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Androgyne is a gender identity in which a person has a gender that is a blend of both binary genders. People who are androgyne may describe this as being "between" female and male, man and woman, masculine and feminine, or simply 'in between.' They may also identify as neither feminine nor masculine, or neither female nor male.[1][2]

Etymology

The word androgyne is a combination of two Greek words: "andró" meaning "man"[3], and "gynḗ" meaning "woman".[4]

Community

Some people who call themselves androgynes identify with androgynous gender presentations, or have or wish to obtain an androgynous, 'in between', or neutral body. Others see this as only a matter of gender identity and may express their androgynous gender through their personality or activities such as crossdressing. Some, but not all, androgynes experience gender dysphoria. As such, people might not relate to their sex assigned at birth, or find discomfort when others make assumptions regarding their gender or assigned pronouns. They may seek to transition to achieve a more neutral appearing body.

They can use any form of pronouns or neopronouns they like, even switching between pronouns (she/her, zhe/zhim) if desired, but most commonly she/her and he/him tend to be used together interchangeably.

History

Historically, androgyne has been a word for an intersex person, and this use of the word is not completely obsolete. However, the sex of a person's body is different than their gender identity. Intersex is a physical sex, and androgyne can mean either that, or a gender identity.[5] The first instance of the term being used as a gender was in 1918, when Jennie June published Autobiography of an Androgyne[6], which has since been described as "a centerpiece for queer, trans, and gender studies of twentieth-century America".[7]

There have also been instances of people using the term bisexual to refer to androgynes, androgynous people, or intersex people. An example of the use of this word, found in pop culture, is in the 50th episode of the 2nd season of Star Trek, "The Trouble with Tribbles", where Dr. McCoy refers to the tribbles (an alien species) as bisexual.[8]

Flags and symbols

The most common Androgyne Pride Flag

An alternative Androgyne pride flag

The most common androgyne flag, coined by Tumblr user saveferris on March 29, 2011,[9] has 3 colors. The pink supposedly represents femininity, the blue represents masculinity and the purple represents a combination of the both.[10]

There is an alternative flag, designed by pride-flags-for-us on Tumblr, with different colors and meanings behind each color. Androgyne has more of an attachment to the binary genders, thus the black and white of this alternative flag . The blue represents masculinity, and the pink represents femininity. Meanwhile, the purple represents a blending of masculinity and femininity. It also represents androgyne being a non binary identity.[11]

The Necker Cube symbol

The Necker Cube is an optical illusion that can look both concave and convex, first proposed as a symbol for the androgyne community by Raphael Carter in 1996[12]. It is a simple wire-frame, two dimensional drawing of a cube with no visual cues as to its orientation, so it can be interpreted to have either the lower-left or the upper-right square as its front side. For the androgyne community, the Necker Cube is symbolic of the androgynous individual’s physical ambiguity. It is used as an adjusted form of the Necker Cube with a smaller square in the center, as focusing on this square may allow the brain to break out of its cycle between two ‘equally possible interchangeable stable states’ and see the image for what it is; a two dimensional drawing which is neither of the interpreted cubes. Thus the androgyny symbol is itself an example of something that can be taken as one of two binary options or as something else entirely.[13]

Distinctions

Bigender


While bigender is a gender identity in which a person has or experiences two any co-existing genders, androgyne is a mix of the binary genders in particular. Bigender people have two genders, and these can be any two genders (including androgyne itself), but androgyne is one gender described as a blend of the two binary genders.[1]

Media

  • Switch from The Matrix is described by the Wachowski sisters as a "beautiful androgyne"[14] in the original script and was originally intended to be played by two different actors, one inside the Matrix and another in the real world. Warner Brothers cut this particular idea, leaving actress Belinda McClory to play both roles.[15]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hardell, Ash. The ABC's of LGBT+. Mango Media Inc., 2016. ISBN 9781633534087.
  2. The Trans Language Primer: "Androgyne". The Trans Language Primer. (Archived on October 31, 2021).
  3. "Andro- Definition & Meaning". dictionary.com.
  4. "Gyne- Definition & Meaning". dictionary.com.
  5. Carter, Raphael: "Not This, Not That". chaparraltree.com. (Archived on December 9, 2004).
  6. Werther, Ralph. Autobiography of an Androgyne. Herring, Scott, Rutgers University Press, February 22nd 2008. English. ISBN 0813543002. (web archive)
  7. From Scott Herring's introduction to the 2008 reprint of Autobiography of an Androgyne
  8. "The Trouble With Tribbles". chakoteya.net.
  9. saveferris: "Voilà. Androgynous flag." (2011-03-29). saveferris-blog.tumblr.com.
  10. pridearchive: "Androgyne Pride" (2014-09-10). pridearchive.tumblr.com. (Archived on January 24, 2022).
  11. Pride-Flags: "Androgyne (2)" (2015-08-23). deviantart.com. (Archived on January 24, 2022).
  12. Carter, Raphael: "Androgyny RAQ". chaparraltree.com. (Archived on April 27, 1999).
  13. "The Necker Cube: Symbol For Androgyny" (2011-06-25). practicalandrogyny.com. (Archived on January 24, 2022).
  14. "Screenplays For You". sfy.iv.ru. (Archived on August 26, 2002).
  15. "The Matrix (1999) - IMDb". imdb.com.
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