Agender, also known as genderless, is an identity to describe someone that entirely lacks a gender or with complete genderlessness. It falls under the a non-binary umbrella in which one is not male, female, neutral, xenic, outherine, or any other gender. They may identify most strongly as just an individual, rather than as any given gender.
Agender individuals may also identify as non-binary, genderqueer, transgender or anonbinary, though some choose to avoid these terms, as they can imply that they identify as a gender, when they in fact do not. As it is a lack of gender, some feel that it should not be labeled with the term "gender" at all.
While a complete lack of gender is the most common definition of agender, individuals may call themselves agender for other reason, such as:
- Their gender is neutral or neutrois.
- They are mostly agender but have a partial connection to another gender (libragender).
- They are removed from the concept of gender (apogender).
- Their gender is unknown or undefinable (uingender).
- There are no words to fit their gender experience (uingender).
- They do not care about gender, either an internal identity, as an external label, or both (cassgender, gender apathetic).
Agender vs Gender Neutral
There is little solid agreement about the exact difference between terms such as agender and gender neutral/neutrois. Some individuals use these terms interchangeably, but for others, there is a difference between these terms. The most commonly sighted difference is that agender is the experience of having no gender at all, whereas gender neutral or neutrois is the experience of having a gender identity, but that gender identity is not masculine or feminine, but neutral.
Agender vs Gendervoid
Gendervoid, also called voidgender, is similar to agender, and the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, while they do overlap, they are not always the same. Agender is generally recognized as a broader term. While an agender individual may feel as though they never really had a gender in the first place, a gendervoid individual may feel like there is an empty place where their gender would or should be.
The first recorded use of the word agender on the Internet appears to come from a post on the site UseNet, on July 28, 2000. It was used in a discussion thread titled "alt.messianic". The user Miriam Wolfe wrote "All I understand is that G-d is amorphous, agender, etc. so "image" can't be a physical or gender or sexual thing." There were a few other instances of the word being used around the same time, but these also were either about God or were talking about individuals presenting in a gender-neutral manner (not as specific gender identity).
The first instance where the word was used about individuals as a specific identity seems to also come for UseNet, in a thread titled "alt.politics.democrats". The user man_in_black529 wrote "But despite this near-universality of gender, cultures can have transgender, agender, and hypergender individuals."
In both these cases the word agender was not defined; presumably, the definition was already known at the time. The word agender probably existed before these posts, and possibly had a similar meaning to what it does now. However, earlier uses of the word are not recorded.
Flags and symbols
The original agender flag was designed by the Tumblr user Transrants aka Salem in 2014. Black represents an absence of gender, grey represents those who have a partial gender, and green represents the non-binary nature of this gender because green is the inverse of lavender (a mixture of pink and blue, representing a mix of female and male). Variations on the agender flag usually include green and black.
An alternate agender flag was designed by Reddit user angerywaman on May 6, 2020, The colors are based on a sunset, representing the sun setting on gender. Purple represents androgynous presenting agender individuals. Pink represents feminine presenting agender individuals. Orange represents masculine presenting agender individuals. Yellow represents all agender individuals. The in between colors represent those who have a mix of presentations.
The "citrus agender" flag variants by Mars in 2021. Turquoise or dark green represents leaves and stands for working towards agender liberation. Green represents limes and stands for agender friendship, love, and community. Yellow represents lemons and stands for gender joy and celebration. Orange represents oranges and stands for gender artwork and creativity. Red represents blood oranges and stands for agender diversity and individual expression.
Several agender symbols exist. The most common is a circle (in reference to the male and female symbols and many other gender symbols), with a line through it, either horizontally or diagonally (∅), likely representing gender being crossed out and absent. Another variant includes a line without prongs, similar to the neutrois symbol. Another, less common agender symbol is a plain circle (⚪), though this symbol is also sometimes used to represent asexuality.