Some more non binary gender terms

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 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

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.


From S.W Ireland to S.W. Victoria

– the story of a journey

A few years ago I had the opportunity to go through some old family papers.   There I came across a letter written by my great, great grandmother, Priscilla to her daughter Eliza, my great grandmother.   In the letter Priscilla wrote that the family had lived in a particular part of the British Isles ‘for time out of mind’ before they came to Australia.

It is unclear why Priscilla and her common law husband John felt the need to take a three month sea voyage to the other side of the world with all of their nine children.  Further on in the letter she hints at some family trouble – some problem that forced them to flee  their ancestral home.  The details are very sketchy.

The letter is the only written story of my ancestors I have ever found.   The rest of my forebears are silent.  All that remains of them are a few tattered material goods and fragments of stories – stories that speak of loss and disruption – some sudden change in fortune that sent them across the globe to start again.


As their descendant I feel I carry these imprints of disruption, exile and wandering in my DNA.   No doubt many of us carry similar imprints for so many of us can trace our ancestry back to another country, another culture.

When I went to south west Ireland I felt I was venturing back through my own familial history into time out of mind – that time where my ancestral roots are lost in the mists of myth and legend.


These experiences enriched me and gave me a sense of belonging to a people, an ethnic group, even to an ancient pre-Christian belief system I can only guess at but feel spiritually connected to.

Wedge tomb Tomb of the crone goddess, Co. Cork, Ireland

Here in south west Victoria the feeling that I am journeying back in time still comes to me when I am alone in untamed natural environments.  Here though I feel as if I am travelling back into pre-history.  I walk past archaeological evidence of the Aboriginal people that have lived here for 40,000 years to ancient fossilized landscapes that date back millions of years.


As I clamber over the cooled lava flows that shaped this area or pick my way along the crumbling sandstone cliffs of the coast a sense of time beyond human time envelops me. I step beyond my ancestral roots into something far older – a sense of connection with the Earth that goes back through the very first humans that walked this land to the creation myths and the cellular connection between all carbon based life forms.

Standing alone in the primal landscapes of south west Victoria I feel myself to be a part of the Earth and of the universe itself.  The life force that animates all living things pulsates within my being.


FOOTNOTE:   On a personal note this blog post was one of those ideas that woke in the middle of night.   I couldn’t get back to sleep last night until I had turned on the light and jotted  it down.   When I came online to write this blog post I saw a complete stranger had visited some old blog of mine I’d completely forgotten about and found a post I wrote about Priscilla 7 years ago.   It seems she too is a descendant of this indomitable woman and would like to email me.   Life is stranger than fiction.




The Call of the Road

I think it was in the 90s when people used the term serial monogamy to talk about someone who had a series of long term sexual relationships.   I’m not discussing my sex life here.   Rather I am using a similar term to describe my pattern of settling in an area for a few years then wandering around for a while before settling in a completely different local and doing the same thing – serial homemaking perhaps or serial occupancy.

I’ve been in this area for 5 years now.   In that time I’ve rented four different places.  This place I’m in now works the best of any of them. I’m comfortable here and am even making plans for next year.  Always though I hear the road calling.
2017-06-18 10.37.35-01

My response to this week’s “On the Road” Prompt 

“As we turn every corner of the Narrow Road to the Deep North, we sometimes stand up unawares to applaud and we sometimes fall flat to resist the agonizing pains we feel in the depths of our hearts.  There are also times when we feel like taking to the roads ourselves, seizing the raincoat lying near by, or times when we feel like sitting down till our legs take root, enjoying the scene we picture before our eyes.”  –  Soruyo




In the Bardos

– from The Tibetan Book Of The Dead:
[…] “O nobly-born, listen undistractedly. Not having been able to recognize when the Peaceful [Deities] shone upon thee in the Bardo above, thou hast come wandering thus far. Now, on the Eighth Day, the blood-drinking Wrathful Deities will come to shine. Act so as to recognize them without being distracted.” […]