Amp Up The Andro: Is it the same as being genderfluid?

Gender fluidity is an important thing. It is a word to describe an identity that has been needed for many, many years, and helps so many people explain how they feel. We should start by explaining what is it: it is a gender identity that is non-binary. Yet it can, at times, be binary. It is neither male nor female, or it can be both. Gender fluid (also written as ‘genderfluid’) is, in short, the beautiful in-between. It’s a term that is almost fully ‘customisable’ to however you feel, whenever you feel it. If you always feel 90% female 10% male, or if you’re always 50/50 or if it changes on a day to day basis… gender fluidity is almost anything and everything.

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Being gender fluid does not have anything to do with your sexual preference. As I explained in my post, Identity: definitions and a guide to, gender identity and sexuality are two very different things. In this case, we are talking about gender. Gender is in your head, not your genitalia. This is why things like transgender and gender fluid exist as identities. Because not always does your head match up to your body. The great thing about being gender fluid is that it’s a sort of in-between that gives you the option to express yourself and identify as however you feel, whenever.  It is literally an identity which is “take me as you find me”. Gender fluid is not ‘unsure’ – (although if you are unsure of gender that’s just fine!) – and it is not ‘greedy’, it’s just however that one person feels.

Gender fluid is sort of synonymous with being genderqueer, which is widely used as an umbrella term for any non-cis or non-binary gender. If you’re gender fluid you can label yourself (if you want) as either gender fluid or genderqueer; gender fluid is just a little more specific. As for pronouns, a lot of gender fluid people prefer gender-neutral pronouns, however some are also happy with any pronoun, or with the pronoun associated with whatever gender they were assigned at birth. Whatever pronoun they prefer, it doesn’t make them any less gender fluid. Just because someone identifies as gender fluid, but prefers ‘she/her’ pronouns doesn’t invalidate their gender fluidity, just the same as someone can look like a stereotypical male, but prefer ‘she/her’ pronouns. Someone’s gender is whatever gender they say they are. Pronouns are helpful, and should always be respected, but they are not everything and in some ways, you shouldn’t assume someone’s gender just because of their pronouns.

As for the relationship between androgyny and gender fluidity: they are normally not the same thing. Androgyny is occasionally used as a gender identity (‘androgyne’) which fits under the genderqueer banner, described as a mix of female/male traits and feelings – so it is very similar to gender fluidity, just even more specific. However, in general, androgyny is thought of as a style/look (gender expression) rather than a gender identity in itself.

People who identify as gender fluid may often appear androgynous, as they might feel a mix or balance of male/female, however gender fluid people just as often will appear as more masculine or feminine. Or they may appear androgynous one day, then more female the next, then more masculine the next day. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter so long as they are comfortable and respected. Personally, I think there’s something wonderful about how someone can choose the best parts of every gender and combine them or experience all of them.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 01.03.53Both gender fluidity and androgyny are amazing things, and they work particularly well together, but they are not always the same thing or both applicable to one person. It’s also important to remember that actually, everything is gender-neutral, be it three-piece suits or skirts and make-up: masculinity and femininity are just social constructs. So experiment with androgyny and gender expression, embrace your gender fluid friends (or self) and just be you. Because you, are fabulous.

Riot ❤

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