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Fitting in as Agender

| Jan 15, 2018
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One thing that I’ve become increasingly aware of is the commitment our society has to the gender binary. It is such a hard thing to avoid. Everything in this world seems to be gendered. Being the agender person that I am, I have trouble fitting into the binary since my gender is not anywhere near either side of it.

One of the first things that someone would think of when they’re realizing that the binary is all around us is bathrooms. Bathrooms are a subject that really splits a crowd, so I won’t talk about them for that long. Now, I understand why people are terrified to move away from gendered bathrooms. I know that changing large bathrooms will be a long process. What bothers me is when bathrooms are unnecessarily gendered. I don’t understand why we have to gender single stall bathrooms. When these are gendered, it makes me scared. I’m always afraid that I won’t look enough like the gender that I’m pretending to be.

Another issue that has come up is one I’ve talked about before: strangers. When strangers meet me, they’re never quite sure how I identify since I tend to have an androgynous style. They’ll often switch between he and she, trying to figure out what my pronouns are. I’ve gotten used to it since I interact with so many people at work, but it still is annoying. It’s another unnecessarily gendered thing.

Another thing that I feel like isn’t talked about enough is that despite my assigned gender being male, feminine pronouns are just as wrong as male pronouns. I don’t really get upset when people misgender me, but I feel like there are people who pat themselves on the back for using feminine pronouns for me despite them being wrong. I’m not saying that I expect everyone to suddenly use they/them pronouns for me, but most people don’t really put any effort into it. They think that as long as they don’t use masculine pronouns, they’re good “allies”. (I don’t really like the term allies since someone isn’t special for being a good person, but that’s not the point.) Pronouns are just another thing that make it hard for people to escape the gender binary. People will assume that someone is one gender or the other rather than asking them how I identify.

I know that I’ve complained a lot today, but I would like to point out that despite all of the issues I have to deal with, things are slowly getting better. More and more people are asking me what my pronouns are, and I’ve noticed people trying to avoid unnecessarily assigning genders to things. We are definitely making progress, slowly but surely.

Blessed Be,

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About the Author ()

M is an 18-year-old agender person who lives in Pennsylvania. They about to enter senior year of high school. Their preferred pronouns are they/them. Their favorite things are music, poetry, and dogs. M is an aspiring writer, activist, and psychologist. They look forward to being a part of the TG Forum community, and would love to share their perspective of the world.

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