Coined from the prefix ‘xeno’, which means alien, and the word gender, xenogender is an umbrella term for a vast amount of non-binary gender identities. Xenogendered people do not define their gender identity or experiences through concepts traditionally related to gender, this means that things we usually associate with our gender identity –from things such as pink means girl and blue means boy to more contemporary things, like gender fluidity– do not play a part in the way a xenogendered person describes and experiences their gender identity. Xenogendered individuals find it easier to describe their inner sense of gender through evoking familiar archetypes and describing their gender through more abstract means such as relating it to a part of nature, an animal, an abstract concept, or symbols, amongst other things.
The Xenogender identity is extremely important, as it is working against the gender binary –which we’ve talked about before in this article– by incorporating completely new ways to conceive gender that do not include the male-female binary at all. This brings a whole new openness to the possibilities that people have not just as far as describing their gender, but also as far as perceiving it. This non-binary gender identity actively works to incorporate other parts of our beings, of our perceptions, into the notion of gender, thus breaching the male-female gender gap. Risking an overstatement, we could say that Xenogender identities are the most radical in as far as fighting against the traditional gender binary as they move gender completely outside of it.
There are over 75 types of recorded Xenogender identities amongst which we can find:
- Astergender: Astergendered (which comes from the latin word for star ‘aster’) people describe their gender as a bright, celestial and radial one. They relate their gender to space, light, nature, and symbols.
- Biogender: a gender connected to nature in some way. Biogender is also an umbrella term for other xenogender identities such as faunagender, hydrogender, felisgender, earthgender and more.
- Archaicgender (Archaigender): is described as a gender that stretches beyond one’s own material lifetime to the point where it is either extremely present or almost unperceivable.
- Astralgender: a gender that feels connected to space in any way.
A lot of people react to Xenogendered identitites with skcepticism and disbelief or with anger and the perception that the high amount of nouns being created is going to create a bigger gender gap. This is not true. Language works this way, just like suffragettes eventually led to the term feminism, new words and concepts are needed to describe new social, astrological, mathematical, philosophical and even natural phenomena.
When a new view about something arises, humans create new nouns to name that new view and may even need to create nouns to describe what it entails — that is what non binary genders, and especially Xenonogender, are doing. Opening up dialogue creates not separation or a Babel tower, but a greater vocabulary, comprehension and a linguistic stand against the gender-binary that will further our efforts in rethinking gender.