Šyrzir (Zeribian 3rd gender) Rank/Title in Salan | World Anvil
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Šyrzir (Zeribian 3rd gender)

In addition to male and female, the Zeribians have a third gender category called šyrzir.    


The term comes from the words šyr 'half, cut in half' and zir 'person'. They are believed to be half male and half female. There is some confusion about the term among the Farens, and a common misconseption is that the šyrzir would be castrates, but this is only rarely the case.  


Definition and requirements

The visibly intersex babies are usually assigned šyrzir at birth. However, most often the šyrzir self assign as such when they are older. šyrzir is an all-encompassing category for many different backgrounds that don't fit well in the Zeribian male or female categories. The most šyrzir are people who might identify as transgender in other cultures. In Zeribian culture it is usually only possible to transition into the šyrzir gender, and in some cases back to the gender assigned at birth, but not from a binary category to another.   Šyrzir gender is also sometimes assumed by homosexual people, because the gender gives them the freedom to have relationships with any gender. Sometimes people with genital injuries or castrates can also decide to become šyrzir but this is uncommon, and castration is not widely practiced by Zeribians.

Only a self-defining is usually required. The Zeribian šyrzir usually decide their gender when they are still young, and it's somewhat suspicious if someone decides to transition as an adult.  

Dress code

The šyrzir usually wear a mix of male and female typical clothing, but what that means exactly depends on where they are from. A common dress is wearing a female typical shirt to cover the upper body, and a male loin cloth. In some communities the šyrzir clothes are the same that the binary genders wear, but in some communities they are specific for only the šyrzir.    

šyrzir in society


Benefits and responsibilities

The šyrzir are usually unable to become someone's the first spouse and they are not expected to reproduce, although that actually happens quite often. That means that they are more free to choose a spouse they are personally interested in, instead of one chosen by their family, given that the significant other is wealthy enough to have more than one marriage.  


In many communities the šyrzir are though to be religiously significant and usually hold a unique and pretty high status in their families. Because they are not required to marry and raise a family, high-status šyrzir often dedicate their life to studying or pursuing a career, and can become important because of their knowledge. On the other hand some statuses are only available to some genders. Most notably, the oldest son in the family has a specific status as the main heir of the father and his titles, which the šyrzir can't hold. They also can't become first wife of a man, who is the person who usually rules over the home, family members and servants.   In the public the šyrzir have their own restrictions of which places they are allowed to enter, and which professions to have. For example, some temples are restricted from males or females, but the šyrzir are allowed to enter and play the parts of the missing gender in rituals. Some officers are specifically required to be šyrzir.
by Tuisku
Šyrzir commoner in a simple dress
Self proclaimed
Form of Address
The prefix šyr can be used to clarify the gender where needed. The Standard Zeribian language doesn't have gendered pronouns, in English the recommended pronouns are they/them.
Equates to
The Farens don't have a widely recognised third gender, but recognise individuals who are either transgender or non-binary. The Faren homosexuals don't usually identify with the šyrzir. In Faren dominated areas some Zeribians with homosexual attraction have decided to identify with the Faren consept of homosexual, rather than the traditional šyrzir identity, which the traditionalist Zeribian view as foreign corruption.


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