Altersex or Alteradic is a catch-all term to describe a state of having or desiring sex characteristics, or a combination of sex characteristics that deviate from what would be considered the sex characteristics of a müllerian or wolffian individual, while also not having those particular divergent sex characteristics from birth.
Intersex people can also be altersex. Intersexness is not inherently altersex, as the variant sex characteristics are from birth, rather than being modified or changed later, or wanting variant sex characteristics that do not match their current sex characteristics.
Altersex is intended to be used mostly (but not exclusively) for fictional characters, to describe body plans that are not found naturally in humans but are not considered intersex within the fiction.
In the case of real people using this as an term, those who have a mental body plan/view of their “true” self that has a body that does not fit traditional human sexes may call themselves altersex, as well as body who have under gone HRT and/or sexual reassignment surgery. Although, like many labels, the term altersex shouldn't be applied to real people unless they're okay with it.
Altersex does not imply any specific sex characteristics, just as intersex does not. This allows for privacy of the altersex person and avoids reducing individuals to their genitalia. It is neutral descriptor for any characters and individuals who are not protosex. Some altersex individuals/characters may resemble the binary sexes to some degree, but are different. Altersex can describe both a physical body, an internal sex identity, or both.
Examples of real life people who may identify as altersex include:
- People who were born dyadic but have medically changed their sex characteristics (through HRT or surgery). Making it so their combination of chromosomes, primary, and secondary sex characteristics no longer strictly fits the definition of dyadic. However, they cannot be called intersex because they were not born with these variations. Someone who has this experience might consider themself to be transsex.
- Intersex people who have medically changed their sex characteristics (through HRT or surgery). Though they were not infrasex as they were not dyadic, their sex characteristics do not match the characteristics they had or would have had from birth, making them altersex. A person who has this experience can also consider themself to be transsex.
- People who desire to change their body such that one has ambiguous sex characteristics or a mix of sex characteristics. Terms relating to this experience are salmacian, afabris, amabris, AMAB-V, AFAB-P, and sinealt, among others.
- People who desire or imagine their body as having little to no sex characteristics, or missing sex characteristics. Terms to describe this include angenital and angonadal.
- People who desire or imagine their body as having sex characteristics that are not naturally possible in humans. Terms to describe this include xenogenital, floragenital, astrogenital, cyberex, machinex, and morphisex.
- People who desire or imagine their body as having sex characteristics that are animalistic in nature. The specific term for this is faunagenital.
- People who desire gonads and/or reproductive traits that are different than what they were born with or currently have, and may or may not be biologically possible. A term to describe this is diffprodu.
Fictional Altersex Forms
Altersex can also be used to describe fictional characters. Characters who may be described as altersex include:
- Characters who fit criteria stated in the "real people" section.
- Characters born with a combination or mix of sex characteristics that would be considered intersex in the real world but are not in the world of the fiction.
- Character who have sex characteristics or a combination of sex characteristics that are not naturally possible in (real life) humans. (That is not considered a condition of intersex in the fiction.)
- Character who have a sex based on/inspired by a real life animal that does not fit the male/female sex binary (that is considered normal for their species within the fiction).
- Characters of a fictional/impossible/alien sex that does not fit the male/female sex binary (that is considered normal for their species within the fiction).
- Characters who can change their sex through shape-shifting or other fictional means.
The term altersex was coined by Farorenightclaw on or before July 23, 2015. The term was coined to address the usage of "intersex" when describing people and characters who are not actually intersex, but are not strictly perisex either. The term altersex allows for a nonsexualized, nonslur term for these individuals that is neither transphobic or anti-intersex.
The flag was designed by Pastelmemer on May 29, 2017. The color meanings are as follows:
Mint green is commonly associated with specific altersex identities, like angenital and salmacian. Green also represents abundance and growth: abundance of possible body types, and growth for people who physically transition to "grow" into their true bodies. Blue represents fluidity, for bodies that have fluid sex characteristics. White represents transcendence, as well as bodies with no sex characteristics. Purple represents the alternative, non-traditional nature of altersex bodies. Reddish pink represents sex characteristics.