Am I Genderfluid? How to Know if You're Genderfluid: Signs, Gender Identity and Pronouns Table of Contents What Does It Mean to Be Genderfluid? Understanding Gender Fluidity and Other Gender Identities 3 Signs You’re Genderfluid What Pronouns Do Genderfluid People Use? Make Your Pick What Does Genderfluid Mean Sexually? How to Tell Someone You’re Genderfluid Final Thoughts: Being Genderfluid While gender is something some people don’t stop to think deeply about, it plays an integral part in others’ search for identity and long-term well-being. If you’re on the lookout for information on how to know if you’re genderfluid, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll discuss all the signs, gender differences, and pronouns to help clear things up. Of course, each experience is different, though, and there’s no “right” answer -- just what you feel most comfortable with. In a hetero cis normative world, questioning your gender identity can feel lonely at times. You’re not alone, however: About 11 percent of LGBTQ+ adults identify as nonbinary. While gender fluidity can fall under the trans umbrella, many genderfluid people identify as cis. So, what does it mean to be genderfluid? What are the signs of being gender fluid and, once you know you resonate with this gender identity, what’s the best advice on how to deal with gender fluidity? For anyone asking: “Am I genderfluid?” Here’s some helpful information. What Does It Mean to Be Genderfluid? When you’re genderfluid, you don’t feel that you entirely fit into only one binary gender category. The main basis of gender fluidity lies in flexibility. Your gender is simply not set in stone. The gender you identify with most can change over time or even on a daily basis. It all depends on you. While you may feel more womanly today, you might gravitate toward the masculine side of you tomorrow, might identify as both, or feel distant from both binaries. Just like sexuality, gender is sometimes considered a spectrum rather than a set of fixed categories. When you’re moving around the spectrum in terms of your gender identity, you may identify as genderfluid, non-binary, agender, genderqueer, or other. Some experts suggest there might be more than 100 genders, and different cultures may use different identifications for gender. If you’re genderfluid, you understand that idea on an intrinsic personal level – your gender fluctuates and changes over time, and your gender expression (how you express your gender to the outside world through things such as clothing and behavior) may shift according to those changes. Understanding Gender Fluidity and Other Gender Identities Finding a gender identity that fits how you feel may be a very healing process since it can provide you with a sense of belonging and clarity. “Am I genderfluid, though? Or some other gender?” you might ask. If you’re unsure if genderfluid is a gender, if genderfluid includes non-binary, or how being gender fluid works, have a look at these concise explanations: Genderfluid vs Nonbinary While genderfluid means your gender identity isn’t fixed and can move in different directions on the gender spectrum, nonbinary has a much broader definition. Nonbinary is basically an umbrella term for everyone who feels they don’t fit the man-woman binary categories. It can include genderfluid as well as bigender (having two genders instead of one), agender (having no gender), demigender (feeling a partial connection to a specific gender), and more. If you’re asking yourself, then, what the difference between genderfluid and nonbinary is, the answer is simple: non-binary is an umbrella term that includes genderfluid. Determining the specifics of whether you should identify as non-binary is a whole other topic. To put it simply, though, you can be both genderfluid and non-binary. They don’t cancel each other out. Bigender vs Genderfluid Bigender refers to a gender identity that includes two genders. This can be male and female, meaning bigender people feel they are both a man and a woman, but it can also include different gender identities. You may identify as female and non-binary, for instance, which then likely makes you bigender. When a bingender person is a woman, they often prefer she/her pronouns, and when that same person feels non-binary, they usually opt for they/them. Genderfluid, on the other hand, isn’t set on two identities only. You can also define yourself as both genders on some days. Agender vs Genderfluid Agender people don’t identify as any particular gender. They experience a lack of gender altogether, and might sometimes refer to themselves as gender-neutral based on which label they prefer. They simply don’t bracket themselves into any specific gender identity. Genderfluid is different in that genderfluid people do experience gender—it just fluctuates over time. If they sometimes also identify themselves as agender, they shift between gendered to agendered. Pangender vs Genderfluid Similar to pansexuality where an individual is attracted to all genders no matter what their bodies are like, pangender means that a person identifies as all genders. When you’re pangender, you can identify as a limitless number of genders, including those that have yet to be identified. You’re simply embracing every gender there is. The difference between genderfluid and pangender is that gender fluidity doesn’t necessarily include all genders. It can shift between only some of them. Genderflux vs Genderfluid When you’re genderflux, your gender doesn’t change—it just shifts in intensity. If you identify as a woman, for instance, you may experience more intense feminine feelings on some days and weaker ones on others. Genderfluid people do switch between genders based on where on the spectrum they currently stand. Genderflux people tend to stand in the same position—it’s just the strength of their grasp on it that changes. Genderqueer vs Genderfluid As opposed to genderfluid, genderqueer is quite broad in its meaning. It revolves around the word ‘queer,’ which is used to describe that you don’t necessarily live in a way that aligns with heterosexual or homosexual standards. Queerness can be applied to both sexuality and gender identity. While genderqueer can mean your gender identity shifts, you can also identify as genderqueer when you’re going through a period of questioning—something that Stonewall explains as “the process of exploring your own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.” According to GLAAD’s 2017 Accelerating Acceptance survey, 1 percent of people aged 18-34 identify as genderqueer. When you’re genderfluid, you shift between different gender identities. The label of “genderqueer,” however, focuses more broadly on the experience you’re going through as you’re exploring your gender. It also has more political connotations. 