‘It means that I’m not limiting myself’: This is the what being agender means for someone living outside the gender binary

Agender arts worker Patricia Silva

What is agender? For this arts worker, its meaning comes down to “not limiting” yourself to the perceived gender binary.

The definition of agender in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “A person who has an internal sense of being neither male nor female nor some combination of male and female, or being a person whose gender identity is genderless or neutral.”

Beyond this, photographer, video director and arts worker Patricia Silva told PinkNews what their gender identity means to them, and why everyone’s experiences are different.

“Being agender means that I’m not limiting myself,” they said. “What I focus on is really staying true to myself.”

Agender meaning can be different for different people.

Silva continued: “I have always felt some kind of way about gender roles. Everyone sees themself in different ways and that is a very personal thing.

“Even within the gender binary, people do see themselves as individuals within that. So, for those of us outside of the gender binary, that’s true as well.

The meaning of agender for Silva is, they added, also about self-actualisation.

They explained: “What I love about being agender is always finding potential, more and more potential to self-actualise. That is an amazing feeling for me.”

Silva said that they express their gender verbally, but also through their physical gender expression.

They continued: “I do often out myself verbally as agender, and also through presentation as agender. Some people get it, some people don’t.

For me, I think I look the same but I change up my garment styles very often.

“It’s not like an every day thing, sometimes I’m on a six month thing where wearing very loose-fitting clothing just feels really right.”

Silva said their advice for allies was to always be affirming, especially in the face of those who could be less than understanding.

They said: “My tips for being an agender ally are: accept and affirm gender variants and gender queerness in everyday life, and especially to people for whom that’s really difficult to understand.”