In a post about the queer rally in Bloomfield, I misgendered several people. a commenter corrected me on this, and referred to one of the person’s as Genderqueer, which I had no real clue what that meant, so I looked it up:

From wikipedia:

Genderqueer (GQ; alternatively non-binary) is a catch-all term for gender identities other than man and woman, thus outside of thegender binary and heteronormativity.[1] People who identify as genderqueer may think of themselves as one or more of the following:

  • both man and woman (bigenderpangender)
  • neither man nor woman (genderless, agender)
  • moving between genders (genderfluid)[2]
  • third gender or other-gendered; includes those who do not place a name to their gender[3]
  • having an overlap of, or blurred lines between, gender identity and sexual orientation[4][5]

Some genderqueer people[6][7] also identify as transgender, and may or may not wish for physical modification or hormones to suit their preferred expression. Many genderqueer people see gender and sex as separable aspects of a person and sometimes identify as a male woman, a female man, or a male/female/intersex genderqueer person.[8] Gender identity is defined as one’s internal sense of being male, female, both, or neither, while sexual identity refers to an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to others.[9] As such, genderqueer people may be a variety of sexual orientations, as with transgender andcisgender people. Genderqueer identification may also occur for political reasons.[10][11]

“Genderqueer”, in addition to being an umbrella term, has been used as an adjective to refer to any people who transgress distinctions of gender, regardless of their self-defined gender identity, i.e. those who “queer” gender, expressing it non-normatively.[12] Androgynous is frequently used as a descriptive term for people in this category, though genderqueer people may express a combination of masculinity and femininity, or neither, in their gender expression and not all identify as androgynes. However, the term has been applied by those describing what they see as a gender ambiguity.[13]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genderqueer

While most LGBT activists include Trans under the umbrella of the rainbow community, I’m not clear how well understood it is that Queer and Trans are fairly broad and complex. Individuals who do not identify as male or female or trans (MTF or FTM) may get offended if not prtoperly referenced. Another approach would be to help educated peope about what these various different idenifyers mean and why individuals choose them. The more we understand about each other, it is a win/win for everyone. I appreciate being corrected for misgendering, and having that add to the dialogue.

 

Photo by: by Transguyjay

18 Comments

  1. It’s also important not to assume binary or homonormative sexual orientations. You refer to the person who was shoved my police (which is not a matter of their word against the cops- I saw it happen, as did multiple other people), as a lesbian just because you looked at their body and gendered them as female. The person in question does not identity as a lesbian, but as queer. It may seem like semantics to you, but it’s really important diversity in identity that needs to be respected.

    And honestly, speaking from personal experience, it’s always most painful and infuriating to be misgendered, mispronouned, etc. when it’s by another queer person. Mainstream GLBT folks are guilty of doing this very often, and it’s very, very frustrating. It’s infuriating when straight folks try to erase or ignore queer/trans/variant identities and bodies- it’s down right abhorrent when we do it to each other.

    • You can not expect others to understand what is important to you in terms of how you identify if you don’t educate others about it. When you simply criticize others for not knowing what you expect, you further marginalize yourselves.

      I remember in 1976 when gay organizations were grappling with the issue of how to be inclusive for women/ lesbians. At the time the Ohio Gay Rights Coalition spent multiple meetings where women who were already a part of the group explaining why changing the name to Gay and Lesbian was important. They shined light onto a problem and did hard work to educate and communicate.

      I believe that everyone has a right to self- identify however they choose. And when that identity falls outside what is most understood, they will need to expect to do education. Education and criticism are not the same.

      • Actually, they often are- it’s called constructive criticism.

      • Strigiform says:

        YOU NEED TO ASK PEOPLE before assuming identifications for them. No one is responsible to run up to you at a rally and say “Hey random dude filming shit and calling attn to himself, I identify as this”. It is your responsibility to ask people how they identify OR use neutral terminology and pronouns if you do not know how they identify. Just quit being defensive and learn something for once.

  2. Strigiform says:

    Or you can use neutral terms when talking about people or you can ask people what pronouns they prefer. You’re still referring to a woman as a man in your other article.

    • And I will continue to do so, where ever I feel it is appropriate. You have every right to see things differently. If you feel things ouyght to be written another way, feel free to write your own blog, I’m sure many people would find it helpful and educational. I’d read it.

      • Strigiform says:

        You will continue to refer to women as men when YOU feel it is appropriate? MAN YOU ARE A HUGE DOUCHE. Like WOW. It’s a sad day for the gays today. I’ll be heading to court solidarity in a couple of days to support my fellow queers. You keep straight up BASHING (yes, misgendering people because you “can” is bashing) queers on your blog. I at least feel decent that everyone that reads this now will know what a huge ass you are. Jag off.

      • how you you know you “fellow queers” are all queer? i didn’t know Japenga was queer!

      • Go to wikipedia and look up Queer. Japenga might be queer even if he isn’t gay. Or maybe he is gay?  The rally against homophobia however, was a rally anyone could attend. I can think of a number of people there who I know who wouldn’t necessarily call themselves queer. I persoinally think there are just a few folks who are taking this extra radical position. Note it is really 2 or 3 people who have done most all the posting of comments. That there are a lot of comments doesn’t mean their position is widely held. It just means they have been vocal in sharing them. Same thing for me. That I write a blog doesn’t make what I have to say any more valid- it is just my opinion and perspective. 

      • Queer is an identity held by a lot more than 2 or 3 people, I assure you. Just because it’s something you don’t understand or relate with doesn’t make queer identity “extra radical”. Progressive, maybe, but it’s not something extreme and bizarre.
        The constant condescending and insolent tone of your posts is really quite tiresome. It’s okay to be wrong and learn something new, dude. It happens to all of us. Pull the stick out.

      • This is the craziest thing I have ever heard. Yes, it is was only an identity held by 2 or 3 people, there wouldn’t be a wikipedia entry for it.

      • Go to wikipedia and look up Queer. Japenga might be queer even if he isn’t gay. Or maybe he is gay?  The rally against homophobia however, was a rally anyone could attend. I can think of a number of people there who I know who wouldn’t necessarily call themselves queer. I persoinally think there are just a few folks who are taking this extra radical position. Note it is really 2 or 3 people who have done most all the posting of comments. That there are a lot of comments doesn’t mean their position is widely held. It just means they have been vocal in sharing them. Same thing for me. That I write a blog doesn’t make what I have to say any more valid- it is just my opinion and perspective. 

      • Well if YOU didn’t know, clearly it’s not the case then.

      • I really think you need to calm down and stop jumping to conclusions. 

      • Strigiform says:

        Oh I am sorry for misunderstanding. What does “And I will continue to do so, where ever I feel it is appropriate.” mean as a response to you being called out on being idiotic and shitty about gender? About women? About every issue outside your tiny little world?

      • If someone is clearly male or female and it isn’t a misgendering, I will continue… you made an assumption of what appropriate means…. Hey, that;’as OK, I learned days ago that you are going to find fault no matter what I say. Some of my blog’s readers think you are hysterical, and I’m enjoying it. I have learned quite a bit from your comments, and I’m glad for that.

      • I really think you need to calm down and stop jumping to conclusions. 

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