Bisexuality is a widespread term, one of the most commonly known identities in the LGBTQ community, as it is the “B” in the world-renown acronym. However, a lesser-known “bi” is that of identifying as bigender.
This falls under the nonbinary, transgender and multigender umbrella terms, and, according to the Nonbinary Wiki, “have two distinct genders, either at the same time or at different times.” It may involve only two distinct genders or a fluid, “gray-area” connection of two.
The catch, similar to that of bisexuality, is that it is not limited to the binary. One who identifies as bigender doesn’t have to identify as both male and female; for example, one can be female and agender.
And a multi-user consensus on Queer Undefined further emphasizes the gradient between the two genders one may be experiencing.
“[Bigender is] embodying two genders at once. Oftentimes is both binary genders, but can also include one or more nonbinary gender. Distinct from genderfluid in that while gender expression may change, the identity is constant,” one user posted.
And according to Merriam-Webster, bigender is “of, relating to or being a person whose gender identity is a combination of male and female or is sometimes male and sometimes female.”
Though it’s the most inclusive definition, it’s noteworthy that Merriam-Webster even has it. Dictionary.com, on the other hand, defines it as “a person who has two gender identities or a combination of two gender identities.”
History, sponsored (but not really) by the Nonbinary Wiki
The Nonbinary Wiki continues on to explain its origin, which dates back to the 1980s. The Human Outreach and Achievement Institute defined a term, “bigenderist,” as a type of androgyne. Furthermore, it’s defined there as “a person who can comfortably express either alternative gender role in a variety of socially acceptable environments.”
And Donny Mobley, one who I cannot find a title for, wrote in The Femme Mirror magazine, “I’m neither a man pretending to be a woman nor a woman pretending to be a man. I’m dual-gendered and happily so.
“Don and Donna coexist and together they make up who and all I truly am. To lose either part would leave me empty, since neither can exist without the other.”
A transgender man by the name of Gary Bowen defined “bigendered” as having similar characteristics to how it’s known today, noting the cultural attributes of each gender one identifies with, according to the Nonbinary Wiki.
And in 1999, a survey by the San Francisco Department of Public Health found that within the transgender community, less than 3% AMAB and less than 8% AFAB identified as bigender.
Skipping forward a few years, in 2014, bigender then became one of the 56 genders made available on Facebook.
There are allegedly three different flags that could be associated with the bigender identity. The first of which includes a gradient from pink at the top and blue to the bottom toward the middle, a white stripe, created prior to 2014. Another inverses it near completely, with a gradient of blue at the top and pink at the bottom toward a lavender center and surrounding white stripes.
The blue and pink represent the binary genders, lavender represents androgyny or being both masculine and feminine, and white notes the possible shift between the two they identify with.
A newer, five-striped bigender flag includes separate colors all together rather than blue and pink stripes fading to white and lavender.
From top to bottom, the colors include pink, yellow, white, purple and blue, which, respectively hold the meaning of femininity; gender outside the binary; those who embrace more than one gender; fluidity between genders; and masculinity.
Happy knowledge hunting!