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Author Topic: Gender Queer  (Read 1437 times)

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Offline JesterTopic starter

Gender Queer
« on: May 16, 2008, 05:17:26 PM »
Hi there,

This isnt really a rant or a rave. So please let me know if it needs to be moved. Its more of a debate topic.

Some of you may know I am involved in a youth theatre. I am the Chairman at the moment and help anyone who is interested in getting involved in the arts. (We have some people in their forties and we are supposed to be for the youths!)

I basically help new directors and actors get involved and run workshops for those that are keen. We run out of a cricket pavilion and its all good fun.

What i enjoy most about it is that I meet a wonderful varierty of people.

We have an 18 year old ligthing techie who has been with us for 1 year. Twis. Now Twis is Gender Queer. I am interested in seeing if anyone has heard of this because before i met Twis I didnt know what that was.

I like to support people and try to be as open minded as possible. I also know Twis as an 18 year old girl called Sophie but she likes to think of herself as Twis who is 18 year old person and pansexual.

I have been fortunate enough in being involved in a documentary that she has written, filmed and produced about Gender Queer people that will hopefully be on Channel 4 this year. (More for the UK people than anyone) . You will finally hear my dulcet tones as I am the narrator.

But i am not here to discuss my fame :-)

I personally think the idea of gender queer odd and strange. In the film it mentions that there are very few gender queer people but that the number is growing.

My arguement is.... If you give a name to something do people then shoe-horn themselves into that name? Would people be gender-queer if they didnt know what gender-queer was?

Offline Sherona

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 05:21:34 PM »
Guess I will go ahead and show my ignorance, but ...what is Gender-Queer? I do not believe I have ever heard this phrase before.

Offline JesterTopic starter

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 05:25:05 PM »
I am going to hate myself for doing this but i am sure wiki will explain better than i do.

Twis prefers to be called Twis than Sophie and does not consider herself a girl. Her friends in the documentary are also Gender Queer and from what I can understand is that they almost feel no affiliation for either gender and prefer to be neutral but often end up being confused as lesbians, gays or transsexuals which often they are none.

Sophie...I mean Twis still finds men attractive. She just does not think of herself as a girl...or a man.

Does that help?

Offline Elvi

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 05:33:59 PM »
This may help:

GenderQueer term started to come into use in approximately the late 1990’s. It has been associated with primarily youth communities and those who are white and where born female and are now along the masculine spectrum, but there are many folks along the age and race/ethnic spectrum that use it to describe themselves and also those who where born male and are along the feminine spectrum. Has also been written as Gender Queer or Genderqueer.

Current working definition:
GenderQueer: those who identify their gender outside the gender binary system of male and female, maybe fluid with gender presentation or not conform to gender stereotypes and may use gender neutral pronouns such as “sie, hir, hir, hirs, hirself” or "zie, zir, zir, zirs, zirself" or choose to use the pronoun closest to the end of the masculine or feminine spectrum they are presenting. Some may do some or all of medical transition or none at all. Some may change their birth name. It is also used by some to describe both their gender identity and their sexuality as queer.

Other terms that gender non-conforming or those who have gender identities outside the binary gender system are boy dyke, dyke boy, boi, and by some youth in communities of color are femme queens, butch boi, or drags.

Building the GenderQueer Definition and Timeline
When did you first hear the word Gender Queer?
What is your definition of Gender Queer?
Do you use it as one word "genderqueer" or two "gender queer" and why?

“ I think I personally first heard of the word genderqueer in definition of the word is a mindset that sees gender as a can be anywhere within and not just boy or girl man or woman. And yes, I use it as one word. I think I do so because I see genderqueer as being one whole mindset, one whole concept, and for some one whole identity, thus one word.”

“ I first heard the term genderqueer... probably about 2 years ago... maybe. genderqueer by my definition is one who rejects the binary gender roles set up by this society. my personal favorite word is gender fucker. I use genderqueer as one word because I think it gives the term more validity and it flows well :)”

“ I only heard the term rather recently, but once I heard it, it stuck. Mostly because I can't seem to find many ways to describe myself and genderqueer fit better than anything else. I think genderqueer is what you get when you refuse to limit yourself to the culturally-defined stereotypes of gender. I like it because it doesn't seem like using the term is appropriating anyone else's struggle, but it's more obviously boundary-breaking than bi-butch-femme-fag-dyke-drag queen (and also easier to say in one breath)--also, I have a problem with "bi" because I don't believe there are only two genders, and I usually am attracted to people who wouldn't be able to be neatly placed and labeled. I like it as one word.”

“ I can't remember exactly when I first heard the term, probably in 1999, I know that I facilitated a workshop/caucus at the Creating Change conf. in 2000 for genderqueer ID'ed folks. So I've been using the term for at least that long”

” As someone who ID's as both gender queer and FTM, I use the term because I don't believe in the binary gender system, and therefore don't feel like I transitioned from one and of the gender binary to another, but instead have a queer gender identity.”


I found this the other day, read and discussed it with Beasty, as someone had mentioned it at school.
After reading, she simply said:
"Oh right so it's someone who doesn't know who the hell they are and need more time to figure it out...."

