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