To anyone confused about the “bazillion genders” nonbinary people talk about, here’s an explanation: They are not for you.
Listen, I honestly understand this confusion. I identified as cis until fairly recently, and for a long time I didn’t get why people called themselves these genders that seemed pretty wild. The problem is that I think people misunderstand the intent of these labels. People assume that these are terms we’re expecting you to memorize and if you ever call us the wrong one we’ll riot. But that’s not at all the point.
The labels we use to describe our gender identities are really just that–labels. They’re a way for us to identify our perception of our gender both to ourselves and to others like us. We use them because they make us feel validated because people are expected to have a word for their gender, and we use them so we can identify others like ourselves.
The point is, if you aren’t cis, you don’t have to understand these genders. Gender is really complicated, and if you’ve only ever identified as the gender assigned to you, it’s hard to get what it’s like to have a nonbinary gender. The genders that people think sound “crazy,” like ones that revolve around some feeling or are influenced by a wide concept, are still totally legitimate, because they’re just words for how we feel. If someone feels like they’re gender is like the stars, that’s entirely their business.
When I say these labels aren’t for you, I don’t mean that you should ignore them. I mean that they all fall under the umbrella term of nonbinary, and all you really need to know about a person’s gender is their pronouns. If someone wants to tell you more about their gender, that’s up to them. But otherwise, leave worrying about gender to us enbies.