I think that she is right....
This seems to be a 'youth' thing and I can find nothing around that defines or discusses it amongst older more experienced people.

Problem is that people are now so presurised and at such an early age, to state 'what they are', that some just simply get confused so have to find another box to fit into until their minds and bodies have caught up with themselves.

(Hell....beasty was accused of being a lesbian when she was nine for hell's sake!)

Offline Jefepato

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 06:34:14 PM »
I've heard of it (because I was trying to figure out what all the letters in the ever-expanding "LGBTQI..." acronym stood for), but I've never met anyone who identified as such.

I don't really understand it, but then, if it's possible to mentally be the opposite of one's physical sex, this doesn't seem like much of a stretch.  The existence of the term might result in some mislabeling -- for the same reason that people who see commercials for a new medication often turn into hypochrondriacs -- but that doesn't mean it's not legitimate in some cases.

Personally, I don't particularly care one way or the other.  It's not really my business how other people define themselves.

Offline JesterTopic starter

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2008, 06:46:00 PM »
I just find it sad we have to label ourselves.

I would normally consider myself hetero. But i have played bi and gay. I really dont care what I am. I like it all. Yet am faithfull to my current partner.

My point is. I dont know how i would label myself.

Offline Elvi

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2008, 06:49:33 PM »
I label myself quite easily....I am ME....

Offline JesterTopic starter

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2008, 06:52:46 PM »
Yes. And i think thats exactly what Twis is doing.

I hope so anyway.

Offline Elvi

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2008, 07:10:02 PM »
I really think she is saying 'I have no bloody idea'.
There is so much crap going around about what a woman should be, how a man should behave and if you don't actually fit into what you see as expected, how do we expect younger people to know.

Although I never really had sexual orientation issues when I was younger, it took me a hell of a long time to actually find out who 'I' was. Nowadays it seems that there is some form of pressure on a child from the day it's sodding well born.

When the hell do they ever have the time now to sit and just 'be', without feeling that they should be doing something or going somewhere?

Offline Trieste

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Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2008, 07:37:56 PM »
"People who don't conform to the idea of gender as a binary concept"

So it's a new designation for tomboy, or pretty boy... or ... person. Label-mania strikes again, I guess.

As for whether people try to shoehorn themselves into something once it's given a name, sure. Human identity is always in flux, and it's comforting sometimes to feel like we have somewhere we belong. A group. We fit in. It's probably a youth thing because that is the age group whose identity is most often in flux.

I've cone across this term before in passing, and if someone wants to identify with it, a-ok with me. For myself, I'm bi, and I've been told I approach certain aspects of interpersonal relationships more like a guy than a girl. It just makes me... me. My friends and I joke around about being 'wired weird', and leave it at that. For example, if someone asks me for "a girl's perspective" I'll laughingly say "Okay, but I'm wired weird, so you might not get a good answer"... It's just how it is.

I don'tfeel a need to really go further than that, but some people do, I guess. *shrug*

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2008, 07:45:14 PM »
I like the gender queer concept because I dislike gender stereotypes and assuming that people will act or feel in a certain way just because they're a man or woman.
I also find people who have androgynous physical features ('pretty boy', 'butch') to be attractive.

Offline Elvi

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2008, 08:00:10 PM »
You don't have to say that you're 'genderqueer' to not be stereotypical Celestial, I actually think that it is this that is causing the confusion.

I certainly don't fit into what people would see as a stereotypical woman. I have always been more comfortable 'in a man's world', own one dress (and that was for live roleplay) and have always done things throughout my life that have been seen to be 'male orientated'.
Yet in psychological tests I always come out as thinking and being 100% (or as near damn it) female and I have never had the need to question my sexual orientation, nor infact have my partners.

In my mind there really is no one model for people to either follow or rebel against, everything is just jumbled up into one huge lump and kids/young adults are expected wade through it all.
Fortunately Beastgirl is happy with herself in this respect, she hates dresses, (well apart from the fact that she would like one really gothy one, probably just to 'have') and she has told me that she is straight until proven otherwise.

Offline Maeven

Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 08:07:44 AM »
Teenagers, young people and many adults have a need to feel like they belong to something or some version of something.  If a girl looks at the cheerleaders in her high school and says, "y'know? I don't really feel like I fit in that cutout," then there is an, I think, almost instinctual desire to find something that does "fit."  Trieste hits the nail on the head when she says that its probably just the new term for "tomboy."

In all likelihood, once you get a little older, (hopefully) you find a comfort level and start identifying with a new category; as Elvi puts it: ME.

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: Gender Queer
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2008, 02:29:04 PM »
Ok, I have not read all of the posts, just the first few.  But as to the question on the first post ("If you give a name to something do people then shoe-horn themselves into that name? Would people be gender-queer if they didnt know what gender-queer was?").

A name I think comes after a definition most of the time.  So I would say they were always gender-queers or whatever else but after a name is given the definition they have that name instead of a definition making things easier. 

Just an example of a word going with a definition making things easier:

I went through my identity crisis but I only knew it then as the crap filling me up and making my life something that I didn't know it was.  3 years later I took psycology in College and go "Oh so that's what that was" and it made me feel better.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 02:37:37 PM by ShrowdedPoet »