Not to be confused with Parogender
Paragender is a gender that has been defined in multiple ways. It is most well known as a gender in which one is mostly a given gender, but not entirely that gender (either due to being slightly another gender, or only understanding their gender as part given gender and nothing else). In this context, it is similar to demigender, but is more specific as in paragender the majority gender outweighs the other gender(s).The majority gender is generally understood to be 51-99% of one's total gender. The minority gender can be any gender or combination of genders, or nothing if one only sees their gender as being "part". The coinciding gender is most commonly reported as agender (though this should not be construed as necessarily being the same as only have "part" of a gender; the other "part" doesn't necessarily need to be filled) and takes up 1-49% of one's gender.
Different to the more well-known definition, the original coining of paragender described the term as: "greek prefix para, meaning beside, near; a gender that is very near but not quite another gender, i.e. paragirl, vaguely a girl but not quite".
Over time, this has been expanded on to fit into a more specifically demigender-like definition. The original coiner may have implied the demigender-like definition, as the current well-known definition technically fits under this, but they could have alternatively meant any specific gender that is close to another (such as in the way circa-binary identities are), or generally up to an individual's interpretation of being near but not exactly a certain gender.
Paragender on its own could be used in a few different ways:
- An umbrella term for genders such as Paragirl, Paraboy and Para-Nb. The para- prefix can be added to any gender to indicated the paragender version of that gender.
- Someone who is most connected to the concept of gender (in general) but not fully.
History and Flag
The term paragender was originally coined by Tumblr user queerspike on or before July 10th, 2014, with the earliest known reblog of paragender's coining post being made on this date by Tumblr user genderdefinitions.
The paragender flag was created by the Tumblr blog pridearchive, July 24th, 2014. Pridearchive may or may not have intended for their flag to be used as the general paragender flag, as they only imply it to be non-binary in nature (potentially in the way that it is aligned), but nevertheless it has become the most commonly-known paragender flag. The gray stripes represent partial gender. The white stripes represent a lack of gender. The yellow stripe represents non-binary gender alignment, or general non-binaryness. The green stripes are used because green is close to yellow on the color wheel, representing the “near-ness” of paragender.
An alternate paragender flag was created by exclusionist twitter user strwbryfemme on May 13th, 2021, to even out the stripes in a manner that's easier for artists to replicate. Due to it sharing the colors of the other flag, its meanings are the same; it just simplifies the design for aesthetic and artistic purposes.
The prefix para- comes from the Greek prefix meaning "beside" or "near".