Xeno As In Nonhuman - Gender Essay
I am xenogender.
To clarify and define, xenogender can roughly be described as a gender that is ‘outside traditional human understanding of gender’. A lot of people define it as ‘far outside the gender binary’ but this its original definition and is human-centric.
When I say I am xenogender, I use this more correct wider definition. Also the name slaps so any ‘more precise’ term is going to be less superior than the umbrella of ‘xenogender’.
My gender is largely tied up in nonhuman feelings- both that of my Silver Dragon (DND) kintype and my Cultural Nonhumanity as a cat.
Gender, for a species of habitual shapeshifters with very little obvious physical differences between sexes was quite different. ‘Silver Dragon Female’ is most closely analogous to ‘human male’ in terms of expected social behavior if a binary gender has to be picked.
A female silver dragon specifically is generally xpected to be fierce- particularly in defense of people deemed yours, and be a protector in general in somewhat the way the gender role of ‘man’ here often is characterized. Male silver dragons were expected to be more friendly and less… territorial of people, so to speak. These are not genders the way humans understand gender to be- genders were a littlefolk(translated version of the polite Dragonic word for Most of the various sapient races) thing to be tried on for fun. Dragons simply had instinct that drove the egg-bearing dragons to be more defensive, and the non-egg-bearing dragons to lack that extra instinct.
The genders of the littlefolk were tried on like a funny hat beyond that. I was quite partial to the littlefolk forms of an adult elven woman (who was once a rider and lover and did not mind if I borrowed her likeness on occasion, even after her death), and young men of various species (which could move about quite freely and often without notice).
Dragonic pronouns were all neutral, so pronouns were again just a funny hat to play with.
Back then I was a female silver dragon and didn't think about much else because gender being a permanent aspect of identity and not effectively clothing to wear as essentially drag was a littlefolk thing, and well, I was a dragon.
Gender, from a cat perspective of my cultural nonhumanity, basically isn't there. Being altered/sterilized is the ideal and what seems right as a house cat. Theres no gender there all that much to the cat identity, just a furry little creature. Cat brain doesn't think of gender, its just a cat. A altered cat even less so.
Being plural and having a human-presenting experience allows for experiencing and comprehending human gender the way that I would not have as a silver dragon, and my experiences that formed the system’s collective cultural nonhumanity as a cat also influence my gender now.
Being in a plural system means I can feel the genders of the other people in here, this allows me to compare my gender feelings to their gender feelings, and some of those feelings may influence my own over time.
Growing up in a human body in human society(or at least having the memories of the person who did so), it means gender is no longer a cute and funny hat I can put on at will however I like, I am required to exist within or at least alongside the societal binary.
Strangers will sort me into one or the other with few exceptions wether I like it or not and I have no choice in this beyond things that are slow or imperfect. I cannot reliably pass as neutral no matter what because things outside the binary aren't generally considered by wider society either. It means I have an intimate understanding of human gender by being up to my eyeballs in it all the time. This changes my relationship to these social roles I can take on and which one(s) I wish to perform and thus what my internal sense of gender is.
So now my understanding of my own gender is then thus ‘dragon female’ plus ‘neuter cat’ filtered through the lens of perception of how I wish to be viewed and my experiences with the human gender standards here.
It ends up creating a gender that is two genders(neither of which can truly be described with the human binary) that are really one gender expression. The dragon gender that is sort of two genders that can be described as Xenofemale (nonhuman female gender but this does not equal ‘woman’) and Proxvir(near 'boy' but not quite) in that one is the experienced internal feeling, but proxvir is the closest human equivalent term, and the cat gender, of which is neuter and is just A Furry Creature.
The gender can also be considered dragon and cat and also just ‘strange animal’
One could consider this gender bigender, but its also xenogender, and fits xenogender more strongly, as the two genders are blurred at the edges and basically are just one gender- one that is ‘xeno’ to dragon, human, and cat understanding due to its composition. It is distinct from genderfluid as well, as I experience both feelings at once and they dont fluctuate.
So technically yes, I am bigender, but xenogender fits more, so I claim it- also xenobigender sounds middling and probably has already been coined to mean something entirely different to what I mean by it.
From a physical form perspective, most transition steps I would prefer to take that would help the gender dysphoria are more species transition than anything. Being perceived as a woman is annoying and uncomfortable- if only because I do not choose the terms upon which I can put on that gender hat. Being perceived as a man isn't much better, its closer to the ideal, especially because I chose it and its not the default, but still not anywhere near it. I can settle for it within a fine margin, but its still not really what I am, and much of the male human-associated physical traits would make me more dysphoric than the female ones.
In addition, when thinking about how to alter the body, I have the rest of the system to think about too- im not the only one who uses the body and it wouldn't be fair to make decisions without anyone else involved.
Being perceived as ????? is about as close as I can get and it would be a nice consultation prize. It strikes the ideal balance. I can then add gender traits when I wish that will tip me from one side to the other of the human scale should I wish to have a taste and play with it.
But really, the ideal physical transition would involve nonhuman traits which would heighten the ???? gendering.
Genderqueer is also claimed, as its the collective label we all agree with regarding our genders. Its a very wide umbrella, and encapsulates all of our experiences. In terms of mine, its a accurate enough word, as the gender sure is queer, and all the fiddly woo-ey bits that relate to my nonhumanity can be neatly sidestepped in conversation with people who may not understand it.
All in all, my gender is heavily effected by my nonhumanity and its impossible to properly talk about my gender feelings without getting into it.