3 Signs You’re Genderfluid Feelings are often very confusing to categorize and sort through, especially when it comes to such complex concepts like gender identity. It’s normal to feel confused and unsure. These three signs of gender fluidity might help you gain more clarity on whether you’re genderfluid or not: You may experience gender dysphoria Experts describe gender dysphoria as a condition that “involves feelings of distress due to a strong, pervasive desire to be another gender.” It may also include “a strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics because of a marked incongruence with one’s experienced/expressed gender.” If you experience gender dysphoria and resonate with the genderfluid label, you might be genderfluid. It’s important to note, however, that not all trans people experience dysphoria. Sticking to only one gender makes you uncomfortable Since gender fluidity is based on the shifting nature of gender, being viewed as one gender only for the rest of your life can be a very discomforting idea for genderfluid people. The social pressure to be one gender only is one of the everyday genderfluid struggles. Let’s try a simple exercise: Imagine yourself as only one gender—such as a woman or a man—two, five, or 10 years from now. Is the thought of being perceived as just that and only that in the long run disconcerting? If the answer is yes, you might be genderfluid. It can be difficult to precisely pin down your gender Genderfluid people aren’t always entirely sure what their gender on any given day is. While cis people wake up and generally don’t even begin to question their gender—they’re so assured in their gender identity they don’t even think about it—gender fluidity can cause confusion when you’re going through the period of questioning. Today, you’re quite sure you’re a woman. Hold on. Are you? Maybe. Yes. No. Uhm. What Pronouns Do Genderfluid People Use? Make Your Pick Thanks to the fluctuating nature of gender fluidity, genderfluid people prefer all kinds of gender pronouns—it always depends on you as an individual. There are no specific genderfluid pronouns per se, but you can most definitely have your pick from the existing ones. While many genderfluid people opt for they/them, which brackets their shifting gender identities into one simple pronoun, others may choose to be referred to based on their sex assigned at birth. Going for the complete opposite is an option, too. It may help some genderfluid people balance out the gender bias they’ve experienced in the past. To put it briefly, it’s all up to you! Feeling comfortable with the pronouns you choose is all that matters. What Does Genderfluid Mean Sexually? It’s common to misinterpret gender and sexuality. Some people mix them together or don’t wholly understand how they intertwine. The truth is, gender identity and sexual orientation are two completely different aspects of the human experience. If you’re asking yourself how to know if you’re genderfluid, sexuality doesn’t have to play any role in determining this whatsoever. Genderfluid people can have varying sexual orientations. Who you are attracted to isn’t influenced by your gender. Therefore, genderfluid people can be attracted to other non-binary people, transwomen, cis men, everyone, you name it. It’s all individual. How to Tell Someone You’re Genderfluid First things first: You’re not obliged to share your gender identity with anyone if you don’t wish to do so. Gender identity is a personal matter, and it’s normal to feel hesitant or to spend some time keeping it to yourself. If you’ve decided to discuss your gender and are wondering how to tell someone you’re genderfluid, here are some great genderfluid tips: Expect people to have questions Slowly, the world is becoming a more welcoming place. But there are still many questions to be asked by people who don’t navigate the queer spaces very often. When you open up to cis parents or friends who haven’t heard of the different gender identities, expect questions and prepare clear answers. The more answers you bring, the better. Sharing various resources is an excellent idea as it will further help your explanation. The more they understand, the better. Set expectations and communicate effectively Make sure to set a respectful and kind tone for the conversation. When both sides communicate effectively, they’re more likely to be heard and understood. When communicating, licensed psychologist Clifford N. Lazarus Ph.D. recommends you “say what you mean and mean what you say. Be direct and honest; don't dance around the issue or play games.” Let those close to you know what you expect from them. Tell them about your new pronouns and the ways in which they can show you love and support. Find an ally Before you open up to everyone, try confiding in the person you trust most. If you’re dating a non-binary person, for instance, you know they’ll understand what you’re going through and will support you. Having an ally will help you a great deal. They’re someone to rely on in a crisis and to confide in when others don’t understand. Receiving love and support even from one person goes a long way. Final Thoughts: Being Genderfluid Gender identity is a complex idea still misunderstood by many people. If you don’t feel yourself to be defined by the typical gender boundaries, don’t worry—you’re not alone. The non-binary umbrella covers many different gender identities that are outside the usual norm, and they’re all beautiful in their own way. Whichever gender identity you resonate with, the most important thing is that you feel safe, comfortable, and content. Your health—both mental and physical—is the most precious thing there is. Are you still asking yourself: “Am I genderfluid?” If so, that’s okay! Take your time to sort through your feelings and choose the gender identity that you feel truly describes you. In the end, just be who you want to be.The right people will always love you and accept you. Most importantly, though, love and accept yourself.