Clarifying The Difference Between Genderfluid And Nonbinary/Androgynous

Clarifying The Difference Between Genderfluid And Nonbinary/Androgynous

Genderqueer Genders.
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On http://www.dictionary.com I have pulled up definitions of androgynous, genderfluid, & genderqueer.

Androgynous;

"1.being both male and female; hermaphroditic."

2.having both masculine and feminine characteristics.

3.having an ambiguous sexual identity."

4.neither clearly masculine nor clearly feminine in appearance"

Genderfluid;

"1.noting or relating to a person whose gender identity or gender expression is not fixed and shifts over time or depending on the situation."

Genderqueer;

"1.relating to or having a gender identity that is other than male or female, is a combination of the two genders, or is on a continuum between the two genders:

2.questioning one’s gender identity"

You might be wondering as to why I have added genderqueer into the definitions section, though, I will explain as to why I did this in the end of this article.


I felt the need to display all this information before you, in hopes to let you critique your own thoughts on the subject, before I approach you with the logic I applied to the subject. Now let's get into details.

The reason as to why this topic arose in my head is quite random actually. I, myself, consider my gender as nonbinary or andrgynous. I have identified myself as this for the past three months (Seventeen & a half years of age), although I truly 100% believe I have been this gender my whole life. Once I discovered this gender even existed, it was as if a huge boulder had been lifted off my shoulders & I had finally begun to truly understand myself, (I know, very dramatic, but it still remains true to me, nonetheless) however, I have never heard of the word "genderfluid", until today. I met someone, a new friend of mine, who represents him/herself as genderfluid. At first, I was confused & tried convincing her/him it was the same as nonbinary, though, that was not the case & obviously it was just my know-it-all ego acting up & being overwhelmed with confusion & the need to be correct. We didn't get to discuss it much since the bell rang for the next class, so I decided to do my own research so that I will never have to insult a person who is that gender again (Since I know he/she probably felt a huge boulder lift from their shoulders as well when they discovered their true gender). I remained understanding & decided I must do research before I can actually have a debate on the subject, with this mysterious person I had met. I figured I'm not the only person who may be curious of the difference between genderfluid & nonbinary, so here I am, sharing my research with all of you folk!

To begin with, let me tell you a little about my own gender. People who classify themselves as nonbinary or androgyne (Both words are also able to be used as genderqueer) are simply neither male nor female; rather, they are both. Like the so often-heard saying, "It's all or nothing!" Kind of like how white can either be consider colorless; just white, or it can be considered all the colors of the rainbow, since all the colors of the rainbow combined is what makes this "white" appear. So in an essence, we are "white" because we don't fall on a "color spectrum", or rather, a gender spectrum. Androgynous people have equal amounts of characteristics, & mind-processes, of both the male & female gender. Therefore; we don't range higher on the scale towards a specific gender, but rather, we're like floating right in the middle of this imaginary masculine-feminine gender-scale I am trying to build in your imagination. (I say floating because this gender is flexible, & by that I mean you don't necessarily have to change between looking like a guy some days & a girl on other days to be nonbinary) Some nonbinary gender people may dress more feminine on some days & more masculine on others, or perhaps a mix of the two almost daily. Despite this, our personalities, our psychological aspects, stay the same. This is what truly defines androgynous/nonbinary gender the most . We constantly think in both feminine & masculine ideals. We take interest in things that fall highly on a female-gender spectrum & to things that are related more highly to the male-gender side of the spectrum. I suppose to clarify this up more, I shall give an example of myself. I have female genitals, I would be considered a "woman" in societies view. I do occasionally do my nails, hair, make-up, & I tend to giggle a lot, (like so much that almost every person I meet says they never met someone who giggles as much as I do) & these are all characteristics that do fall more towards the female gender. However; may I also add I am pan-sexual, meaning I am able to fall in love with any human, despite your genitals (I love for personality not looks).

