Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Word of the Gay: "Neutrois"

"Neutrois" refers to an individual who has no gender and does not identify as male or female.

6 comments:

Lauren said...

Question:

Does a neutrois undergo surgery to remove gender-specific body parts to "become" without a gender?

Queers United said...

interesting question, lauren I really don't know.

Greg said...

What's a gender-specific body part? "Common sense" tells us that breasts are female-specific body parts, but then there are men with gynecomastia, and I know some women who have endured breast cancer only to have both their breasts removed. Are the men with breasts any less men? Are the women without them any less women? Furthermore, how do you "remove" a vagina (if that's meant to be another gender-specific body part)? I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not the body parts that make the gender. Gender is a social construct; in our system, we happen to have constructed two "opposite" genders that are based on the similarly constructed categories of biological sex. Because when you get right down to it, while the majority of us fit "one" or "the other," there are still a lot of people left out in the cold. If a person self-identifies as neutrois or some other non-male, non-female gender, forget about their* body parts and let them (dis)identify with/as whatever gender(s) they happen to (or not).

*Advocating for the use of "they" and its grammatical forms in reference to a singular third person.

Anonymous said...

I am an androgyne who accepts any apparently sexual characteristics that my appearance betrays, so I'm at the opposite end of the scale from someone who feels they are neutrois. I have come across people who want to have surgery because they want to look the way they feel, which I don't feel is necessary, but then nothing drives me to it. If I grow man-boobs (as it were) in older age, i shan't worry. If I don't I shan't worry either.

There's a video on Youtube where someone who is apparently biologically female says that she wants to be rid of her breasts. Sorry for the gender-specific pronouns, but it is a struggle dealing with the language here. I've also heard of those born male who don't want any hairy bits or penis bulges. So yes, some people clearly do want to get rid of, or hide, their so-called gendered body parts.

Anonymous said...

As a neutrois, I can tell you that as far as surgery is concerned, some (myself included) wish to have some sort of alteration to remove gender-specific features (such as breasts for women or the penis for men). If you want to know more, check out http://www.whatisgender.net a lot of neutrois hang out there.

Anonymous said...

I am psychologically neutrois and the secondary sexual characteristics of my body feel alien to me, rather like warts or fatty tumours, or like inanimate objects inexplicably stapled to my body, that I can never quite get used-to. However, in a plain cost-benefit analysis, it does not make sense for me to alter my body surgically. I look fine, and that has certain benefits that outweigh the desire to match outer and inner self. I am not so emotionally connected to my body that it matters to me as much as it does to some people. It's dysphoria, at a distance. "Armchair" gender dysphoria, in a way.

Nor do I strive for an entirely gender-neutral presentation. That would set narrow limits that conflict with my aesthetics and self-expression, and would be a social handicap on some occasions. Several things that are important to me are allowed by the social conventions applied to my biological sex, so I accept that bargain.

Because my body is not the polar opposite of what I feel should be rightfully mine, and because of my sense of distance from my body, I am spared most of the sense of incongruity that results in terrible anxiety for many transgendered people. Still, I feel a moment of "eh??that's not right" and a sort of hesitant wincing when I am referred-to with a gendered pronoun or classed as a member of my biological sex. It's not hell. It's just a corner of purgatory where all the street signs are annoyingly wrong and the local new broadcasts make no sense.

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