Editor’s note: The following article is purely informational and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the folks at Come (Out) as You Are. 

MOGAI may be among the most controversial things the LGBTQ+ community has been facing for years (among other things, of course). However, do we have a true understanding of what it is? And furthermore, where have these negative stigmas stemmed from?

MOGAI is an acronym coined by a transgender youth in the early 2010s, which is understood as “Marginalized Orientations, Genders and Identities.” One user from Urban Dictionary describes the term as “LGBTQIA, but a little more inclusive.”

Another definition of the term says “MOGAI is an acronym for Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignment, and Intersex. MOGAI is an umbrella term for people who are not cisgender and/or heterosexual.”

The LGBTQIA Fandom wiki page has since noted the term’s increase in use over the years, though it has not quite been stabilized by the community. The term, according to the user on Urban Dictionary, is meant to be used for those with lesser-known identities, and for those who are usually disregarded from typical LGBTQ spaces. 

Furthermore, a discussion on social media website Tumblr in 2013 cited that the acronym LGBTQIA+ was “trying to be all-encompassing whilst getting longer every time people realize it’s missing some.”

The FAQ for the term MOGAI can be found at the original user’s Tumblr page: cisphobeofficial.tumblr.com/mogaifaq

Broadly speaking, via the LGBTQI wiki, there are three genders under the MOGAI umbrella, including xenogender, neurogender and egogender. 

  • Xenogender refers to “a gender that cannot be contained by human understandings of gender; more concerned with crafting other methods of gender categorization and hierarchy such as those relating to animals, plants, or other creatures/things.”
  • Neurogender is “a gender feeling that is strongly linked to one’s status as neurodivergent.”
  • Egogender, also known as charagender, “indicates a gender that is personal to one person’s own experience and is described solely as that person.”

And under these terms are how individuals may identify themselves as in connection with other things, one’s neurodivergency or lived experiences.

Since the term was introduced nearly a decade ago, MOGAI has seen countless criticisms from folks of all identities. 

“The MOGAI community has been criticized by some LGBTQIA+ activists, such as Morgan Lev Edward Holleb, for conflating marginalized identities unrelated to gender identity and sexual orientation with those that are,” the LGBTQ+ wiki reads. “For instance, mental illness is stigmatized and can intersect with identities based on gender or sexuality, but experiencing a mental illness does not mean someone has a queer identity.

“MOGAI labels have raised concerns about taking the complexity of human sexuality and categorizing it into increasingly specific types of attraction or repulsion. While it can be beneficial to have language that describes various aspects of sexuality, it may lead people to shape their identities around that language.”

One Reddit user, u/bearsbug, commented a few years ago their thoughts on MOGAI, which reads “It was a new acronym that was suggested to include more than “LGBTQA+” but it turned into this sh*tshow on tumblr where people were essentially making up genders and creating a visual aesthetic around the gender they created for themselves.

“It turned childish quickly, in my opinion. Not impressive as far as representation of real life struggles of LGBTQ folks as a whole, which was the point in making a more ‘inclusive’ acronym in the first place.”

Another user, snowcloak, on the forum website Amino, said they believed MOGAI has not been necessary from the get-go, saying it exists “to make new terms for nonbinary genders and sexual, romantic, platonic, alterous and [other] attraction orientations.

“Splitting attraction into so many separate things is nonsensical when a lot of people (especially neurodivergent people) can’t tell all of these things apart or just experience them normally as a part of life and do not question them. This can encourage even more identity confusion as someone will spend a large amount of time searching for the “right label,” wracking through memories and symptoms to make sure it truly fits them.”

Snowcloak continues in their discussion to say that there are some racist MOGAI genders, as well as direct copies and relabeled cultural genders to be used by white people. 

“All these labels for such specific experiences are not only useless when orientation is based on who you’re attracted to and not how you experience attraction and gender identity can be affected by so many small and specific things, but harmful and can cause a constant cycle of questioning and moving from identity to identity or claiming multiple and being incapable of finding a specific identity that fits you,” Snowcloak wrote.

“It can cause constant stress and uncertainty to the individual going through it, as many [LGBTQ+] people on Tumblr have gone through and still deal with the internalized issues encouraged by such. It’s a painful experience for many of those involved.”


PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL OF OTHERS IF YOU CHOOSE TO COMMENT. This is a safe space for open discussion. Please be kind. 

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