrimination.”
If you want to get involved, you can contact Fiona at - 1103350K@student.gla.ac.uk
Please share! Thanks.
Gender Neutral Bathroom Challenge -
The challenge: Don’t use any gendered bathrooms or change rooms for the month of April.
What are “gendered bathrooms”? Gendered bathrooms are designated for “men” or “women” by a sign. This challenges includes ALL multi-stall and single-stall washrooms, and the bathrooms at work, schools, libraries, bars/restaurants, and everywhere, really.
There are multiple purposes for this challenge:
1) To give people who don’t find going to gendered bathrooms a difficult/unsafe experience a small idea of what it is like for trans and gender variant people to navigate this world. Hopefully, with some real life experience, you will have a broader understanding of how gendered this world really is. But,
DOING THIS DOES NOT GIVE YOU AUTHORITY TO SAY WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE TRANS OR GENDER VARIANT.2) To inspire people to fight for more gender neutral bathrooms.
- Don’t drink a lot of liquid if you are leaving the house for long periods of time
- Try to figure out where some gender neutral bathrooms are in your town/city, and plan your day around using a gender neutral bathroom.
- Remember, you can use gendered bathrooms again in May. Some people can’t.
And, even if you really have to go to the bathroom, try to not see gendered bathrooms as a possible place to go.
If you are interested, feel free to write your experiences down and send them to email@example.com. With your permission, they will be included in a zine on the topic of gendered bathrooms.
We also recommend fighting for gender neutral bathrooms in one (or more) public space(s). Often the fight for this aspect of bathroom accessibility is only fought for by trans and gender variant people; It would be nice if other people fought for it too.
(There’s also a Facebook event:https://www.facebook.com/events/209510742488108/)
PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST!
It would be an interesting caveat to add if you can’t find a gender neutral bathroom, you have to use the one you normally wouldn’t use, but that could cause some actual violence (which happens to trans* people on a regular basis, obviously, but for a thing like this that’s probably not the best ever)
I guess if you want the full experience you could add that to it?
Edited to add: If you missed the show, you can listen to the entire thing on the programme page, Nat joins the conversation at about 45 minutes in, but it’s well worth listening to the entire discussion.
Nat will be taking part in this online radio show on Sunday:
Is It a Boy or a Girl? Improving Media Coverage Beyond the Binary
Sunday, March 25 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET
Join us for a radio-style program on how the media covers non-binary and non-conforming gender and what we can do to make that coverage better.
Hosted by Avory Faucette of QueerFeminism.com and Radically Queer, and featuring guests with expertise in gender-neutral parenting, non-binary identities, and media coverage of transgender issues, we’ll be looking closely at some misunderstandings the media makes and how feminists can take action to educate and improve coverage. We’ll consider topics including major media coverage of gender-neutral parenting and education in 2011, the media’s refusal to take supermodel Andrej Pejic’s stated identity seriously, and what articles on genderqueer and other identities get right and wrong. We’ll also be talking about the best way to cover less familiar gender identities, how journalists can describe gender in a way that is less harmful to non-binary or questioning individuals, and how blogs and social media are changing the conversation.
Guests will be:
To tune in, join us from your computer at 10 am EST on Sunday, March 25. A live stream of the show will appear when we start. You’ll be able to ask questions or chat about the show in the chat room on that page or call in with a question using the guest call-in number listed there. We hope you’ll join the conversation!
This event is part of WAM! It Yourself 2012, a multi-city event by Women, Action & the Media. For more information about events happening all over the world, check here or email Lexi.
Asking this question is like standing underneath two enormous waterfalls of bright pink and blue paint which are covering you and everybody else with gallon after gallon of gloopy, gloss paint, getting in your eyes and your mouth, stopping you from seeing and breathing, the level is up around your neck, and nearby others are trying to swim and sinking and drowning, and you’re turning to your friend and asking, ‘Hey, was my t-shirt white or pale yellow?’ — In response to the question, “What does gender mean in the absence of gender roles?”
[Shop window displaying childrens clothes on mannequins. A sign reads:
‘NOT FOR GIRLS.
NOT FOR BOYS.
We make clothes for children.
POLARN O. PYRET’]
This is not quite new, but UK clothing store Polarn O. Pyret still has the right idea in selling clothes for kids without distinguishing boys’ clothes from girls’ clothes. More on their strategy here.