Agender – What does that mean?

I find being agender weird. Most days, really about 98 percent of the time, I could care less about my gender. I am a feminist for political reasons and not because I am deeply attached to some notion of my “womanhood.” But there are moments, those days when my body is in conflict with everything I feel I am and the dysphoria is horrible.

Now, I have never “liked” my body. I generally see it as an asshole I have to live with (literally and figuratively, of course). It has a horrible sense of humor. Now, it has also totally betrayed me. I developed lupus (sle) a few years ago, which means my own immune system thinks my regular cells are the enemy and attacks them.

While I never liked my body, I tolerated it. I used it. Decorated it, clothed it, took it out for runs. Most days, I remain indifferent to its parts. It doesn’t really matter that there is a vag instead of a penis, breasts instead of a broad manly chest. I see it as the card I was dealt and just make the best of it.

However, there are times where I really am not comfortable in my own body. The first time I noticed this, I was in my late-teens, early 20s. My body did not reflect how I felt at all inside. I did a lot of personal work to decide if I was trans (a nearly invisible population 20 years ago). Ultimately, I came to understand that while I may not always enjoy having female parts, I didn’t want male parts any more than female parts.

So, for the next twenty years, I went along generally not caring about my gender, passing on occasion as male, most of the time as female, and sometimes just confusingly androgynous to the world. I was fine with that.

In the last six months I have become exceedingly ill with lupus which continues to remain untreated as I languish on a waiting list for a rheumatology appointment which I have begun to believe will never actually materialize. I am sure there is some link between that and not wanting to be in a female body. More and more I want to just set my bits that represent gender on a shelf somewhere and not have to deal with them. I don’t want replacement parts, I just fantasize about having my parts gone. Dream of becoming something like a Ken and Barbie doll merging into androgynous Marg.

I write this here because gender is becoming a bigger and bigger issue for folks. We are moving beyond the cis-/trans discussion to touch on folks who identify as genderqueer and gender fluid. Occasionally you will see agender mention, but other than a few articles, nobody is talking about what it means to be live without a gender identity.

I don’t identify as genderqueer or gender fluid. The folks I know with those identities still feel a connection to gender. Gender still means something to them and is part of their identity. They use the singular “they.” It is as if they encompass multiple genders and their genders combine to become some super-gender. I feel more like an “it” or an “zie.” It is an absences of gender, a disconnect from the concept, a gray space I inhabit. where genderqueer/genderfluid folks can become bigger, grander than just male and female, I shrink back into some hole where gender is simply non-existant as an identity.

Gender as a concept to attach an identity too is foreign to me. Being stuck in a body with the parts society declares as “female” is occasionally disorienting and upsetting. I don’t feel or move in the world as a woman on some days. I don’t expect other people to read me as agender. Most folks still stumble over trans folks identities and people who care about gender. I inhabit a space they cannot imagine.

For those times when the conflict between the body I inhabit and how I see myself rear its ugly head, there is no support as far as I can tell. I am not trans and would not claim to understand striving to have my gender match my body- being agender there is no body that matches. There isn’t a place to turn to deal with the disappointment, the frustration and the pain of just not being able to be who you are if you are agender.

I am not narcissistic enough to believe my journey is unique. I am not sure how big the agender community is. Nobody is talking. So, Hello World. Here is your chance to begin to chat.

 

#gender  #agender  #trans  #transgender  #identity #psychology #bodydysmorphia #genderdysmorphia #genderidentity #women

7 comments

  1. Been wondering this about myself. Don’t feel right in my body. Don’t feel the need to get top or bottom surgery. Feeling like gender is more “performative”, but that half the time I don’t either connect or noticeably connect traits with qualities, or feel myself making the stretch. Ie. “I connect with people in a more feminine / masculine way” but do I? I usually raise the nonbinary flag because I think of it as an umbrella term, not necessarily trans/demi/et al, but am confused when I have to think about anything as an attachment to any specific gender within the binary, which many folx tend toward… glad this is out there though. Thanks for sharing.

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    • You might be interested in the post called “My Mr. Potatohead Fantasy.” It’s more about being agender. Took me a while to figure stuff out since agender isn’t really talked about much.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. I wondered about being agender, as well, before settling on bi-gender, so I don’t think I understand your exact journey, but at least somewhat in the non-gender-normative (word?) sense. It can be a struggle, especially when society expects a specific set of behaviors and appearance based on what’s downstairs.

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    • Yeah… agender is a bit weird. It is like being an atheist when your entire world are church going believers. Having a gendered body (male, female, trans) feels weird and inauthentic at times. Mostly I look at my phenotypic female body parts as props and gender is a performance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I get the gender performance. A non-gender conforming man is not at all accepted in our society. And being an atheist in the southern US, the analogy is perfect. lol

        Liked by 1 person

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