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Intergender is a gender identity that lies between the binary genders of male and female. Intergender is classed as a nonbinary gender identity.
The term intergender entered the common vernacular during the 1990s with the rise of the online discussion newsgroup alt.support.intergendered founded by Donna Lynn Matthews. She described being intergender as living in “a gendered state between the polar endpoints of man and woman.”
Someone who identifies as intergender may feel they lie somewhere in the middle, between male and female. They often see characteristics normally associated with male and female genders within themselves. These characteristics may be physical or psychological. People who are intergender can have any sexual orientation.
As intergender people do not ascribe to the binary gender system, they are usually not interested in appearing more male or more female. Instead, they seek to represent themselves in the most authentic way. They may wear clothes usually associated with male or female people, without any intention to appear more like a male or female. This practice is known as interdressing. Some intergender people also seek to change their bodies so they more accurately represent their gender identities, with characteristics in between male and female.
Some people believe the term intergender should only be used by intersex individuals. They believe the intersex community deserves a gender identifier specific to them, and that similar terms like androgyne and bigender may be more appropriate for people outside this community that do not fit binary gender labels. Others believe the term intergender is an appropriate identifier for anyone who does not feel they are truly male or female, including both intersex and dyadic individuals.
While the terms intersex and intergender often go hand in hand, many people who are intersex do not identify as intergender. The term ipso gender is used to identify these intersex people who agree with the gender they were ascribed at birth. Intergender people often use additional terms to identify themselves including transgender, nonbinary, and genderqueer.