Tag Archives: Genderfluid

New NYC Art Exhibit Shows Genderfluid Japan

What do you think of when you think of Japan?

You might think of rigid gender binaries where men love women so much that they fall in love with pillows with images of women printed on them. You might think of the sharp divide between shonen, which are cartoons aimed at boys, and which deal with fighting and battles, and shojo, which are aimed at teen girls and almost always deal with relationships and love. You might think of geishas, professional female entertainers in thick makeup.

But not too long ago, Japan led the way in blurring gender binaries.

Between 1603 and 1868, when American colonists were burning witches at the stake and English women were being locked up for “hysteria,” Japan was exploring fluid ideas of gender and sexuality.

Teenage boys called wakashu dressed extremely effeminately. Japanese people considered them a third gender, and men and women both pursued (and were pursued by) them sexually. When wakashu grew out of adolescence then they, too, could pursue wakashu.

This is much like “boy love” in Ancient Greece, except for one distinct difference – women too could sleep with wakashu, indicating that Japanese people thought of both sexuality and gender as loose guidelines instead of strict boundaries. People didn’t have to be married to have sex, and sex was far from purely procreative.

Curve Magazine remarks that in Edo culture, “homo-eroticism, androgyny, gender ambiguity and bisexuality flourished and were encouraged.” Women slept with each other as often as they did men.

A new NY exhibition called A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints explores the history more thoroughly in order to shine the light on non-Western ideas of sex and sexuality. Clearly, Puritan Christian rules were not the norm everywhere.

The exhibition features books, woodblock prints, paintings and “lovely objects.” One of the most prominent features of the exhibit is a large, colored woodblock that features two Edo-era women using a dildo.

Learn more about the exhibit here.

Wow, A ‘Gender Fluid’ Lioness, Who Looks, Acts And Roars Like a Male, Discovered in Africa

Scientists have discovered a lioness that is said to exhibit the physical characteristics of both male and female lions.

Mmamoriri the lioness – who lives on the plains of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, southern Africa – has naturally adopted the characteristics of her male counterparts in order to survive.

She has grown a mane to fool invading prides into thinking she is male, as well as developing a deeper and more masculine roar.

However, Mmamoriri – who was first discovered back in 2012 – is not alone.

The scientists believe she is one of five lions in the area with the same adaptations.


In addition, they say that the phenomenon will pass down to the next generation; an evolutionary twist that will ensure future prides can survive at their most vulnerable, if the alpha male is killed or dies.

Mmamoriri is one of the stars of the new BBC documentary, The World’s Sneakiest Animals, which will be shown on Christmas Day.


Others who have adapted their gender in order to survive include male deer, which don’t grow antlers – meaning they are able to ‘sneakily’ breed with females, while the other males fight for access.

The show – presented by wildlife expert Chris Packham – also features cuttlefish that can change colour and shed skin to disguise themselves.

The argument that same-sex relationships are somehow “unnatural” is often wheeled out by those opposed to gay rights – yet the animal kingdom continues to prove that they couldn’t be more wrong.

Same-sex activity is used in the animal kingdom for many reasons, ranging from pleasure-seeking to conflict solving. Many species even form bonds for life with their same-sex partner.

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‘GenderFlux’ Fashion Label Caters to a Diverse Genderfluid and Non-Binary Audience

When you go into most clothing stores these days, their clothes will be separated into ‘male’ and ‘female’ sections based on how feminine or masculine the designs are. Not only is this a pointless move on the retailer’s part (clothes are just clothes and should not be inherently gendered) but it’s also discriminatory to those who don’t identify as male or female (or identify as both) and are just out to buy some new threads – without misgendering themselves in the process.

Furthermore, because of the way that clothes are gendered in stores it means that genderfluid or non-binary folks often fail to find clothes that fit them, as they are designed to fit cisgendered bodies. Even when clothes do cater to non-cis people, those sizes tend to be on the small size.

This dilemma is exactly why Elliott Alexzander’s style blog – House of Alexzander – has been such a huge success. Alexzander explains:

“This came from my personal struggles. I had a hard time finding clothes that fit my body and still allowed me to express who I am. When I started my fashion blog, I quickly realized I wasn’t the only one.”


And following on from the blog’s success, Alexzander has ventured into the world of fashion retail, having launched the GenderFlux fashion label. The idea behind behind GenderFlux, Alexzander says, is that:

“We want to create fashion that is marketed in a way that doesn’t make the customer feel bad about their body or their gender expression. And to create a space where non-binary people can shop for clothes without feeling uncomfortable.”

One way that Alexzander is keeping to that is by using models of colour, as well as models with varying body types to promote the clothes on the GenderFlux site (GenderFlux.com). As it stands, GenderFlux’s products include a bracelet and several t-shirts emblazoned with the gender variant logo and the phrases ‘GenderVariant’, ‘Non-Binary’ and ‘GenderQueer’.

The obvious issue with these clothes is that although they are inclusive, there aren’t really any options for genderfluid or non-binary folks who have not yet told people about their gender identity and so wearing a piece of GenderFlux clothing could out themselves. Alexzander says that there are plans for a full GenderFlux clothing line which will be designed to fit all sorts of body types, so perhaps this issue will be addressed then.

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