Gender identities may be confusing for a lot of people who identify with the binary - that is male and female. But there are other genders that people identify with - like transgender and non-binary genders.
You may have a lot of questions that you may want to ask, but sometimes those questions can be offensive or annoying, so here are some questions you should never ask an androgynous or non-binary person:
1. Isn't That A "Tumblr Aesthetic"?
While it’s true a lot of non-binary people may have found out about non-binary gender identities through Tumblr, the whole idea that Tumblr “invented” the identity is a huge misconception.
In fact, many cultures have embraced non-binary genders throughout the centuries, including the Native American Two-Spirit and the Indian community of Hijras. Also, the earliest known use of the word genderqueer was in a 1995 newsletter by Riki Wilchins. Sure, 1995 may not have been all that long ago – but Tumblr definitely wasn’t a thing yet!
2. But You Have Male/Female Genitalia
Some people who have penises aren’t guys, some people who have vaginas aren’t women. Gender and sex are different. Regardless of what genital organ they have - one, it's not your business, and two they can still be whatever gender they identify with.
The "there are only 2 genders" story is old and overused. If you really want to know how it works, one simple internet search can clear up all your doubts.
3. I Can't Use "They", Isn't That For Multiple People?
A lot of people argue that the pronoun "they" is grammatically wrong, but that's not true. We refer to a lot of singular people using the word "they." For example, when you get a text from an unknown person, your friend might ask "Did they say who they are?" You’re referring to one person, but you don’t know the gender – so you use ‘they’.
It's the same for androgynous people - they don't identify with he/she and choose to use "they" instead. Case in point, Sam Smith. Even Merriam-Webster announced "they" as the word of the year in 2019, it's time you get people's pronouns right - it's not that hard.
4. You Look Like A Girl/Guy, So How Can You Be Neither?
This one is pretty obvious, for one no one should comment on anyone's appearances and secondly, some people don't identify with the way they are. When you dye your hair blue, no one still calls your hair black just because it used to be that way right?
Not everyone wants surgeries and not everyone adheres to the binaries. IT's impolite to comment on someone's appearance especially when they tell you they don't identify with a certain label.
5. So You're Just A Trans Person?
Not everyone who identifies as non-binary or androgynous is trans. A lot of people do identify as trans, but not everyone. Some people prefer not to use any labels at all. Trans people usually transition or identify with either male or female, whereas non-binary people don't identify with either.
It's not a compulsion to put labels on everyone's gender - which is the general belief in the community. So trans people and non-binary people are not the same.
A good rule of thumb is don't ask a non-binary or androgynous person a question you wouldn't ask someone of any other orientation and try to be polite. It's really that simple. And you always have Google to guide you through your weird, annoying or rude questions, so spare the androgynous person the pain.