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Neurogender is an emerging term.
Neurogender is a term that has recently emerged. Although the term may be growing in usage, and is significant and well-sourced enough to warrant inclusion on this wiki, it may still be relatively unknown outside of the platform or community where it originated. The exact definition and name may not have stabilized, and may change significantly as more people identify with it.

Neurogender identity was originally proposed on a Tumblr blog as "a gender feeling that is strongly linked to one's status as neurodivergent".[1] It was further elaborated upon as the following: "Neurogender is a gender feeling that is linked to someone's neurodivergence. It can be both an identity and an umbrella term for genders that are limited to neurodivergent people. Obviously, you have to be neurodivergent to identify as this gender. And no, it is not 'turning neurological disorders into a gender'. Neurogender just means that a person's perception of their gender is influenced by them being neurodivergent."[2] As the meaning of the term "neurodivergent" has been debated, it is unclear which definition was intended.[note 1]

By 2016, "neurogender" had been redefined by others on the Gender Wiki as "an umbrella term to describe when someone's gender is somehow linked to their neurotype, mental illness, or neurological conditions. There are many different neurogenders related to most, if not all, neurodivergencies."[3] This specific redefinition has been cited in at least one print source.[4] In another redefinition from 2018 that was published both online and in print, neurogenders were described as "genders specific to neurodivergent people whose experience of gender relates to their neurotype or who feel they can't fully understand gender due to their neurotype."[5]

Etymology[]

The Tumblr user aflutteringlaney contributed the term "neurogender" to the now-defunct MOGAI-archive blog by July 30, 2014,[1] then further described it on their own blog by August 12, 2014.[2]

MOGAI-archive was a Tumblr blog dedicated to topics related to MOGAI,[1] an acronym for Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignments, and Intersex.[6] MOGAI is an umbrella term for people who are not cisgender and/or not heterosexual.[7]

Before its current usage, the word "neurogender" was proposed more than once with unrelated definitions that were not widely adopted. A 1978 article in The Advocate on the topic of "why we are gay" proposed that people who were "exclusively homosexual" on the Kinsey scale were "cross-gendered", saying: "Here the term cross-gendered means someone for whom the gender/sex of the brain—neurogender—is not the same as the morphological/physical/genital gender." In short, the authors theorized that fetal development had caused "masculinization" of lesbian women's brains and "feminization" of gay men's brains, viewing sexual orientation as a neurological misalignment between mental gender and physical sex.[8] In the early 21st century, a group of feminist neuroscientists variously called The NeuroGenderings Network or The NeuroGender Network has held biennial conferences on "neurogenderings", or the "complex ways in which brains become sexed and gendered in the world and in the neuroscience lab".[9]

Community[]

Flag[]

In addition to the term, aflutteringlaney designed the neurogender flag. The colors are red, green, blue, and purple; they represent a rainbow or spectrum of gender identities and neurotypes that neurodivergent people have. The infinity sign is used to represent neurodiversity and is black to represent the aromantic and asexual spectrums.[2] Along with the flag, aflutteringlaney designed a button, scarf, and banner; the images were subsequently collected in the Pride Archive blog.[10]

Distinction[]

Gendervague is a term coined within the autistic community to describe a neurodivergent person experiencing their transgender identity or gender identity as intersecting with and inseparable from their neurodivergence. Their neurodivergence is part of how they understand and experience gender. This does not mean their neurodivergence is the cause of their gender identity.[11]

Controversy[]

According to aflutteringlaney, who coined the term, neurogender does not mean that a person's neurodivergence or neurological disorder is itself a gender; rather, their "perception of their gender is influenced by them being neurodivergent".[2] In a video essay, author and advocate Lyric Rivera addressed the misconception that the microlabel autigender means "autism as a gender" or "autism is a gender".[12]

Notes[]

  1. Neurodivergent is a term associated with the neurodiversity movement. Neurodiverse, coined by Judy Singer, is not equivalent to "neurological disorder" or "autistic"; an individual person is not neurodiverse. Neurodiversity is comparable to biodiversity and refers to the neuro-cognitive variability found in all humans, such as mood, learning, attention, social behavior, and other mental traits. The neurodiversity movement is primarily associated with people who are on the autism spectrum, as well as "cousin" conditions such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disabilities, learning disorders such as dyslexia, and motor disorders such as dyspraxia and Tourette's Syndrome. The term neurodivergent, coined by Kassiane Asasumasu, refers to neurologically divergent from typical or a brain that diverges. Asasumasu has said it is not limited to neurodevelopmental disorders and includes people with mental illnesses or no specific diagnosis. Others have redefined neurodivergent as specific to neurodevelopmental or neurological conditions, and not mood, dissociative, or personality disorders. Further explanations of neurodiversity versus neurodivergence are available on the Neuroqueer blog.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "neurogender" (original link down) on MOGAI-archive (Tumblr post). Archived via reblog (Archive link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 [Untitled] (original link down) by aflutteringlaney on <aflutteringlaney.tumblr.com>. Archived via reblog (Archived on 2022-01-22)
  3. "Neurogender" on Gender Wiki. Revision as of 00:00, 25 August 2016 (Archived on 2022-02-08)
  4. Cited in: "At the intersection of trans and disabled" by Vern Harner and Ian M. Johnson in Social Work and Health Care Practice with Transgender and Nonbinary Individuals and Communities, with Shanna K. Kattari, M. Killian Kinney, Leonardo Kattari, and N. Eugene Walls (eds.). Published 2021 by Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780429443176.
  5. Online: "I'm trans and autistic, and yes (for me), they're related" by corbin, endever* on homo qui vixit. Published 2018-11-14. (Archived on 2022-02-08)
    Print: Spectrums: Autistic Transgender People in Their Own Words, with Maxfield Sparrow (ed.). Published 2020 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 9781787750142.
  6. "MOGAI FAQ" by cloud (as cisphobeofficial) on <cisphobeofficial.tumblr.com> (Tumblr post)(Archived on 2021-09-09)
  7. "For lack of a better word: neo-identities in non-cisgender, non-straight communities on Tumblr" by Christine Feraday on RShare Digital Repository (PDF). Published 2016 (first online: 2021-05-22). Graduate thesis for Ryerson University (Archive link)
  8. "Revolutionary Extinction? An Emerging Model of the Origin of Sexualities" by Dean Gengle and Norman C. Murphy in The Advocate, no. 253. Published 1978-11-01.
  9. "Neurogenderings and Neuroethics" by Cyd Cipolla and Kristina Gupta in The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics, with L. Syd M Johnson and Karen S. Rommelfanger (eds.). Published 2018 by Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781315708652.
  10. "Neurogender Pride" by Lyric on Pride Archive. Published 2014-08-13. (Archived on 2018-09-02)
  11. "Gendervague: At the Intersection of Autistic and Trans Experiences" (original link down) by Lydia X. Z. Brown on National LGBTQ+ Task Force Blog. Published 2016-06-22. (Archived on 2019-04-11)
  12. "What is AutiGender? – The Relationship Between Autism & Gender – An Autistic Perspective" by Lyric Rivera on NeuroDivergent Rebel (Video essay)(Archived on 2023-11-22)
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