Gender[queer],  Japan[ese],  Queer[ness]


while randomly watching videos on YouTube i came across the vlog of a Japanese FtX (their words, not mine) person. i was so happy that i immediately started typing a comment introducing myself, but when it came to saying that i’m neutrois i couldn’t figure out how to say it.

see, Japanese kind of sucks…. there is no word to distinguish between SEX and GENDER– the both equate to  (sei). i dare say that the entire concept of gender vs sex is lacking in Japan, but that’s a topic for another time.

i thought that maybe neutrois could be translated as 無性者 (museisha; literally translates to “person without sex/gender”) but apparently that’s used to mean asexual! wtffffff…..

so then i thought that maybe i could say 中立性者 (chuuritsuseisha), which literally translates to “neutral person” but apparently 中立性 (chuuritsusei) is used in regards to having a neutral stance on any given thing and so wouldn’t really be used specifically for gender despite 性 (sei) being in the word. in this instance, 性/sei serves a different meaning al26l together.


so finally i decided to try and spell the whole thing out instead of going for a word-to-word translation. maybe i could say 男性でもない女性でもない人 (dansei demo nai josei demo nai hito)– literally “a person who is neither male nor female”), but saying that is so damn vague. i’ve heard the exact same wording in Japanese used to describe someone who is intersex, which if you think about it makes sense. since Japanese totally lacks distinction between sex and gender, the words for “male” and “female” equally encompass both.

….gahhhh, i’m at my wits end. i give up. i’m sure the recipient of the comment will roughly get what i mean, but as a linguist i am so pissed off right now. ;((( [/rant]

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.

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