ANNA WINGE-BREEN GRAPHIC

Queer Space: Gender? IDGAF.

By Alister E.

So, gender is not binary. I will be writing this piece assuming the readers are aware of this fact already. With that said, let’s delve into the concept of gender apathy. As the name suggests, it is when someone does not particularly care about their gender. It is common, but the concept is not well known. Because of how gender apathy functions, it is difficult to really see it in other people. People not caring about how they are perceived, both to themselves and to other people, will mean that they will not try to make it clear that they are gender apathetic to begin with. It is something one would either have to actively present themselves as or have it come up in conversation. 

One day, I accidentally changed my username to say ‘girl’ since I was copying my partner’s username before realizing that I was unbothered by that fact. This, paired with the fact that I was willing to identify outside of the gender binary out of spite, made it click for me that I am not cis. I began to experiment with pronouns to see what I felt comfortable with—as it turns out, everything was comfortable. 

I thought I was genderfluid, but while it did not describe exactly how I felt about my gender identity, I was okay identifying as such as I simply did not care. Eventually, I stumbled upon the term ‘apagender’ on TikTok and I realized it is exactly how I feel. 

While I am actively trying to make it clear to people that I am gender apathetic, this is rather hard to do for many reasons, especially to people who may not be aware of gender not being binary. 

As I stated before, I am happy to let people know that I identify as such, but sometimes, I find it may not be worth the effort of explaining. If I am in the middle of an unrelated conversation, for example, I find it weird to point it out. 

However, even if the conversation is related to identity, I can still feel a bit conflicted at times. It could be met with dismissal, saying something along the lines of ‘Oh, you’re just thinking too much about it or ‘You just want attention!’ This could just be a result of meeting the wrong crowd, although I have met plenty of people eager to understand, accept and even relate to this fact about my identity. Given that I am a university student in a school filled with, for lack of better words, ignorant cis-het white people, I often find it is best to not mention my gender identity to begin with. Because of gender apathy, or at least in my definition of it, no one can get my gender wrong, per se, so I more or less leave it up to the other party to discern what they see me as. 

Now, to some it may seem odd that I am writing a passionate piece explaining why I lack passion for something, especially when that something is as fundamental as one’s gender identity. Identifying as gender apathetic does not mean I do not care about my gender. For me, it means I do not care about how my gender is perceived. Not only that, I am also writing to raise awareness of this identity. Just because I am apathetic about my perceived gender identity does not mean I am apathetic to gender as a whole, as I am sure other gender apathetic people might be. 

I am gender apathetic. There are other people out there who are also gender apathetic! We exist and we have the right to exist. We have the right to not be constantly belittled for ‘thinking too much’ about these things or for ‘wanting attention’. We have the right to identify how we earnestly feel, just as everyone else does.