Bigender is a non-binary gender identity in which someone has two distinct gender identities. They could feel both genders at the same time or be fluid between them, in which case they may also identify as genderfluid. Bigender people can experience any two genders, including binary and non-binary genders. For example, a bigender person could be female and neutrois. Bigender people do not have to experience both genders in equal amounts. One or both of their genders could be fluid or fluctuating, in which case they may identify as bigenderflux.
One of the first recorded instances of bigender being used comes from a trans organization called the Human Outreach and Achievement Institute in the 1980s which defined "bigenderist" as a type of androgyne, with the latter being defined as "a person who can comfortably express either alternative gender role in a variety of socially acceptable environments."
The more modern definition of bigender comes from Gary Bowen who, in his 1995 publication Dictionary of Words for Masculine Women, defined being bigender as
having two genders, exihibiting [sic] cultural characteristics of male and female roles.
A 1997 paper concerning the "gender continuum" in International Journal of Transgenderism noted that "a person who feels or acts as both a woman and a man may identify as bi-gendered." A 1999 survey conducted by the San Francisco Department of Public Health observed that, among the transgender community, less than 3% of those who were assigned male at birth and less than 8% of those who were assigned female at birth identified as bigender.
Flag and Symbols
The original bigender flag was created by no-bucks-for-this-doe. The date of creation is unknown but it existed before July 30, 2014. It has no confirmed color meanings for most colors, but is assumed that blue represents manhood/masculinity, pink represents womanhood/femininity, and purple represents androgyny or a mix of genders. The white in the center is a reflection of the white at the center of the transgender flag, which stands for non-binary identities and represents the non-binary nature of this identity. White may also represent a shift from one gender to another. Although widely used, the flag is controversial due to allegations of the creator being abusive and transphobic.
The most popular alternate bigender flag was created by an unknown person and was created on or before August 23, 2015. It also has unconfirmed color meanings. The colors likely mean the same as the original flag, but with a yellow stripe likely representing non-binary genders.
The alternate flag by pastelflowers was created on or before January 9, 2015. Purple (in general) represents those who are non-binary. Dark purple leans more towards blue, representing those who identify partially as male. Light purple leans more towards pink, representing those who partially identify as female. Grey represents those who partially identify as a non-binary gender. White represents genderfluidity.
A bigender flag was first posted and created by Tumblr user asteri-sympan on April 16th, 2015. No meanings were listed other than that it was inspired partially by the bisexual pride flag.
Reddit user KYmicrophone posted their design on July 5, 2019. No meanings were listed.
An additional bigender flag was proposed by Tumblr user lestis on August 31st, 2019, with the following meanings expanded upon. Red represents feminine or feminine-aligned identities, alternating from the cisnormative pink to express and acknowledge the alternative expression that many bigender experience. Red-orange represents combination and fluidity, for multiple identifications of gender that may both change through time or that may coexist alongside each other. Pear represents community and allyship, as many bigender people identify as bigender but also identify with other genders independently. Yellow is a common color in flags used to represent non-binary communities, which reflects the community aspect as well. White represents non-binary identities, mimicking the original bigender flag and the trans flag in its meaning. It was placed in the middle both like the other flags, but also because if the flag was folded in the middle, this is where it would have the overlap, expressing how non-binary identities often overlap the identity as a whole, as well as being an overlap or spectrum between the feminine and masculine identities. Yellow-green represents presentation, and is meant to highlight the diverse presentation of bigender people, yellow is a common color in flags used to represent nonbinary communities, and the green is associated with nature and growth. Blue represents masculine or masculine-aligned identities, the color is deeper to express the connection that many bigender people have that differs from cis identification to masculinity."
Tumblr user zombifisgender posted their flag at an unknown date, and reposted it to their new blog mogaiphobic on April 12, 2020. Pinks mean femininity, going from a dark to light pink to show different levels (strong - low) of connection to being feminine/female. Blues mean masculinity, going from dark to light blue to show different levels (strong - low) of connection to being masculine/male. Yellow represents neutrality, and having a non-binary gender. Purple represents genders mixing/co-existing. White represents the non-binary nature of the gender.
Instagram user double_gender published their redesign on April 8, 2021. It was intended to keep the original flag's colors, but with a different order. The "rose of the winds" in the center was placed to represent "total freedom over which of these two genders you can live," and was designed to resemble a compass.
Many alternate flags exist, many of them have no or unknown color meanings, though meaning can be assumed to be similar to the original flag.
There is also an intersex flag that is often incorrectly called a bigender flag. This is due to the creator claiming the flag was a bigender flag when originally posted, but later saying that the flag was actually intended to be an intersex flag.
The most common bigender symbol is a mix of female (Venus) symbol and male (Mars) symbol. The symbol is most commonly associated with bigender but it is also sometimes used to represent intersex or transgender. It can also be interpreted as representing heterosexuality. It is the botanical symbol for hermaphrodite.