Genderless Historical Figure

The Public Universal Friend

Life Story: The Public Universal Friend - Women & the ...

The Public Universal Friend (1752-1819) was a genderless religious leader that presented androgynous or masculine and asked not to be referred to with gendered pronouns.

More info:

  • Other names: the Friend
  • Pronouns/gender: No pronouns, no gender
  • Type of media: Historical figure – religious leader


The Public Universal Friend was assigned female at birth and lived as a woman named Jemima Wilkinson until the age of 23. A contagious, deadly illness spread through the Friend’s community and the Friend survived it, and underwent a religious transformation as a result. The Friend began preaching and telling the story, saying that Jemima had died and her body was reanimated by God as a genderless spirit named the Public Universal Friend.

The Friend asked not be referred to with any gendered pronouns and followers, named the Society of Universal Friends, respected these wishes. When a lawyer insisted that the Friend’s will be signed with the birth name, the Friend refused, instead only writing an X. When asked about gender, the Friend responded, “I am that I am.” The Friend also wore clothes that were considered androgynous or masculine, which followers considered to be consistent with the Friend’s genderless spirit.

Agender Character Game Gender Unknown Genderfluid Genderless Genderqueer Nonbinary Transfem Transmasc

Sky: Children of the Light

A Sky kid leads a spirit to relive their memories.
A Sky kid leads a spirit to relive their memories.

Sky: Children of the Light developers (thatgamecompany) have stated that none of the Sky kids (players) or spirits have specified genders. They also have a Pride event every June and donate to The Trevor Project.

Sky: Children of the Light is a social game in which players relive spirits’ memories across 7 different realms. Each spirit has a friendship tree that allows the player to unlock new cosmetics, spells, and more. Sky has events year-round of varying lengths. “Season” events are about the length of a real life season, and “Days” events last a few weeks at most.

thatgamecompany has stated this on a support site: “The characters and spirits in Sky are deliberately designed to let players express their chosen gender in whatever manner they choose. We believe in the power of player choice and self-expression, and encourage you to discover what that means for your in-game character.” When they introduce new spirits on social media, they also avoid using pronouns with the spirits. Whenever pronouns are used, it’s always they/them, similarly to how we use they/them for people when we don’t know their gender.

Every year, Sky hosts Days of Color, an event that acts as an in-game Pride. Pride cosmetics are available during this event. 2023 introduced 2 dark rainbow items (mostly black items with some rainbows). Other items, all rainbow of course, include a cape, trousers, and headphones. An area of Daylight Prairie was also extended for this event. Players could be seen bringing color to the already existing area, and flying up to the extension in a rainbow beam. The extended area featured a few small sky islands with rainbow waterfalls and bridges. Players faded into each color of the rainbow while in this area, and could float upon a giant rainbow ring that encircled the sky islands.

Days of Color 2023 also introduced event currencies. Days of Color currency could buy only the dark rainbow cape. All other items used other in-game currencies, or real ones. Either way, a donation finds its way to The Trevor Project every June.