Disclaimer: This is not a cheesy anniversary post. It just starts out that way.
One year ago today, I start this blog. I moved from displaying fashion to using my own online platform to educate the masses. I moved from art and entertainment to activism and education on my very own website. While my first post has literally zero views, as I cross-published articles I wrote in the past, people started looking at my content.
As I sit in Starbucks on Sunday morning, November 27, 2016, I recognize that I’ve talked about a lot, from gender identity to romantic orientation to sex education. I’ve talked about eating disorders and inclusive language, and even swimwear.
If it sounded like it, this isn’t where I wrap up and say it’s been fun, but my senior year is taking a toll on me. This is where I say- Even after a year there is still much, much more to be said. Recently I bought a book I highly recommend, that has taught me a lot, Ashley Mardell’s The ABC’s of LGBT+
Here are some of the terms and ideas from the book that I haven’t talked about on this site, to show you that LGBTQ+ identities go much farther than just my 70 posts in the past year. Without further ado:
Alternative forms of linear spectrums to visualize gender. While Ashley used a color wheel (page 35) it made me think of this gender planet. You can find more out about the gender planet here.
Another spectrum One of the things I love about Ashley’s book is how many spectrums they mention. While I’ve talked about a couple on here, one that I don’t think I’ve ever seen is one on how intensely someone experiences gender, ranging from I feel apathetic about my gender all the way to I experience my gender very strongly. (page 38)
There are so many sexual orientations to identify with and I just discovered another– novosexuality. A novosexual or novoromantic person is when a person’s attractions change based on the gender(s) they are experiences. `The example given is if someone is genderfluid they might identify as a lesbian when they are a woman, but pansexual when they are non-binary (158). They also gave another handy diagram to explain this identity.
Other new words I learned:
Noma-/Nowoman– sexual/romantic attractions to anyone who isn’t a man (noman) or isn’t a woman (nonwoman).
Zed-/Allo– someone who experiences sexual (zed/allosexual) and/or romantic attractions(zed/alloromantic), aka anyone who is not on the asexual and/or aromantic spectrums.
Woma/gyne-: Womasexuality/romanticism and gynesexuality/romanticism are attractions to woman and/or feminity. Ma/Andro- applies to men.
These terms were created for non-binary people because they don’t imply misinformation about their own gender. Gynesexual and Androsexual refer to exclusive attraction to vaginas (gynesexual) and penises (androsexual). However, this was critqued as being uninclusive of trans folks, woma- and ma- came about. (174)
ANOTHER SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION!
Many people recognize that things like virginity, gender, racism, and marriage are social constructions, or basically concepts that society has created to mean certain things. Something I only recently acknowledged is a social construct is sex. As Mardell explains, “The way our bodies are is simply undeniable. However, labeling a person…based on their physical characteristics is a human design. After all body parts are not inherently male or female…they are just body part” (50).
Tons of Fun Acronyms
You may be thinking of LGBTQ when I say acronyms, but I’m talking about acronyms for the trans community and the intersex community. Many people are aware of FTM and and MTF, but there’s more. So much more. (pages 100-101)
Male to Male/MTM is a person whose sex/gender was assigned female at birth and who rejects that their gender was ever female. They never felt a connection with a female gender and thus don’t identify as FTM. The opposite (in binary of male and female) applies for FTF or Female to Female.
**Speaking of trans folks, I also learned the word gender euphoria– the feeling of extreme happiness, or comfort because someone’s gender is affirmed (94). This can be compared to gender dysphoria– distress or unhappiness experienced because one’s gender does not match their sex/gender assigned at birth (92).
DFAB/AFAB/FAAB stand for “designates female at birth,” “assigned female at birth” and “female assigned at birth” The opposite definition (in the binary of male and female) applies to DMAB/AMAB/MAAB
This is also a variation for the use of “the gender someone was born with” because we all know sex is different than gender.
However some people feel these lack agency because we are often told our sex is our gender, and thus comes CAFAB/CAMAB or “coercively assigned female/male at birth.” Coercively meaning forcefully assigned because we all now know sex is a social construction!
Finally, I didn’t know the intersex community also had acronyms too. These acroynms, specifically for intersex individuals are IAFAB/IAMAB and FAFAB/FAMAB are “intersex assigned female/male at birth” and “forcibly assigned female/male at birth” This goes along with the fact that intersex people are still assigned female or male at birth.
NEW GENDER IDENTITIES! (pg. 102-104)
I’ve mentioned a lot of different gender identities on this blog. However, here are some ones I just learned!
Bigender, trigender, and Pangender/omnigender : someone who has/experiences 2, 3 or an infinite amount of genders. These can be binary or non-binary. They can be experienced simultaneously or alternate. The person does not have to experience each gender equally and/or in the same way (103).
While these sound rad to me, some people have questioned these and so came along Maxigender, or people who experience many and sometimes all available genders to them. An example of an unavailable gender is someone who is not Indian or Native American claiming a Two-Spirit identity (104).
And, demi. While I’ve mentioned demisexual and demiromantic identities, I never applied it to gender. This is someone who has/experiences a partial connection to the gender(s) in questions. Examples include demiguy, demiboy, demigirl, deminon-binary, demiagender. (104).
And some others (pg. 106)
Aporagender– both a specific gender identity and an umbrella term for being a non-binary gender separate from man, woman, and anything in between, while still having a very strong and specific gendered feeling.
Maverique– someone who has an autonomous gender which exists entirely independent of the binary genders man and woman. Coined by Vesper.
Androgyne– a non-binary gender related to androgyny (aka possessing qualities that are both, neither, and/or inbetween masculine and feminine). This person may identify as both, neither, and/or man and woman (118-120)
Neutrois– may feel their gender is neutral or null. They may feel one of these, switch between, or identify with both at the same time. (125)
Intergender– between or a mix of binary genders. Some people feel this is a term anyone can connect with or that it should only be used by intersex individuals. (127)
Gender indifferent– being apathetic about ones’s gender/gender expression. This person may not have strong feelings about their personal gender or the concept of gender in general. (127)
Finally…(As if gender ever stops)
Graygender– having a weak sense of gender or being somewhat apathetic about one’s gender identity/expression/etc. These people have a gender, but they may feel disconnected of find it difficult to define. (128-129)
And of course all these terms can be unpacked even more, and that there’s even more to add to this additional list, additionally. LGBTQ+ identities are forever changing and I love using this platform as a way to show that.
Here’s where you can get a copy of Ashley Mardell’s book!
Also Also Also. Another really, really cool thing about the book is how many contributors there were. Here’s some of them, and where you can check them out:
On gender Charlie Spadone
On intersexuality Claudia Astorino
On Queer Feminism Rowan Ellis
On Gender Expression Riley J. Dennis
On Non-binary identity Tori
Sexplanations Lindsey Doe
On Asexuality Amelia
On bisexuality Alayna Fender
And that’s not even everyone! Be sure to check out the book to see all the links
Of course, there’s also Ashley’s channel
Pictures and information courtesy of
Mardell, A. 2016. The ABC’s of LGBT+. Coral Gables, Florida: Mango Media.