What’s A Gender Without an Age?

This blog is part of a series I'm writing while I'm undating the fifteen year old "My Gender Workbook" for Routledge Press. I'm asking for your voice to be included in the spiffy new version, because you are so much more than the first version of the book could have predicted. Every couple of days, I'll be posting a new question for you to ponder. If the question tickles your fancy, by all means please speak to it. Be sure you've read the submission guidelines before you write your answer. Thanks for your help.

Dauntless Gendernauts, Fearless Freaks, Intrepid Inverts et al,

Thanks for the great feedback so far. My editors at Routledge and I are thrilled with the range and depth of your observations! 

So, here's the next in the series of questions I'd like your response to.

How does your age impact your gender?

I'm of the opinion that boy, man, girl, and woman are four distinct genders. Hey, I also call myself a 64 year old man and a 26 year old young woman, because that's a true statement from so many angles. But even if you disagree with me, you've got to acknowledge that systemic ageism is overwhelming each and every one of us with its rules about gender and gender expression. Men don't wear dresses. Women don't have moustaches. Boys will be boys. Girls just want to be Disney princesses. — that's just a few of them. Age is built-in to our perception and performance of gender. That said…

  • What effect, if any, does your age have on your gender or gender expression? 
  • What part does gender play in the limits, freedoms, and boundaries imposed upon or empowered by your age?
  • Do (did) you get treated as a different kind of male or female or genderqueer or trans* or tranny or whatever because of your age?
  • Looking back on your life, how has your gender changed as you've grown?
  • Are you living more than one age the same time because of your gender?
  • What have you learned about age from the gender you are? 
  • What have you learned about gender from the age you are?
  • What's your burning age-and-gender issue that I haven't even touched on here?

So many questions!

So please… from your perspective, your experience, or your observations, what's your take on gender and age?

Thank you and love,

Auntie Kate

Reminder: Twitter is the very best way to answer. Response length is maximum 280 characters, two tweels. Your tweets do NOT have to be addressed to me, but DO remember to put the hashtag #MNGW on ALL your tweets about this or any other gender-y thing that might pop into your adorable li'l head.



  1. I was a girl, who grew up into a man. At 13yrs old, my girl days became numbered and I entered puberty. 9 years with estrogen abundance, a few more with testosterone abundance. At 25yrs old, I’m a young man.

  2. Love yer work…. but, unfortunately, by making twitter the favoured response method you discourage a huge cross section of replies (particularly those of a lower socio-demographic, or older less tech minded).
    keep up the good work….will follow with interest (but not twitter).

  3. People get confused about gender. Consider the ‘mid-life crisis,’ an effect of the atomic family syndrome. No older people around, so you don’t know how to be old. Your hormonal changes are upon you, but you have no idea how to deal. You were a Virile Young Man, now you’re a Middle-Aged Man Who Is Increasingly Pear-Shaped. Solution: Buy a convertible! Gender convertible? Yes! 🙂

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    Kate Bornstein’s Blog for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws: What’s A Gender Without an Age?

  5. As a kid, I had no regard for what people thought about my “boyish” behaviors or choice of clothing. I still carry the same mentality, though I’ve acted more on my gender as I’ve shared experiences with GQ folks and found more educational resources.
    I feel like there is more of a correlation between gender and experience/education as opposed to gender and age.

  6. I don’t think my age has had a particular impact on my gender expression. Hindsight 20/20, I’ve always been the same person but life circumstances, relationships and shame rather than age interfered with my gender expression. Perhaps now I am a bit wiser, but I don’t think that this is because I am … gasp… 40something! 🙂

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