Agender is a form of gender identity where someone does not align with any gender. If a person is agender, they are therefore not cisgender and do not necessarily identify as any other gender, such as nonbinary or transgender.

However, agender does fall under the nonbinary and transgender umbrella. This is in the sense that agender people do not prescribe to the social gender binary — male and female — and that they also do not identify as the gender assigned to them at birth.

This article explains what agender means and how the term differs from other gender terminology. It also details which pronouns to use, using them in practice, and deciding which personal terms to use.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

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Agender individuals are gender nonconforming in that they do not consider themselves to have a gender. They reject the societal gender binary, which is male and female, and do not align themselves with either gender.

People who identify as agender may also identify as:

  • gendervoid
  • genderless
  • genderfree
  • gender neutral
  • neutrøis

Where does the term come from?

The term agender appeared in 2000 on an internet forum called UseNet. A user posted in a chat room known as alt.messianic: “God is amorphous, agender, […] so image can’t be a physical or gender or sexual thing.”

People past and present worship numerous agender, nonbinary, and intersex deities and have done so for thousands of years. Therefore, while the term and the attribution of it to flesh and blood human beings are reasonably modern, the concept of agender and people who identify as agender have been around for millennia.

Learn more about the different types of gender identity.

There is much overlap in the terminology for nonbinary and agender. This is because both of these gender identities reject the idea of a binary gender spectrum or the idea that people are either male or female in their gender. People often view nonbinary as an umbrella term under which agender sits.

Nonbinary can mean different things to different people. In general, nonbinary individuals may view themselves on a spectrum of gender. However, agender people are more likely to identify as not being on a gender spectrum or part of the gender binary. Someone’s gender expression, or how someone presents their gender to the world, can look different.

Learn more about being nonbinary.

This section illustrates the similarities and differences of being agender with other gender identities and gender expressions.

Vs. gender nonconforming

Gender nonconforming is a broad umbrella term for anyone who differs from societal expectations of gender. People who identify as gender nonconforming, or people who others consider to be gender nonconforming, can have any gender identity, including cisgender.

Individuals who identify as agender are gender nonconforming, but gender nonconforming people are not necessarily agender.

Vs. gendervoid

Those who identify as gendervoid also identify as being without gender. The idea is that there is a void where a gender identity would otherwise be. They are, therefore, more likely to also identify as agender. These terms are arguably interchangeable, but using one or the other — or both — is down to personal preference.

Anyone who identifies as agender may also choose to refer to themselves as gendervoid.

Vs. asexuality

Asexuality is a common misconception that people who identify as agender also identify as being asexual. They are entirely different. People who identify as asexual do not experience sexual attraction, desires, or feelings. Asexuality isn’t actually about gender identity, although people who are asexual are less likely to be cisgender. People who are asexual can identify with any gender identity they choose.

In the same way that asexual people can align themselves with any gender identity, individuals who are agender can have any sexual orientation. They may be sexually attracted to those who identify as male, female, transgender, or other agender individuals and gender identities, or they may be asexual.

Learn more about asexuality.


The term genderqueer was first used in 1995 by Riki Anne Wilchins in an activist newsletter, In Your Face. It is an umbrella term for gender nonconformity and includes all gender identities that differ from the gender binary.

Therefore, people who identify as agender may also choose to refer to themselves as genderqueer. However, this is up to personal preference and is not a requisite.


Someone who identifies as genderfluid may align themselves with different genders at different times — their gender identity has no fixation. This means that they may identify as male, female, nonbinary, or any other gender on the spectrum at different points in their lives.

People who identify as agender are unlikely to identify as genderfluid, as this infers that they feel a connection to gender, which they do not. However, someone who is agender may wish to change their gender identity at some point, which could mean that they later become genderfluid.

Learn more about being genderfluid.

People who are agender may ascribe any or multiple of the following pronouns to themselves:

  • she, her, hers, herself
  • he, him, his, himself
  • they, them, theirs, themself
  • ve, ver, vis, verself
  • xe, xem, xyrs, xemself
  • ze, hir, hirs, herself
  • (f)ae, (f)are, (f)aers, (f)aerself
  • e (y), em, eirs, eirself
  • per, pers, pers, perself

Learn more about the importance of pronouns.

If someone identifies as agender, it is best to use gender-neutral pronouns, such as “they, them, theirs, and themself,” unless asked otherwise. The best way to find out a person’s pronouns is usually to ask them directly or ask someone they are close to.

“Jae’s coming to the party. Jae identifies as agender.”

“What are their pronouns?”

“They/them is OK, but they prefer ve/ver/visr.”

“Great. I look forward to meeting ver.

Knowing which to use

The best pronouns to use for someone are what the person chooses to refer to themselves as.

Misgendering occurs when a person uses the incorrect gender when referring to another person. This can be harmful, even if it happens to be an accident. It is not acceptable to consciously refer to someone by a gender that they do not identify with.

Deciding which term to use for you

If you identify as agender, the best way to decide on which gender-neutral pronouns you prefer to use depends on what you feel the closest affinity with. You may choose to start with “they/them” pronouns but find another term that fits you better later on.

Gender nonconformity and pronoun usage are evershifting, with new terms added regularly. There is no right or wrong pronoun to choose, and you can always change your mind.

If you are having issues with your gender identity, you may wish to access the following resources:

  • The Trevor Project: Suicide and self-harm prevention for gender nonconforming and LGBTQ+ youth. Call 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386).
  • Trans Lifeline: A trans-led organization offering support and resources. Click or call (877) 565-8860.
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Individuals can help support agender people by:

  • researching gender identity and what it means to be agender
  • asking questions
  • checking preferred gender pronouns
  • apologizing after making mistakes, such as using the wrong pronouns
  • exploring what it means to be a transgender ally

The following resources are also available:

  • Gender and Education Association: This U.K.-based charity offers free resources and education on gender equality.
  • Gender spectrum: Educational articles on understanding gender, the language of gender, and more.
  • GLAAD: Resources and services for transgender and gender nonconforming people.
  • Gender-neutral pronouns Q&A: A resource for understanding pronoun usage for gender nonconforming people.
  • Gender Justice Leadership Programs: Youth-led programs for trans and gender nonconforming young people to build public knowledge and empathy and promote trans liberation via storytelling and the media.

People who identify as agender are individuals who do not prescribe to having a gender.

There are many ways to support agender people, such as not assuming anyone’s gender upon first meeting, respecting everyone’s pronouns and gender identity, and making a safe space for gender nonconforming individuals.