Xenogender is an umbrella term for non-binary gender identities that cannot be fully described through their relation to concepts typically used to describe gender such as masculinity, femininity, androgyny, neutrality, agenrity, or outherinity. Instead, xenogenders can best be described through how they relate to things, beings, or concepts that most people don't think of as having to do with gender, such as animals, plants, things, or concepts. It is sometimes described as any gender that "cannot be contained by human understandings of gender". People who identify as a xenogender may call themselves xenic. The gender quality associated with xenogenders is xeninity.
The opposite of xenogender is anthrogender.
Xenic people often have a strong understanding of how their gender feels to them, however they often find that there aren't any words for their experiences, this is called a lexical gap. In order to fill that gap xenogender people often describe their gender through metaphors, by saying their gender is like, is influenced by, or shares qualities with something else.
When described, xenogenders often fall into one of three categories:
- Nouns and Archetypes: Instead of saying how one's gender relates to masculinity and femininity, one says one's gender is, or is like, a kind of animal, an imaginary being, a part of nature, an abstract concept, or a symbol. These are called noungenders.
- Aesthetics and Synaesthetic Perceptions: When a gender is described using things like texture, size, shape, time, light, sound, or other sensory characteristics. These can often overlap with noungenders. These are called aesthetigenders.
- Neurotypes: When a neurodivergent person's neurotype(s) is/are an inseparable part of their gender identity. These genders are exclusive to people of the neurotype(s) associated with them. These are called neurogenders.
Other categories of xenogenders include:
- Situations: When one's gender changes based on the situation. These are called mutogenders.
- Kintypes: When an otherkin being’s kintype(s) is/are an inseparable part of their gender identity. These genders are exclusive to beings of the kintype(s) associated with them. These are called kingenders.
- Oneself: When one's gender is so much just them that no one else can even experience it. These are called nominalgenders.
Someone who is binary and relates/connects to xenogenders (without identifying as xenic) may call themself meliusgender.
See List of Xenogenders.
The term xenogender was coined by Tumblr user Baaphomett in 2014
The prefix xeno- indicates some having to do with aliens, which is appropriate as xenogenders are unrelated to human (anthro-) genders.
The xenogender flag was created on January 15, 2017 by DeviantArt user Pastelmemer. The central symbol is the astronomical sign for the asteroid Iris, a Greek goddess of rainbows. The colors chosen are common colors present in iris flowers. The central stripe is yellow, a common nonbinary color. It is opposed to purple, which usually stands for androgynous nonbinary genders which have some combination of male and female identities, yellow is often used to symbolize genders which have nothing to do with the binary in any way, which includes xenogenders.
The alternate flag was created by an anonymous user and Mod Hermy from Pride-Flags DeviantArt on February 17, 2017. The symbol was designed to look like an iris flower, which is a symbol for xenogenders. The blueish purple colors were likely chosen based on the most common color of irises.