Gender multiplicity in animals

I learned some cool stuff today about gender variation in animals. Basically in summary, nature is diverse, and gender is far more than a binary. Personally, my opinion is non-binary genders are totally normal and natural it’s just my culture which has decided otherwise.

Some species can't be described in terms of boys and girls Picture from here – available as a poster.

The Side-blotched lizard* has 3 types of males.
Male and female bluehead wrasses, a coral reef fish, look similar when young, but develop later into three genders, one of which starts and stays male, one which begins and stays female and a third which starts as female and morphs into a male.
Damselfish have a gender that turns from male to female. Another fish species, hamlets, are hermaphrodites and change back and forth between genders.
And finally, one you probably knew already, male seahorses get pregnant.

Further reading

cover of crimes against nature book This book (includes a free online version)

Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity This book

Nb some links are very mildly NSFW.

By anotherabstractalex Tagged

Our Lives Our Works – Telling Aravani Life Stories

Book cover

“For long, aravanis or hijras have been the invisible yet hypervisible subjects of a societal gaze — looked at, talked about, feared, revered, cursed, and imagined. They have largely stood as metaphors, refused individual histories, lives, identities and selves by a society that reduces them to corporeal bodies, stereotypes and objects of disdain. Yet this gaze has been challenged and subverted time and time again by a community that refuses to be ashamed or see itself as the victim. Some of the greatest victories in recent history in this battle for rights have been won in Tamil Nadu – the first state in India where the government recognised many of the rights of the hijra community. The stories in this volume chronicle many of the aravanis who were part of this groundbreaking change. Indeed, in Tamil, these stories were some of the first narratives of hijra lives told to, written by and produced entirely by the members of the community themselves. Appearing in English for the first time, these landmark narratives still retain the authenticity, simplicity and rawness of life stories of courage, pain, searching, and both triumph and despair, told without agenda” Blurb copied from Goodreads – this book was originally written in Tamil and has been translated into English.

Here is a note I wrote about resources from non-western cultures on this blog

Pronouns (also futurama)

Want a post that combines serious discussion of gender neutral pronouns, the first paragraphs of Alice in Wonderland rewritten with a range of different pronouns, and a hilarious clip of Futurama’s pronouns for Yivo, a planet-sized alien of indeterminate gender? Try here. The internet is a wonderful wonderful place sometimes 😀

Refuge restrooms

Refuge restrooms logo

This site is a searchable database of safe bathrooms for transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming people. Users can search for bathrooms by proximity to a search location, add new bathroom listings, as well as comment and rate existing listings.
Ignore the “under construction” notice on the first page and use the search box at the top – it works just fine.

Super Hero!

Rooster Tails

This week’s comic comes to you from the incredible mind of Jay out of a conversation on reddit – who gave me the words and concept for it. Thanks so much Jay! I hope I did it justice!


(P.S. I set up a facebook profile too)

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Walking the Tight Rope: An African LGBTI Anthology: call for submissions

Walking the Tight Rope: An African LGBT Anthology seeks poets, writers and photographers within Africa and the Diaspora to share their stories. DEADLINE: April 15, 2014
See for more details.

Eligibility criteria (from
Submissions must be original works by Queer Africans.

African, in this sense, is understood to mean a person who was born in Africa, who is a national or resident of an African country, or whose parents are African (the offspring of at least one first generation immigrant).

Queer individuals are conceptualized as people who express and/ or identify with non-heteronormative sexual and/ or gender identities. Thus contributions are being sought from African lesbian, homosexual, asexual, pansexual and bisexual individuals who identify as cisgendered, transgendered or gender-queer.