The gender identity, not the fashion-based adjective. And while not everyone necessarily knows what it mean, I love my masculine-feminine-anything-I-want-to-be life!
Here's what being androgynous means, as I learned it: According to work by the psychologist Sandra Bem, androgyny is defined as being both very masculine and very feminine in your inner self. Bem actually created the Bem Sex Role Inventory, which is a quiz that determines your relative masculinity and femininity (that's an interactive link, so you can take the quiz!). Androgynous people are people who are both strongly masculine and strongly feminine inside. It just all depends on how they feel that day and what kind of mood they're in.
Needless to say, when I learned about the concept of androgyny, I felt a great deal of peace. All my life, I'd dealt with the fact that I wasn't ever very feminine. I wasn't interested in makeup until later high school and college. I'd resented the fact that I was expected to look perfectly femme all the time. And yet I was never super athletic that I could hang out with the "tomboys" or even the born-male guys in school. I didn't feel like I really belonged anywhere, until I heard about the the concept of androgyny. There was in fact a name for what I was! Like a lot of coming-out experiences I've heard of, everything made a lot more sense.
I've wrote about being an androgynous woman for a couple of websites, and I'm constantly having to explain what exactly being androgynous means. It doesn't mean I'm bisexual (I'm actually straight). Androgyny is a gender identity, not something that affects your sexual preferences. Some androgynous people are indeed gay, but it's not a requirement to identifying as that.
I've included pictures of some of my favorite androgynous people (some of whom I actually wrote profiles of a long time ago!). Enjoy!
Do you identify as androgynous, or know anyone who does? What does this identity mean to you?
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