Epicene is a term used to describe a lack of gender distinction. It can also be used as a gender, or as a way to describe a range of genders.
As An Adjective
Epicene as an adjective describes "that which exhibits characteristics of [male and female], yet is neither". It was historically used to describe effeminate behavior in men and, less commonly, unfeminine behavior in women. It was generally used interchangeably with androgynous.
In linguistics, epicene is used to describe a word that has only one form for both the male and female versions of the word. It is not typically used in the context of English, where there is no grammatical gender, but in languages where nouns have gender by default, an epicene word is considered abnormal.
As A Gender
Epicene can be used to describe a non-binary gender that is neutral across masculinity and femininity. However, there is little consensus on a definition so it can sometimes be used to describe any non-binary genders.
Epicene vs. Gender Neutral vs. Androgyne
Epicene is often used interchangeably with either gender neutral or androgynous. However, androgyny describes a combination of masculinity and femininity, while epicenity is neither masculine or feminine. Gender neutrality or neutrois implies a neutrality across all genders, while epicene has neutrality only across masculinity and femininity.
The last alternate epicene flag was designed by Reddit user u/QuietMornings on September 28, 2020.
- https://www.reddit.com/r/QueerVexillology/comments/j1hx55/alternative_epicene_flag/ Alternative Epicene Flag : QueerVexillology (reddit.com)