The first couple of human-beings I have ever grown attraction towards & did sexual-related things with, were females, despite the fact it is more "normal" to see a young girl writing love notes about a boy-crush in her class, rather than a love letter made for her best friend who is a girl. I have always been a lover of video games & actually have a gaming desktop I built. I don't shave my body hair. I have always loved getting dirty outside (I still do almost daily & my toe nails are almost always unkempt), & when I was in elementary I was actually always called a tomboy for the baggy clothes & dirty appearance I always presented myself with. Oh, & I am a complete nerd for card games involving fictional characters. These are all the things that would likely be associated more with the male than female gender ( A handful of my male & female characteristics). All these characteristics, despite whether I look more boy-ish or more girl-ish that day, stay the same within me. I would assume my personality itself has an equal vibe, or energy, of both femininity & masculinity, considering I am able to get along with each gender very easily. Who I associate with may bring out character traits of a certain gender more than the other, but not on a large enough scale for me to suddenly say I have conversed from a male to female, or vise versa, in that time-being. Now this is where genderfluid comes into place. Most of the information I derived from this gender was given to me by the website I found the most trustworthy, which I will credit in link formation down below. However I did pick up on what little words were exchanged with my friend & I during class, that resignate better with my mind, now that I have done the research. One thing that she/he distinctivly kept trying to push in my stubborn head & that kept repeating were these few words, "I am neither, I switch between male & female". This bombarded my thought process, because in my mind, I (an androgyne person) am also neither, but I don't "switch" between genders. Here is where my research comes into play. Individuals who considers themselves to have a genderfluid gender identity, means at certain times, (biased on solely how they feel) they feel as though they are multiple genders at once, or move between singular gender identities. This feeling of a hard shift of gender in genderfluid people can happen as often as several times a day, perhaps only several times a week, monthly, or even less periodic than that. Some genderfluid people regularly move between only a few specific genders (keep in mind there are way over fifty genders), some as few as two (one of the definitions of the bigender, gender), whereas others may never know what gender they will feel like next. Occasionally, there are people who experience fluid gender & don't use the word "genderfluid" for themselves, simply because they don't even know the word exist! That sounds like quiet a burden to me. To having to constantly go through life feeling like a gender-roller-coaster, though never knowing that that, in itself, is actually a gender! I bet my new friend felt the boulder fall right off when she/he discovered that they weren't crazy for swearing they were a boy at certain times & then a girl in the next, they're just genderfluid! Some people with fluid genders call themselves by other terms such as genderqueer, bigender, multigender, or polygender. This is normally because they don't believe the word, genderfluid, describes their gender well enough. Since fluid-gender can change from either two or more genders, it makes sense that someone who fluctuates between two genders may call themselves bigender, whereas those who fluctuate between more than two, would make more sense to be have a gender label of multigender.


Now, back to that bold note I squeezed in at the top, why did I add the definitions of genderqueer? If you haven't noticed by now; I have stated that nonbinary people may be labeled as genderqueer as well , as can genderfluid people. This may seem contradicting, so let's refer back to the definition.

It says that genderqueer people are either a gender other than male or female, a combination of the two, a flunctuation between the two genders, or a constant state of questioning one's gender identity. The definition of genderqueer is almost like a morphed together definition of genderfluid & nonbinary/androgyne. The genderfluid part being that shift of genders labeled in the second half of the definition, while the nonbinary part is labeled in the first part of the definition when it states that it is a combination of male & female. Also, both genderfluid & nonbinary fall under the first sentence of the definition, which says, "relating to or having a gender identity that is other than male or female..."


In conclusion, these two genders are very similar, yet very different. Both have to do with being very in-touch with your masculine & feminine side. Nonbinary just focuses more in being in a constant state of awareness of both genders, while being genderfluid, some days (or rather times, I should say) your awareness of a certain a certain gender has suddenly grown strong within you & is your person in that very moment, without question.

I hope in this, I have clarified the differences between androgyne & genderfluid not just for me, but for others out there as well.

We should all try out best to understand how vital it is that each person holds the right to decide what their gender identity truly is, & that they are the only one who may do so.


