Gender[queer],  Queer[ness]

re: maverique, aporagender, aliagender and third gender

this post was triggered by three posts (tw: violence) posted recently by @nonbinary-support​ arguing against the use of aporagender, which has in turn triggered even more posts about race and gender.

this post in particular is worth noting.


the above argument is typical of the argument being made against both aliagender and aporagender and seems to boil down to “POC said aliagender was shitty so that makes aporagender shitty by extension since aporagender is basically aliagender renamed.”

i personally have issues with the above argument, as well as with some things that the anon has said. it’s late at night, i’m exhausted and am full of feelings about this. as such, i’m about to rant. a lot. i made this an original post instead of reblogging and replying to the above post because this rant is directed at more people than just the mods at @nonbinary-support​.

tl;dr #01: neither aporagender nor aliagender are racist and the arguments that you are making are problematic as fuck. please stop.

i feel like the very root of the problem that people have with both aliagender and aporagender is that arguments against these genders are based on a questionable understanding of what “third gender” even is/was and why it is/was offensive in the first place.

i have argued against people associating maverique with the term “third gender” before and pretty much the exact same thing applies to both aporagender and aliagender.

to quote my other post:

maverique is not attempting to reclaim anything. it is not a blanket term used to indiscriminately categorize or label others. […] it is a word that people can use to describe themselves, not the other way around.

part of what made the term “third gender” so racist (among other things) in the first place was that it was a term used by one group of people to erase the actual identities of other people in order to indiscriminately categorize and label them as something else. historically, “third gender” has always been a prescriptive term that was forced onto others without their consent. it was not a gender identity, it was a category in which to throw others into regardless of that person’s actual identity.

given all of that, how the hell is either aporagender or aliagender “essentially third gender”???

please point me to where people have been going around erasing people’s cultures and identities in order to categorize or label those people as aliagender or aporagender without their consent.

you can’t, can you.

for some reason, people on Tumblr are under the impression that “third gender” is a gender identity just because it ends with “gender” just like so many non-binary genders do. they try to educate themselves on the term and as a result become superficially aware of the term’s colonial, racist history, so then decide that only POC have a right to reclaim the word, but guess what? i don’t see many (if any) POC actively reclaiming that word, do you? i wonder why?

but despite that, white Tumblr users (in the quest to be supportive of POC) break out their pitchforks and go on crusades against anything that they perceive to be even possibly racist in some way. hell, even some POC have joined them; it obviously isn’t only white people waving pitchforks around and screaming “that’s racist!!”, “but POC….!!”, etc, as the posts in question show.

but guess what? despite everyone’s best intentions, you are still throwing POC under the bus.

“aporagender / aliagender is racist!! POC said so!!” you say.

completely ignoring the fact that there are POC who identify as aporagender / aliagender. completely ignoring the fact that you are valuing what one (or however many) POC said over the POC who actually identify in that way. completely ignoring the fact that in using one (or however many) POC to justify your claims, you are pitting POC against other POC.

“maverique is alright, though! it was coined by a black person, unlike that whitewashed aliagender / aporagender!!” you say.

completely ignoring the fact that you are using my race as a means to not only validate one gender identity but also to invalidate another. completely ignoring the fact that not only are you weaponizing my race, but you are also demonizing others who simply want to put a name to their gender identity just because they happen to be white.

people, armed with their “but POC….!!” pitchforks also say that aporagender / aliagender is appropriating from POC or from “POC culture” (hint: there is no such thing as “POC culture”), but what is even being appropriated??

to quote myself again:

the word itself isn’t appropriative, so what is it that’s being appropriated? do you seriously think that people of color are the only people who have the right to coin words for their own gender if it happens to be completely outside of the male-female binary??

is it “third gender” that you think is being appropriated?? because if so

you do realize that “third gender” is a word coined and used by white colonialist and anthropologists to indiscriminately and non-consensually label the genders of non-white people that they deemed “deviant” from “the norm”? that “third gender” itself is a white colonialist term, not a POC term?? yes, it’s a word that imho white people shouldn’t be using, but it isn’t the POC term that you seem to think it is.

tl;dr #02: stop acting as if aporagender (or aliagender) could ever be (or was ever even intended to be) what “third gender” was and is. stop acting as if “third gender” is a term that POC in general would even want to reclaim. stop throwing other POC under the bus, pitting POC against each other, weaponizing my race and demonizing others’.

i am so tired of this shit following maverique and aporagender all over this damn site.

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

Leave a comment?