For one to understand several kinds of gender identity, one must know its true definition.
Mirriam-Webster defines such as “a person’s internal sense of being male, female, some combination of male and female or neither male nor female.”
Though there is much more to it, that’s all we’ll define for now. Its history will come sometime in another post.
The gender identity of focus is agender. Going back to our beloved Mirriam-Webster, it’s defined as “of, relating to, or being a person who has an internal sense of being neither male nor female nor some combination of male and female,” and “of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is genderless or neutral.”
So, basically, one who identifies as agender is simply an entity. My understanding is some folks don’t feel the need to identify with anything but also feel most comfortable with that way of describing it.
Or, it quite literally translates to “without gender.”
The Gender Wiki gives several shorter descriptions of what one may feel when they identify as agender:
- Genderless or lacking gender
- Gender neutral/Neutrally gendered
- Having an undefinable or unknown gender
- Having no other words to fit their gender identity
- Not knowing or caring about one’s gender identity
- Identifying more as a person than any gender at all
Let’s dive a little deeper.
“It was born in the year 2000, on an Internet forum called UseNet. In a chat room discussion entitled alt.messianic, a user posted the following: ‘God is amorphous, agender, […] so image can’t be a physical or gender or sexual thing.’”
And in 2005, someone else on UseNet wrote “cultures can have transgender, agender and hypergender individuals.”
In 2014, Facebook added agender as one of its 56 genders folks can put on their profile, according to the Nonbinary Wiki, and Dictionary.com added the term to its arsenal in 2015.
Google Trends takes note that the term “agender” eventually hit its prime near 2014, which makes sense given that one of the world’s most-used social media sites made it usable on their platform.
Perhaps it could also be because The New York Times used the term in its 2013 “Generation LGBTQIA” profile. The person who identified as such described her gender as an “amorphous blob.” That seems to sum it up well.
Identifying oneself as agender is becoming much more widely accepted. In 2017 even, an Oregon judge granted the rights of an individual to legally identify as agender.
The Nonbinary Wiki also notes that agender falls in line with other identities such as genderblank, genderfree, genderless, gendervoid, non-gendered, ungendered or null gender — it is always to the individual to know what’s most comfortable to identify themselves.
And if you want to read even more about it, I found this nifty little site here that gives all of this information and more about identifying as agender and what it all means. It seems to be regularly updated (Last updated March 2021 when I checked on April 21, 2021), so have at it!
Happy knowledge hunting.