United States

I love reading and writing (obviously)
he/they, they/them preferred

"have I killed my thoughts right before their prime?
have I bit my tongue one too many times?
have I said it all the way I really meant to?"
~ben platt

Message to Readers

educate yourselves :)

"the opposite gender"

July 10, 2020



In this day and age of more acceptance and widespread education on LGBTQIAP+ vocabulary, is it really appropriate to say "opposite sex" or "opposite gender?" 

The answer, quite frankly, is no. 

Now equipped with more of an understanding on genders, we've confirmed as a fact the existence of genders out of the binary of male and female. 

We now can definitively say that male and female are not even close to the only genders. Let's explore this a little bit:

    Nonbinary - (the word is still underlined in red, which I believe is incorrect) Nonbinary is a sort of umbrella word that encompasses all of the genders that are not male or female. Some people identify as nonbinary and another more specific gender, and some people are just nonbinary. 

    NB - This is a shortened version of 'nonbinary.' Now the use of this word is a bit iffy. People should approach the use of nb cautiously, because you aren't quite sure who you will upset. The fact is, NB used to be a term used to describe non-black people - specifically non-black people of color. This term was adopted by the LGBTQIAP+ community to mean nonbinary, but of course, knowing the history, it is a bit of a dangerous term to adopt. I might be better just to stick with nonbinary. 

    Genderqueer - this is also a sort of umbrella term used by people who fall outside of male and female. It is very similar to nonbinary, but some people to make a very important distinction, and that is very important to respect. Some people understand being genderqueer as just being outside of the gender binary, while nonbinary as a specific gender outside of the gender binary. It is okay if you don't understand the difference, it's just important to respect that some people take the difference very importantly. 

These are just a few definitions of people that fall outside of male and female. There are, of course, many, many different and some more specific genders that are not male and female, but this piece is just highlighting the existence of genders outside of male and female, and it is not here to list them all. 

The important takeaway is this - it is most definitely not appropriate to say "opposite gender" when referring to male v. female, or vice versa, because, as you can see, there are many, many more genders out there, and to say "opposite" would be to say there are only two different genders. 
Any corrections or notes are welcome :)

this piece is actually a lead up to a piece that is, itself, a lead up to another piece. 


See History
  • July 10, 2020 - 11:52pm (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • rainandsonder

    just wondering, would you mind if i wrote a piece similar to this series explaining transgender terminology (ftm, afab, etc) or were you already planning to do that?

    5 months ago
  • HelpMe512

    Thank you for this piece! It's super important that people are educated. I do have one thing to add. The term NB can be controversial, and for good reason, but nonbinary people have actually taken to using the term "enby" instead. It's said the same way, but it's written in a way that is distinct from the original "NB". :) great piece, i loved this!

    5 months ago