Research credit to:http://nonbinary.org/wiki/Genderfluid

http://nonbinary.org/wiki/Agender

Cover Image Credit: Genderfluid, androgynous, nonbinary, female, male, genders, fluid genders, genderqueer, queer

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9 Queer Pride Flags That You Probably Didn't Know About

The rainbow flag is certainly the most recognizable, but it isn't the only Pride Flag there is.
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It's Pride Month yet again and fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies are celebrating. Normally around this time of year, we expect to see that all-too-familiar rainbow colored flag waving through the air, hanging from windows and sported on clothing of all types. Even when not strictly a flag, the colors of the rainbow are often displayed when showing support of the larger queer community. But what many people do not realize is that there are many, many pride flags for orientations of all kinds, so Natasha and I (Alana Stern) have created this handy guide to some others that you may not yet be familiar with:

1. L is for Lesbian and G is for Gay

The most recognizable letters of the entire acronym, L (Lesbian) and G (Gay), represent the homosexual people of the LGBTQ+ community. Homosexuality is defined as being exclusively sexually attracted to members of the same sex. Again, although the rainbow Pride flag is easily the most iconic and recognizable, there is a Lesbian Pride Flag as well. Specifically for "Lipstick Lesbians," this flag was made to represent homosexual women who have a more feminine gender expression. Here are the Lesbian Pride Flag (left) and Gay Pride Flag with the meaning of each stripe (right).



2. B is for Bisexual

Bisexuality is defined as the romantic and/or sexual attraction towards both males and females. They often go unacknowledged by people who believe that they cannot possibly feel an attraction for both sexes and have been called greedy or shamed in many ways for being who they are, but not this month. This month we recognize everyone and their right to love. Here is the flag and symbol that represents the big B!


3. T is for Transgender (Umbrella)

Gender identities are just as diverse as sexual orientations. Transgender people are people whose gender does not necessarily fall in line with their biological sex. That is to say, someone who is born male may not feel that calling oneself a man is the best way to describe who they are as a person; the same can go for someone who is born female or intersex (we'll get to that in a bit). Someone born female may feel that they prefer to be referred to as a man. Someone born male may feel that they don't mind being referred to as either a man or a woman. And someone may feel that neither term really fits. Identities can range from having no gender, to multiple genders, to having a gender that falls outside of the typical gender binary of man/woman, to anything in between. The colors of the flag are blue (the traditional color for boys), pink (the traditional color for girls) and white (to represent those who are intersex, transitioning, or have a gender that is undefined).


Okay! Here's where we get into the lesser-known letters of the acronym. You may have heard of some of these before but didn't quite know what they meant or how they fit into the larger queer community, or you may not have heard of them at all. Either way, we'll do our best to explain them!

4. I is for Intersex

Intersex people are people who are have a mix of characteristics (whether sexual, physical, strictly genetic or some combination thereof) that would classify them as both a male and a female. This can include but is not limited to having both XX and XY chromosomes, having neither, being born with genitalia that does not fit within the usual guidelines for determining sex and appearing as one sex on the outside but another internally. It is possible for intersex people to display the characteristics from birth, but many can go years without realizing it until examining themselves further later in life. Here is an older version of the intersex flag which utilizes purple, white, blue and pink (left) and a more recent one that puts an emphasis on more gender-neutral colors, purple and yellow (right).


5. A is for Aro-Ace Spectrum

The A in the acronym is usually only defined as Asexual, which is a term used to describe people who experience a lack of sexual attraction to any sex, gender, or otherwise. People who are asexual can still engage in healthy romantic relationships, they just don't always feel the need or have the desire to have sex and are not physically attracted to other people. If that's confusing, think of it this way: you are attracted women, but not men. You may see a man and think, "He's kind of cute" or "That's a pretty good-looking guy," but you still would not feel any desire towards that person, because that's not what you're into. Asexual people generally feel that way about everyone. That's the "Ace" half of "Aro-Ace."

"Aro," or Aromantic, is a term used to describe people who do not experience romantic attraction. Aromantic people still have healthy platonic relationships, but have no inclination towards romantic love. The reason Asexual and Aromantic are together is because they are very heavily entwined and oftentimes can overlap. Underneath that spectrum are also other variations of asexuality (including but not limited to people who still feel as though they are asexual but experience sexual attraction in very rare circumstances, or only after they have a romantic connection) and aromanticism (including but not limited to people who still feel as though they are aromantic but experience romantic attraction in very rare circumstances).

Below are two versions of the Aromantic Pride Flag (top and middle) and the Asexual Pride Flag (bottom).





