Intergender

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Intergender is a gender identity under the nonbinary and transgender umbrella terms. Intergender people have a gender identity that is in the middle between the binary genders of female and male, and may be a mix of both. The word "intergender" has been independently coined by different people at different times, resulting in two main differences in meaning:

1. Some of them have given it as an identity label that any person can use, even if they are not intersex (dyadic) themselves. This definition seems to have been coined earlier, at least in the 1990s.[1]

2. Others have said that "intergender" can only be used by people who are intersex, and that intergender is an identity only for intersex people.[2] Intersex people need words for gender identities that correlate only with intersex bodies. In that case, dyadic nonbinary people should respect intersex people by taking up a different label than intergender for themselves, such as androgyne or bigender.

On the other hand, dyadic people who identified as intergender before this rule was created may be no less entitled to it. There is also the matter that some nonbinary people who were born dyadic describe their transition as one that will make their body more intersex, and call themselves female-to-intersex or male-to-intersex transsexuals.[3] (However, some intersex people have said they were uncomfortable with this.) Either way, both definitions agree that "intergender" means a gender identity between female and male, which may be a mix of both.

History

In the 1990s, people who identified as intergender had a discussion group in the alt.support.intergendered newsgroup, which was created by a dyadic intergender person named Donna Lynn Matthews.[4] Some participants of that newsgroup used gender-neutral pronouns.[5]

In 1998, Matthews described intergender as "a gendered state between the polar endpoints of man and woman. […] I'm both and neither at the same time. […] As we do not gender ourselves along the either/or lines of the binary gender system, we often choose not to present along these lines. […] We are not really interested in passing as women or men. We want nothing more than to be able to simply be who we are without having choose between two extremes."[6]

In 2000, a dyadic intergender person named Deird Duncan coined the word "interdressing," meaning intergender gender expression in clothing, possibly without any intention to be seen as any particular gender.[7]

In 2014, an intersex intergender person named Aeshling (user-names quietlyloud-intersex, indonintersex) independently coined the word "intergender," with the rule that this word is for the use of intersex people only, and not for dyadics. However, otherwise the word's meaning is the same as it had been when it had been coined and used by dyadic transgender people. Aeshling's definition of it is "A gender that is between and among male and female."[8]

Number of survey respondents who identified as intergender: 46 in Nonbinary Stats Survey 2013, and 47 in Nonbinary Stats Survey 2016.

Gender expression

Some intergender people see it as solely a matter of gender identity, and therefore requires no particular kind of gender expression. They may even be satisfied with an appearance that fits within the gender binary, even though their gender identity does not. Other intergender people seek the aesthetic of androgyny. They may express their intergender identity through their personality or activities such as crossdressing or "interdressing" (see above), though this doesn't necessarily have the intention of being seen as any particular gender. Some intergender people have or wish to transition to a body that has traits 'in between' female and male, or which is more like an intersex body. There are dyadic people who call themselves female-to-intersex or male-to-intersex transsexuals.[9]

See also

References

  1. Donna Lynn Matthews, “What is intergendered?” 1998-10. http://cydathria.com/ms_donna/intergen.html
  2. Aeshling. "Intergender." Mogai-Archive. http://mogai-archive.tumblr.com/post/92026280519/intergender
  3. Raphael Carter, "Angel's Dictionary." 1996-07-14. [1]
  4. Donna Lynn Matthews, “Being genderqueer – What it means for me.” 2006-10. http://cydathria.com/ms_donna/genderqueer.html
  5. "GNP FAQ." [2]
  6. Donna Lynn Matthews, “What is intergendered?” 1998-10. http://cydathria.com/ms_donna/intergen.html
  7. Deird Duncan, “Interdressing.” 2000-04-10. http://cydathria.com/ms_donna/interdressing.html
  8. Aeshling. "Intergender." Mogai-Archive. http://mogai-archive.tumblr.com/post/92026280519/intergender
  9. Raphael Carter, "Angel's Dictionary." 1996-07-14. [3]