…sigh. you know, i really want to be happy about these LGBTQIA 4-koma comics that Chii is doing to try and help raise awareness for lesser known genders and sexualities, but gah. i just can’t. because i suck. the linked comic that went up a couple days ago about Xジェンダー / non-binary is the last one i’m going to whinge over, i swear. for now.
but first, an English translation of the comic to give context to my whinging.
people who, without deciding between “male” or “female”, take the stance or identity of being neither gender.
referred to as “MtX” if designated “male” at birth and “FtX” if designated “female” at birth, however also referred to simply as “X” when not wanting to refer to one’s designated gender at birth.
there are many definitions, but it goes something like this.
red and white*: i want to be between male and female. (intergender / 中性)
green: i don’t want to be boxed into male or female. (agender / 無性)
purple strips: i want to be both male and a female. (bigender / 両性)
yellow: i want to decide whether my identity is male or female, but i’m identifying as “X” at the moment.
blue: to tell the truth, i’m questioning a lot of things so i’ll just go with “X” (for now).
necktie: “X” is my identity!
there are lots of ways to perceive “X-gender”.
by the way, “X-gender” is only used in Japanese.
words with similar definitions include Third gender (第3の性), queer (クィア), Genderqueer (ジェンダークィア), agender (アジェンダー, 無性) and more in English speaking countries. it’s really broad!
*refers to the clothing the character is wearing
…i feel like there’s a lot going on here. more than i’m going to get into, but ugh. ugh. ugh.
for one, i feel like there’s mistranslating and misdefining going on here and i realize that English is not Chii’s native language and that she may have in fact gotten these translations (and definitions) from elsewhere, thus the root of the problem lying elsewhere, but…
in this comic 中性, literally being in between male and female, is translated as intergender. a gender that is often considered within the English-speaking non-binary community to be exclusive to intersex people. in reality, if one is to translate 中性 literally, it could be translated multiple ways in English since different people define the same gender different ways. one could translate it as androgyne, ambigender, genderqueer, etc. that said, when not translated literally 中性 actually means “neutral (gender)” and would be more accurately translated as gender neutral or neutrois.
in the comic 無性 is translated to agender, which is pretty accurate since 無性 literally translates to “without gender” and many agender people identify as being genderless. curiously, though, Chii defines 無性 in Japanese as “not wanting to be boxed into male or female” instead of defining it in a way that would have been closer to the Japanese word’s literal meaning. that said, the way that she did define it isn’t wrong either as some 無性 / agender people do identify in that way as well.
両性, which literally means “both genders”, is defined as “wanting to be both male and female” and translated as bigender, which isn’t wrong beyond the fact that i don’t like how Chii worded any of these definitions / explanations. she constantly phrases it as “wanting to be” (「～でありたい」) and also uses words like 立場 (stance) and 決める (decide) throughout the comic… i understand that it probably isn’t Chii’s intention to come across this way, but the way that she talks about Xジェンダー / non-binary genders and identities as if it’s a conscious stance that one decides to take. as if one’s gender is something that one wants to be rather than something that one is… since Chii herself is trans, all of this feels all the more disappointing…
there’s also the part where Xジェンダー / non-binary identity is presented as a place holder for an undecided binary gender, which yeah. i know. there is absolutely nothing wrong with people who are questioning using Xジェンダー / non-binary as a temporary placeholder and Chii does counter this by also having another character in the same panel identify specifically as “X”, but…. gah. i just. the way she presented it all with “there are many ways to perceive “X-gender”” as icing on top, really irks me.
and don’t even get me started on the mention of thirdgender. ugh. ugh.
the linked post is actually a revision of a previous post & comic that she made about Xジェンダー / non-binary, which shows that she’s trying to learn and correct herself as she goes, which is great! but still. sigh. even though i know that it may be unfair of me to expect this of her being an ally and all, i do wish she’d do a bit more research and choose her words more carefully before publishing things since her blog and comics are actually really popular and reach a lot of people.
often it seems like all i ever do is nitpick things, but i swear i really am happy that she’s raising awareness for so many lesser known identities when she totally doesn’t have to. it’s just that at the same time she’s inadvertently furthering misinformation at times and…. sigh.