This is a translation of a post written by my friend Dan Veg in their Hebrew-language blog Parshedona. This is also my 100th post in Femina Invicta, and I was looking for a worthy topic… I’m glad Dan provided this post. It is incredibly important to me for both personal and political reasons, as my queer/feminist community has recently exploded in an unprecedented, and entirely unexpected rash of transphobia, directed in particular toward genderqueer persons, or anyone on the MTF scale who doesn’t entirely pass.
Lately, I’ve been hearing all kinds of different opinions by cisgender people about genderqueer identities, and what genderqueer means. So let’s make this clear: Genderqueer does not mean a “man in a dress”, it doesn’t mean “someone who objects to gender”, nor does it mean “a woman who wants male privilege without being trans*”. All these are mostly your own transphobic and binary assumptions.
Genderqueer-ness is an umbrella of gender identities, just like “man” and “woman” are gender identities. The genderqueer identity is not a single and constant identity, but rather a variety of non-normative identities, accompanied by a variety of practices, a variety of conceptions, and different experiences. I will try and offer some definitions of genderqueer identities that I’m familiar with, in order to – hopefully – enable some of you to let go of your dichotomous, queer-phobic perceptions.
But first, some important notes:
- These definitions reflect the opinion of the author, and do not purport to represent anyone who does not identify with them.
- The umbrella covers only those who identify with it.
- A person’s gender identification does not necessarily reflect any particular gender practices or choice of pronouns. In order to know how to address a genderqueer person, ask her/him! To address or refer to a person in a way other than according to the preference they have indicated is a violent and transphobic act.
- The umbrella is partial and dynamic, anyone is free to redefine for themselves their gender, gender practices, and so on.
- Many genderqueers identify with more than one gender identity, so do not assume that because someone has identified in a certain way, that other identities are negated.
A person who does not always identify completely as a man or as a woman, and identifies as genderqueer. In other words: someone whose gender does not conform to the dichotomous definitions of man/woman.
A catch-all identity that describes anyone who deviates from heteronormativity. Under the genderqueer umbrella the term describes resistance to definitions or to identities that defy the gender binary.
A person who identifies with two genders simultaneously, or with the gender they were assigned at birth and another gender, and who identifies as bigender.
A person who at different times identifies with different gender identities, or who sometimes defines themselves as a particular gender and at other times does not, and who identifies as gender fluid.
A person who does not identify as any gender category, or to whom the concept of gender is irrelevant, and who identifies as genderless.
A person who does not at all identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, but only partially identifies with other gender identities, or identifies as both genderqueer and transgender, sometimes with an emphasis on wanting to undergo physical changes, and who identifies as transgenderqueer.
Third Gender/Other Gendered:
A person whose gender identity is neither man nor woman, and identifies as third gender or other gendered.
A person who identifies as being somewhere on the continuum between two or more genders, and who identifies as intergender.
A person who combines attributes of different genders, and who identifies as genderblender/genderfuck.
Additional genderqueer identities include:
Genderqueer man, genderqueer woman, pangender, multigender, man-flexible, woman-flexible, femme, butch, girlfag, guydyke, and many more.