Ci sono persone che non si sentono né maschi, né femmine. Passano vite intere a cercare di affermare la loro identità. Il loro problema? Una società che ragiona con un sistema binario. La storia di Micah e le foto di Chloe

My story featured in Vanity Fair Italy as part of Chloe Aftel’s #Agender photo project. 

 I’ve wanted for some time to have one place to send everyone who complains about singular they, a single page that can debunk whatever junk they’re peddling against it…. Without further ado, here’s the evidence for singular they, and why you ought to stop “correcting” it.

Another article on the photography series by Chloe Aftel profiling non-binary people (including myself!), on Refinery29.

While it’s not an ideal source of knowledge on this topic, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has shifted its understanding of a trans* identity from “gender identity disorder” to the slightly more sensitive “gender dysphoria,” which is defined as “the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex.” But, for many people, gender identity is not fixed or limited to “male” vs. “female.” 

Some of Aftel’s subjects identify as gender-fluid (with a fluctuating gender identity), some as gender-queer (a more general term for any gender identity other than “male” or “female”), and some as agender (those who do not identify with any gender). Aftel describes her subjects as “very sure of themselves, and with a certain level of contentment living in the way that really feels honest and best to them.”



Intimate photos of agender youth challenge society’s gender norms

"I think a lot of people like to see gender as this scale of blue and pink," Emma, a 20-year-old college student, told the magazine. "I never really identified with either side of that, or even in between blue and pink. It’s so much more complicated — my identity varies so much on any given day. Sometimes I tell people I’m gold or something."

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I appreciate that it includes a bit from the original article, which clarifies:

"This growing community encompasses people who see themselves as agender (neither male nor female), bi-gender (both genders) and gender-fluid (shifting from male to female)."


Anonymous asked:

Hi, so, I've been having trouble defining myself lately. I go from genderqueer to transgender, but I get sorta nervous labelling myself as trans because I hear a lot of stuff about 'Trans imposters' and the 'I've ALWAYS been SO SURE of..' and help?

theartoftransliness answered:

Zak: We regularly get questions like this, so you are 100% not alone in feeling this way. Things aren’t crystal clear for some people from an early age. Yes, that’s the case for some people (for instance some of Adrian’s earliest memories involve feeling very strongly that he was male). For others, though, it can take a long time to figure things out and there can be points of confusion, doubt, and uncertainty. That’s how it was for me. I didn’t figure out I was trans until I was 18, and I spent quite a while going between considering myself to be genderqueer vs male. I also took a couple of years to decide to take testosterone, and that was a really difficult decision for me. Now, I don’t deal with confusion or doubt really at all and I’m comfortable with my identity and happy with the decisions I’ve made. I think it’s important for people in our position to really do their research and think things through. However, I think it can be hard to trust ourselves because the dominant trans narrative assumes that there should be no confusion and that if you didn’t know you were trans at age 6 than you’re really doing it wrong (so to speak). Anyway, I’d say don’t worry too much about what other people think (vis-a-vis being a “transtrender” or what-not). Trust yourself, listen to yourself, and give yourself the mental space and time to figure things out. Don’t feel pressured to be completely sure of your identity right away. For some people it takes some thinking, some research, talking it out, and some experimentation (for instance, trying going out dressed a certain way or going by a different name and pronouns online for a bit). This is a long answer, but I just want you to know that it’s okay to question, it’s okay not to know! You’ll eventually figure things out.

In my journey, there was a distinct period in which I was “considering” being transgender. I wasn’t sure about a lot of things: what being transgender meant, how transgender people felt, whether that was similar to how I felt, whether I was trans, and in my case, whether feeling not-male-not-female “qualified” me to be trans.

I’ll echo what Zak said with an excerpt from one of my posts titled “Finding Yourself”:

People are in constant flux. We age, we grow, we buy clothes, we change jobs, we move houses, we make families – you never really know what lies ahead.

We all have many identities – gender being just one of them – which are forever evolving.

Not everyone is sure of their gender identity, now or ever – even those with binary-gendered identities. Often it’s more of a matter of unlearning all the stuff you grew up believing in your entire life, and building something new, and scary, and unknown.

Give yourself room and space and time to explore gender and what it means to you.

Someone on the non-binary spectrum emailed me looking for resources on how to navigate their professional life, specifically in a conservative job environment where gender comes with certain expectations.

Constantly policing your presentation, as I’m sure you know, is not fun. I’m still young enough to hope there’s a way to live with my gender that’s more authentic and more sustainable, without getting me fired.

Do you just suck it up? What are the compromises one has to make? Where is the balance?



Agender: Portraits of Young People Who Identify As Neither Male or Female

The term “agender” refers to individuals who identify as neither male or female, preferring the term “they” as opposed to the gender normative pronouns “he” or “she”. On November 4th, 2013, Maybeck High School senior Sasha Fleischman was sleeping on a public bus on the way home from school when they were suddenly awakened by flames leaping up their body. The teen suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns up and down their legs, spending over a month in a hospital burn unit. The story made headlines across the San Francisco Bay area where the incident took place and Fleischman suddenly found themselves thrust into the spotlight as a voice for the agender and genderqueer community. Photographer Chloe Aftel shot the victimized teen as well as others who do not allow society or culture to define them.

(Continue Reading)

I’m in this article!


This list is a great start for anyone looking. I second the advice at the end: “In fact, if you explore these sites, you can find further resources under blog rolls, resource tabs, and links sections. ” This is how I’ve found most of the blogs I follow.

Journalist looking to interview a non-binary person in non-urban area

Last week I had a lovely conversation with a journalist from the Washington Post who is looking to interview non-binary identified people in non-urban areas in the US. It sounds like she’s doing lots of research beforehand and taking a personalized approach.

If you’re interested, please get in touch. 

Details below:

I’m interested in doing a story about people who do not identify as male or female – who prefer gender neutral pronouns and physical presentations. My hope is to be able to give an honest, accurate representation of what it’s like, in 2014, to be a gender neutral person in a world that is still set up for binary genders. I’m interested in people who do not live in urban areas like New York or San Francisco, and are not necessarily visible activists.

I’m interested in ordinary people living their lives in more rural parts of the country, who are willing to let me spend time with them. I want to be sensitive to privacy issues, and am willing to be open to discussions of anonymity or omitting identifying details from my reporting.

My email address is It might be easiest for people who are interested to email first and tell me a little bit about themselves, and we can go from there.



Top Surgery Resource Articles

Do you disclose, or do you lie?

I got another version of this question today.

The short answer is: whether you come out to that particular medical practitioner or not depends on you and your circumstances.

For the longer answer, see my writing on the matter of disclosing a non-binary identity for medical transition, where I also outline my personal experiences with doctors. 

My Transition: Testosterone

My Transition Posts

Social, Passing, Coming Out, and Misc.

General Transition Information and Resources