May 19 is Agender Pride Day, so you know what that means?
Happy Agender Pride Day!
For anyone who isn’t familiar with Latin, the prefix “a-” means “without”. Thus, agender means one who is without gender. Folks who identify themselves as agender do not associate with one particular gender. Other terms used include genderblank, genderfree, genderless, gendervoid, non-gendered, ungendered, and null gender. Many use the pronouns “they/them”, however people choose whatever they feel comfortable using. (This may even include “he/him” or “she/her” DESPITE identifying as agender)
For many, it can be a tad confusing… which is why it’s worth noting that the Agender identiy falls under the non-binary umbrella. (And sometimes even under the transgender umbrella!) However, the important thing to remember about anyone who identifies as agender (or ANY other gender identity!) is that it is up to the individual to determine THEIR gender – and which pronouns they prefer!
However, agender representation in queer cinema is direly lacking!
To be honest, I have not yet reviewed any queer films that include agender characters. Even worse, while trying to compile a list of queer films that focus or include an agender character, I came up quite short! I do have to point out that part of this is because agender is just one of many various genders under the non-binary umbrella… but unfortunately, even making a list of non-binary films would be quite challenging!
While I expanded my search to include films, shorts, AND TV/Web series, it was still a struggle to find these FIVE agender films & series! Even worse… I hadn’t seen ANY of these films yet. Eeks!
So peruse through this list and learn about a new film that features an agender character. And don’t forget, let me know what you think about these films in the comments below!
5 Agender Films to Watch for Agender Pride Day
Joe Toy, on the verge of adolescence, finds himself increasingly frustrated by his single father, Frank’s attempts to manage his life. Declaring his freedom once and for all, he escapes to a clearing in the woods with his best friend, Patrick, and a strange kid named Biaggio. He announces that they are going to build a house there, free from responsibility and parents. Once their makeshift abode is finished, the three young men find themselves masters of their own destiny, alone in the woods
The premise of “The Kings of Summer” is quite intriguing – I cannot wait to watch this queer film! Biaggio is our agender character, although he does not use the term agender/genderless explicitly. He simply tells his new friends that he doesn’t see himself as having a gender. And as one of the main boys, there is no doubt that “The Kings of Summer” is an agender film.
Watch “The Kings of Summer” on Amazon, Prime Video, and YouTube.
Fourteen-year-old J goes by the pronoun ‘They’ and lives with their parents in the suburbs of Chicago. J is exploring their gender identity while taking hormone blockers to postpone puberty. After two years of medication and therapy, J has to make a decision whether or not to transition. Over this crucial weekend while their parents are away, J’s sister Lauren and her maybe/maybe-not Iranian partner Araz arrive to take care of ‘They.
“They” is another film on this list I am quite keen to watch! While there is no doubt that J is a non-binary character, they actually refer to themselves as genderless. At one point, J explains to their doctor that they feel male, female, or neither at times. It feels like I am stretching the definition of agender to include “They”, however the definition of agender itself is tricky to define. Another reason I am excited to watch this queer film is that Rhys Fehrenbacher, who plays the role of J, was transitioning during filming. This brings another unique element that I’m sure elevates their performance and the overall quality of this agender film.
Watch “They” on Amazon, Prime Video, and YouTube.
Two years have passed since Steven Universe resolved the ongoing conflict between Earth and the Diamonds and brought peace to the galaxy, seemingly allowing Steven and the Crystal Gems to live happily ever after. However, Steven’s past comes back to haunt him in the shape of a mysterious Gem hellbent on destroying him and everything he holds dear, including the Earth itself. Steven must now face the consequences of Pink Diamond’s actions, save the Earth and, once again, go on a path of self discovery and change to truly earn his happily ever after.
I will freely confess that I had not even heard of “Steven Universe” before searching for agender films & characters. However, it’s important to not dismiss animated films or series when it comes to great queer characterizations! While the cartoon ran for many years and was a major source of queer representation, I’ve opted to focus on the animated film created from characters from the original series. Series creator Rebecca Sugar has stated that “the Gems are all non-binary women,” although I noted before, there are apparently various levels and terms used for the Gems. The series also has a unique genderfluid character called Stevonnie. However, what’s most appealing is that series creator is also non-binary! While I won’t be watching the entire series, I may have to add “Steven Universe: The Movie” to my short list.
Watch “Steven Universe: The Movie” on Amazon, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and YouTube.
The Good Place is a town where those who have been good throughout their lives go once they have passed away. Michael is the architect who oversees the town–and this is the first one he has been in charge of creating. Eleanor arrives at the Good Place and realizes they have her name right, but everything else is wrong. She isn’t meant to be there at all. With the help of Chidi, her soul mate, Eleanor tries to right her wrongs, seeking to finally earn her spot in the Good Place.
Like all of the other queer films & series on this post, I have not seen “The Good Place”. If I’m honest, I likely won’t have the time to watch all four seasons. Yet this queer series belongs on this list due to Janet, one of the main characters of the show, who identifies as genderless/agender. However, while Janet often reminds others of her genderless identity, she continues to use the pronouns “she/her”. While this may be confusing, apparently there are many agender and even some non-binary folks who continue to use gendered pronouns. Gender is something that only that person can define, and they can chose their own pronouns. It’s refreshing that such a well-known series is able to include such an important statement in addition to its inclusion of an agender character.
Watch “The Good Place” on Amazon, Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube.
Grey’s a stay-at-home mechanic, whose wife is Asha. One day, Grey asks Asha to help him return a car to his client. Whilst Grey and Asha’s self-driving car malfunctions, it crashes. Grey watches helplessly as Asha bleeds to death next to him. Grey returns home – a widowed quadriplegic, under the care of his mother. His wife’s death and the inability of police to identify their attackers cause him to sink into a depression. After a suicide attempt, he’s offered to have high tech chip implanted – enabling him to walk. Though initially hesitant, he’s persuaded to have the surgery.
I must confess that while “Upgrade” includes an agender/non-gendered character, I nearly did not include this film on my list. The reason is rather simple: Kai Bradley, the non-gendered character, is only a minor character with apparently only a brief connection to our protagonist and the overall storyline. I found myself facing the same dilemma that I’ve noted regarding my “queer” Christmas film lists or the queer “Christmas” film posts. However, since there are honestly very few queer films and series that include agender/non-gendered characters, even such a minor character is worth noting.
Watch “Upgrade” on Amazon, Prime Video, and YouTube.
So what did you think about the 5 Agender Films to Watch for Agender Pride Day that I’ve selected? Are some of them your favorites as well? Did I leave any agender films out? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
(Or you could Pin your favorite agender film to your Pinterest account to save for later!)