6. P and O are for Panseuxal and Omnisexual

Pansexual and omnisexual people are not limited by gender preferences. They are capable of loving someone for who they are and being sexually attracted to people despite what gender their partner identifies as. The word pansexual comes from the Greek prefix "pan-", meaning all. Pansexuals or Omnisexuals will probably settle for whoever wins their heart regardless of that persons gender.


7. But what about the Q?!

The Q can be said to stand for Queer or Questioning, or both. "Queer" is more of a blanket term for people who belong to the LGBTQ+ community or who identify as something other than heterosexual or cisgender (a term that has come to describe people who feel that their gender does fall in line with their biological sex; i.e. someone born male feels that he is a man). It is also possible for someone to identify as queer, but avoid using it to refer to specific people unless you know they are okay with it; some people still consider it insulting. Questioning means exactly what it sounds like: it gives a nod to those who are unsure about their sexuality and/or gender identity or who are currently in the process of exploring it.

There's no one flag specifically for the letter Q, as all of the above sexualities and identities technically fall underneath this term.


This list is hardly comprehensive and there are a number of other flags, orientations and identities to explore. Pride Month is still going strong, and there's always more to learn about the ever-changing nature of sexuality as a whole and the way we understand it. It's a time for celebration, but also a time to educate and spread the word.

For a more in-depth description of different types of attraction and how they work, click here.

For more complete lists of gender identities throughout history, click here or here.

For a general list of commonly used words in the LGBTQ+ community and their definitions, click here.


Now go grab a flag and fly it high--you've got a ton to choose from!

Cover Image Credit: 6rang

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8 Reasons You Should Be Proud To Be An Introvert

"There's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas." -Susan Cain

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There is a certain stigma around introversion. Many people believe that it is some sort of hindrance to our everyday social and professional lives. Instead, it is an awesome blessing to be an introvert! Here are just a few of the strengths we use in our everyday lives.

1. We are very reflective.

I mean, what else are we going to do in our spare time? Introverts are naturally reflective as well as observant, meaning we notice small nuances or changes in emotion, especially during conversation. This can sometimes be overwhelming, as we naturally may think that these nuances are our fault, but it also helps us to understand others.

2. We are pretty creative.

Creativity can be defined many different ways. For introverts who have more artistic minds, creativity means the ability to see the world in a totally different way and put that view into words, art, or music. Conversely, for introverts with math- and science-centric minds, their unique sense of creativity leads to better problem solving and organization skills. Either way, this is a great strength!

3. We are naturally intuitive when it comes to communication.

Communication is pretty much our strong spot. We tend to understand how people best communicate with others and how we can appeal to that specific source. This is super beneficial not only in personal relationships, but in professional and school-related relationships as well!

4. We are self-motivated.

Rather than getting our motivation from social settings, introverts crave the feeling of total immersion in their work. This means that, while external stimuli can sometimes help, it is not necessarily required for us to do our best work. This means that we need very little management, as working at our own pace and in our own way is how we are able to do our best work. (We do all the work for you!)

5. We are (usually) very well prepared.

Y'know, that whole "overthinking" thing really does come in handy sometimes! Because we are able to see every possible outcome and often require exhaustive practice in certain situations, we are also able to prepare for those outcomes. This makes us well prepared in many situations, including job interviews and professional settings.

6. We are super loyal friends.

We are an instinctively careful people. We tend to think things through (maybe sometimes a little toomuch) and take into account all possible consequences of our actions. So, then, introverts are also extremely careful with who they let close to them. In other words, it's a big deal when they choose you as a friend. This also means their connection to you runs deep, so they will be sure to show loyalty to their friends!

7. We are independent.

Whether it be work, school, or social situations, introverts are fairly independent. While we can work in a group if needed, we thrive off of doing our own work in our own time. We don't mind being alone for a little while – often times it helps us to recharge our batteries and come back with a clear head and a rejuvenated sense of motivation.

8. We are great at prioritizing and managing our time.

Introverts are great at prioritizing multiple things and making sure each gets ample time. Between friends and family, work, school, and schedules, we are sure to not let anything fall through the cracks. While it may seem overwhelming at times, we are able to sort it out eventually! Even so, we are pretty realistic about what we can and cannot handle in our day-to-day lives, making us the ultimate schedule-setters.

Cover Image Credit:

Jose López Franco

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