i have always struggled with people who ask if they are genderless, i can't really get my head around it.
Last Updated: 12/13/2016 at 6:33am
Johanna Liasides, MSc
I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.
Top Rated Answers
It sounds like there are two questions here: what does it mean to be genderless, and how can I respond to those who think they are genderless. So let's start from the beginning: Sex and gender refer to two separate things. Sex refers to one's biology, while gender refers to one's identity. For many, these two line up -- someone designated male at birth (sex) also identifies as male (gender). For many others, this is not the case. It's difficult to explain what this feels like, in part because feelings in general are difficult to explain, but also because different people can experience it differently. Assuming you know your gender, imagine if everyone you encountered insisted you were a different gender. They treated you according to the gender they insisted you are, regardless of what you told them, and wouldn't let you do things according to the gender you know you are. Pretty frustrating to have people assuming they know you better than you do, huh? Being genderless is an identity for those who don't feel they align with any other gender, so whether they are treated as male, as female, or as any other gender, it just doesn't feel right. Not having any gender at all makes them feel much more comfortable and at ease. Every genderless person is unique, has gone through their own process to find their identity, and will go through their own process to present themselves as they are comfortable doing. Some genderless people may opt for hormone treatments and name changes, while others may not. The specifics of what it means to be genderless entirely depend on the individual. Now, as for how to respond to someone asking if they are genderless... It's their identity, their decision. You can't choose for them, but you can support them as they figure it out. Reassure them that you support them no matter what, that they aren't broken or insane, that their feelings are valid. It doesn't matter if they were or were not abused in the past. It doesn't matter if they identified as a different gender previously, or if they identify as something else in the future. If they feel genderless, then they are. Your role as someone they have confided in is to accept, respect, and support them.
I consider myself genderless. Its ok to not understand. Just know that we are just people too! We love like anyone else. We hurt like any other too. You can find many inspirational stories explaining why people feel genderless online :)
non-binary gender can be a very challenging notion to grasp intellectually, especially if it is your first encounter. Fundamentally, it is the notion that biological sex does not always reflect psychological gender. This level of a person's identity can in some cases be very private, personal information, so a good place to begin is to thank the individual in question for sharing this information about themselves, and ask if there is a preferred pronoun they like to be addressed with. Chances are that if the person identifies as genderless, it's not the most prominent personal identifier they prefer to use.
I'm genderless, so I think I can answer that question. People say they 'feel like a girl' or 'feel like a boy' and I've never felt like either. I don't really feel 'feminine' or 'masculine'. It's not like I feel like both genders, I just feel like a human. And I also choose not to identify with a gender because I don't want to have to deal with the labels or expectations placed on either.
That is completely understandable. It can be a difficult concept to understand. Think of it this way, just as you identify as a girl or a boy, some people have no identification with either gender. They don't feel like a girl, they don't feel like a boy. They feel genderless. It makes complete sense not to understand completely, if you ever need further discussion feel free to work it out with a listener :)
Think of gender as a spectrum rather than a line. If male is on one end and female on the other, individuals may identify as one or the other, somewhere in between, or switch their gender according to how the feel. However, just because someone may identify as male (represents by blue) or female (represented by pink), this does not mean that only those colors of blue and pink and those that are blends of them are the only colors to exist. Blue and pink are colors, and there are other colors in between then. Still, colors like yellow and teal and red and tan and all that still exist. Think of gender like these otherr colors.
People who are genderless don't identify as either gender, but may have been assigned a gender at birth.
The more research you do, the easier it can be to understand other's perspectives. It can be really hard to understand something that you don't know much about - especially if it isn't something you've ever thought or felt before. Things like books, google, tumblr, youtube, and blogs can be good ways to start hearing stories from people who want to share them, and who want to help you better understand. By listening to what they have to say about their experience being agender or genderless you can eventually have a better understanding of what it means and what it's like for them.
Genderless usually means that the person identifies as both female and male. Like a guy one day a girl the next, or even both at the same time. It can also mean that you don't feel comfortable as either being a female or a male, so you identify as neither or in between the two. :)
Some people don't feel like any gender truly represents how they feel about themselves. They don't like being labeled as a female or as a male or even as a mixture of the two. They simply feel nothing truly identifies them as they feel they should be identified.
It basically means that they do not align with the gender binaries (male and female). It helps if you think about gender a social construct and remember that gender is different then sex.
People who have asked for your advice in whether they are genderless or not, do you mean? If you're not experienced or have knowledge in this area of the LGBTQ+ community then you really can't give advice. It might be hard to understand at first when you know nothing about this, but typically agender or someone being genderless means that they don't feel like they are either a male or female and decide to identify as this because it is most comfortable for them. Nothing is more worse than someone telling you who they believe you are, when you know that you are not besides just the feeling of it. It is extremely uncomfortable. It's better, to understand, to educate yourself in gender and realize that gender is not binary.
i feel the same way im just like can i connect you to a dif listener im sorry but i don't understand
Sexuality and gender questions are hard to understand if you've never struggled with it yourself. You can ask what they mean and how they feel. Maybe trying to explain it to someone else might help themselves to understand. Genderless means not being 100% woman or 100% male. You can be bigender, gender queer, genderfluid or agender. So there's a jungle. The best thing to do is go to the local LBTQ+ group and talk to them.
we don't want to be bound by societal gender stereotypes and roles. we want to explore everything without being bound by gender.
All I can say is that you and me are in no place of judging a fellow person whether male, female or as you mentioned genderless. People who take on this difficult path instaed of their insecurities and social restrictions need to only be supported wholeheartedly and encouraged. Never make them feel like they're different and just try to be more open minded tk other people's choices.
There are a ton of great YouTube videos on the topic! Essentially, the individual does not identify as any gender (gender being different from sex).
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