Following on a blog post I wrote about agender issues someone asked me the difference between being agender and asexual. As my interest in the subject comes from knowing a young person who identifies as being agender I decided to look on the internet and read what young people identifying as nonbinary gender have to say about it all.
Non-binary is an umbrella term for genders that aren’t in the binary. Binary genders are male and female.
Agender: the idea that one is not of any gender.
Bigender: the idea that one is of both (binary) genders.
Genderfluid: the idea that one’s gender is dynamic, fluid and shifting—some days, a genderfluid person may feel more male-identifying, some days more female, and some days they may feel like they are both, neither, a mixture, a third gender or somehow beyond the gender binary. – from: non binary agender and https://www.quora.com/non binary gender
As adjectives the difference between agender and asexual is that agender is without an associated gender while asexual is not experiencing sexual attraction; lacking interest in or desire for sex. – from http://wikidiff.com/agender/asexual
I found a really informative article on things you should know about being agender. The entire article is well worth reading but I’ll just post the first couple of paragraphs here.
‘Gender, while often used as a synonym for biological sex, is an entirely separate component of every human’s makeup. Even the scientific and medical communities recognize the differences between “sex” and “gender.” To quote the World Health Organization:
“‘Sex’ refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. ‘Gender’ refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.”
“Agender” by definition means “someone without gender,” and falls under the big, colorful trans* umbrella. Just like someone might identify themselves as a man, a woman, genderfluid, and so on, a person who identifies as agender doesn’t feel as if they belong anywhere on the gender spectrum at all. While the identity is easily summed up in a sentence or two (see above), the concept is where most people seem to get lost. So, here’s a handy guide to the most common assumptions, faux pas, and outright weird notions about people who are agender that pop up in everyday conversation.
1. Agender Does Not Mean Asexual
One of top mistakes I see on a daily basis is the presumption that an agender person must also be asexual. I mean, they sound a lot alike, right? That must mean they’re connected! Wrong. We’re people with the same complex set of desires and attractions as anyone else, not a Sesame Street letter-association game. Other than beginning with the letter “a,” those two descriptors have no more likelihood of being directly linked than any sexuality with any gender. Likewise, you can’t simply interchange the words with one another. Unless we are talking about who I may or may not want to take to bed, “asexual” can sit this conversation out.