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11 Times Gender Norms Got The Middle Finger in 2015

2015 was a glorious year for clapping back at gender confines.

Gender is a construct, and should be treated as such.

This year, it was pretty badass to see how many times restrictive gender norms were wholeheartedly told to f--k off. From Ruby Rose's EMA intro to the Disney Store making its Halloween costumes gender nonspecific, this was a good year for progress (and a really bad year to be a bigoted asshole).

So as 2015 comes to a close, let's look back on some of the most memorable "F-you's" to gender norms from the past 12 months:

1. When Shamir Had 'No Fucks' To Give About Gender

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If you didn't spend some of 2015 listening to Shamir's debut album "Ratchet" on repeat, you did this year wrong. In addition to making a truly phenomenal record, the pop star had several amazing clap backs at gender this year -- this from his Twitter being one of the best:

In an interview with Dummy Magazine, Shamir opened up more about his feelings on the construct of gender. "Just because I’m physically a male, doesn’t mean I have to do these things or be this way," he said. "I don’t let it box me in to mentally being a male because I like certain typical male things, and I like certain typical female things. Like, I was that kid who would go and play with some action figures and then go play with my Easy-Bake Oven -- I never really saw a problem with it. I’m like, why can’t these two things merge? Why do they have to be so separate?"

2. When Tyler Ford Got Very Real About Their Typical Day

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Tyler is an agender writer, speaker and model. This year, they wrote several powerful pieces for MTV, including one called "I Am A Queer, Agender Person Of Color In New York — And This Is My Diary." In the piece, Tyler discussed everything from preferred pronouns to picking an outfit to encountering microaggressions.

"Every single one of us needs to challenge our own assumptions about other people based on the ways they look, act, believe and exist," Tyler wrote. "We need to learn to extend kindness and respect to people whose experiences we may not immediately understand — or may never fully understand. I dream of a world in which everyone can be their authentic selves without being judged, mocked, criticized or disrespected. But for now — despite the everyday hardships — I still wouldn’t trade being me for anything."

3. Pretty Much Any Time Angel Haze Used Twitter

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Rapper Angel Haze, who identifies as agender, had tons of amazing Twitter commentary on gender this year, including these gems:

4. When Miley Cyrus Opened Up About Being Genderfluid

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This year, Miley came out as genderfluid. "I'm just equal," Miley told Time. "I'm just even. It has nothing to do with any parts of me or how I dress or how I look. It's literally just how I feel."

Miley also started the #InstaPride campaign as part of the Happy Hippie Foundation, to highlight gender nonconforming people.

5. When Jaden Smith DGAF About Gendered Fashion

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At this point, Jaden Smith is known for his f--ks deficiency, and his feelings toward gender are no different. He's posted several pictures of himself in dresses or skirts this year, including one in which he's rocking a dress to prom.

He's commented on his fashion choices on Twitter as well:

6. When Jacob Tobia Wrote A Beautiful Essay On Being Genderqueer

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In addition to starring in "True Life: I'm Genderqueer," Jacob wrote a moving essay for MTV News entitled, "I’m Genderqueer — Please Stop Asking Me When I’m ‘Really’ Going To Transition." It is nothing short of perfection.

"Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace both my love of lipstick and my facial hair, my affinity for sequins and my broad shoulders," Jacob wrote. "I’ve learned to love all parts of myself equally, to hold my femininity and my masculinity in tandem — understanding them not in opposition, but as compliments to one another."

7. When Ruby Rose Gave That Epic EMA Intro

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The "Orange Is The New Black" star, who identifies as genderfluid, told the gender binary to f--k off at this year's MTV EMAs. In her intro, she greeted the crowd by saying "Ladies and gentlemen and everyone in between." SLAAAY.

8. When Brendan Jordan Wrote A Powerful Piece On Being A Genderfluid Teen

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Happy Hippie Foundation member Brendan Jordan penned a beautiful essay for MTV News, describing his experience as a genderfluid teen. "After constant research, I finally found the word that perfectly describes my current situation regarding my identity, he wrote. "Everyone always asks which gender I identify as, and I just answer with a simple, 'Why not both?' I do not know who I will be, where I am going or whom I will identify as in the future, but for now this is what I am extremely and finally comfortable with during these awkward teenage-development years."

9. When The Disney Store Was Like, 'Any Kid Can Be Anything'

The Disney Store

This year, the Disney Store made a historic change in its Halloween costume collection. Instead of labeling its costumes as "boys'" or "girls'," everything was just "for kids." For a company that's so important to children, it sent an salient message that anyone can be anything -- princess, Peter Pan -- whatever. It's all good.

10. When Target Said It Was Phasing Out Gender-Specific Language

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This August, the retailer announced it would be "moving away from gender-based signs" in their stores. "For example, in the kids’ Bedding area, signs will no longer feature suggestions for boys or girls, just kids," the company wrote in a post on its site. "In the Toys aisles, we’ll also remove reference to gender, including the use of pink, blue, yellow or green paper on the back walls of our shelves."

11. HYFR, That Time The NY Times Used Mx In A Story

In an article about a bookshop/activist center in NYC, the New York Times used the honorific Mx. "Mx. Hardwick, 27, who prefers not to be assigned a gender — and also insists on the gender-neutral Mx. in place of Ms. or Mr. — is a staff member at Bluestockings, a bookshop and activist center at 172 Allen Street on the Lower East Side."


VMAs 2017