Androgynos (אַנְדְּרוֹגִינוֹס) is a gender from Jewish culture, where one has qualities of both a woman and a man. The closest modern, western equivalent would be bigender, androgyne, or intersex. Historically, androgynos was usually assigned to intersex variations where there is a mix of male and female characteristics.
In the Talmud, the androgynos is understood as someone who both has a penis as well as some female sex traits. However, in the broader use of the term, many non-binary, intersex, and/or altersex Jewish people find that the term fits their experiences. It is used by some non-binary Jews to describe their gender, by intersex Jews to describe either being intergender or just as a term to use alongside intersex, and it can also be used as an altersex term (such as a Jewish-only version of salmacian.)
Androgynos is a culturally exclusive gender, specific to Jewish culture, and should not be used by people not of that culture.
In Jewish sacred texts there are six different genders identified. These are:
- "Zachar", someone who is identified as male at birth and presents as male later in life. This would be considered to be a cisgender man today.
- "Nekeivah", someone who is identified as female at birth and presents as female later in life. This would be considered a cisgender woman today.
- "Ay'lonit", someone who is identified as female at birth but shows male characteristics later in life. This can be considered a transgender man in today's terms.
- "Saris", someone who is identified as male at birth but shows female characteristics later in life. This can be considered a transgender woman in today's terms.
- "Androgynos", someone who has both male and female sexual characteristics. This would refer to certain intersex variation, but in terms of gender in the modern day it is closest to bigender.
- "Tumtum" someone whose sexual characteristics are indeterminate or obscured. This would also refer to intersex variation, but in terms of gender it is closest to agender.
Unfortunately, historically tumtum and androgynos are almost only brought up in discussions of how to deal with the child’s genitals (as in, whether or not to perform surgery), or when discussing “what if” situations for certain laws (for instance, if a law states different treatment for women and men, how would it apply to someone who is both or neither?)
The androgynos flag was submitted to the Tumblr blog ask-pride-color-schemes by the user tumtum_and_androgynos on December 21, 2016. The symbolism of the flags is as follows: The white and blue bars represent a connection to Judaism. In particular, blue is considered a divine color, associated with the sky and G-d. Meanwhile white has a general symbolism of purity, as it does in many other cultures. The blue and red bars come from the androgyne flag and represent man and woman, thus how androgynos is seen as a mix of the two.
The blue and yellow flag was designed by Tumblr user Bigfootrights on November 8, 2019. The flag was inspired directly from Adam and Genesis; Adam is described upon his initial creation not as a man (there is no gendered reference other than Them), therefore, an argument can be made that Adam was created intersex. The creator of the flag often sees Adam as androgynos, and thus, the flag was designed with him in mind. The blue reflects the sky, and yellow reflects the sun at the peak of the day. White is meant to parallel the trans flag.
An androgynos flag was designed by primalserenity on July 17, 2018 for non-binary people. The flag has no known meaning. On September 11, 2020 plurgai created flags for intersex and altersex androgynos people. The flags also have no meaning.
Plurgai created an alternate intersex androgynos flag on Februrary 9, 2021. Purple represents a blend of masculinity and femininity, and/or having characteristics of both. Rose is for intersex (a blend of purple and yellow). Light blue is for being Jewish. The circle comes from the intersex flag.
- https://ask-pride-color-schemes.tumblr.com/post/154753324059/image-two-flags-both-are-spilt-into-three (archived version)
- https://bigfootrights.tumblr.com/post/188896540206/i-made-flags-for-androgynos-tumtum-saris-and (archived version)