I am genderqueer.
I’ve come across a lot of people who have no clue what genderqueer means. I get a lot of blank stares and then, “Well, are you a boy or a girl?” or “Oh you’re trans?” People want to put other people in a box with a nice label they understand. I’ve never been a mean or defensive person, when people ask me from an honest place, trying to understand, I want to answer their questions. I think it’s hard to grasp what we’ve never seen or experienced.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term the dictionary definition of genderqueer is: denoting or relating to a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both or a combination of male and female genders.
I’ve always felt mostly male. Not 100% though, which was a huge mind fuck for me for a long time. I like my body. I like being androgynous looking. I am both. It’s my identity. This is who I am. I’ve felt this way as long as I can remember. I felt this way before I had words for it. I thought I was trans for years, but I never felt fully trans and it was hard. Not being able to define yourself in a world that thrives on definition is a pain I don’t want anyone to feel. There needs to be more education and acceptance for difference in our society.
Pronouns are hard for non-binary, and there are a lot of different feelings about them. I prefer male pronouns he/him/his, but not all genderqueer people do. No I don’t always look male. I am androgynous, there are times I feel more feminine than others. I don’t see clothes as male or female. I wear what I like, which is a mixture. I love wearing shirts and ties, but it is fucking hot in Miami and that’s not feasible all the time. I am very lucky the body I was born with allows me to pass as both. I love when people asked me my preferred pronouns. It shows me they respect me, and they care enough to take the time to get it right.
I can only explain what genderqueer means to me. I am outside the gender definition of male and female. I am both. I see more and more people coming out as genderqueer and the younger generations are more tolerant and open about getting away from the hard and fast stereotypical rolls gender used to play in society. Progress, but we still deal with a lot of ‘you must pick one, you can’t be both,’ hate online and in person. A lot of us struggle with pronouns. There are tons of different opinions on how we should be referred to. This comes down to respect. Ask what pronouns someone prefers and then use them. I finally took the advice of another gender-fluid author and added my preferred pronouns to my bio. People make mistakes. I’ve been referred to as she as much as he, with some they’s thrown in. I don’t get upset when it’s an honest mistake. We all screw up, but don’t turn your nose up at someone’s pronouns because they can’t pass as their preferred gender, because of how you see them, or you’ve known them differently their whole life. It’s not easy to come out. It took me a long time to become comfortable with how I see myself.
There are a few celebrities who have come out as being gender-fluid and genderqueer. Ruby Rose, one of my favorite actors recently said in an interview with Elle Magazine, “For the most part, I definitely don’t identify as any gender. I’m not a guy; I don’t really feel like a woman, but obviously I was born one. So, I’m somewhere in the middle, which – in my perfect imagination – is like having the best of both sexes.”
Ruby also made a fantastic video about her identity called Break Free.
Miley Cyrus identifies as non-binary.
Steven Tyler says in his memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You, he sees himself as half and half.
Andreja Pejic is a famous model who does both male and female clothes. “I try not to describe myself, even though when I do interviews and I work with journalists it’s difficult, because they want you to summarize yourself as one thing. I find this very limiting. I would definitely describe my last few years as living between genders. You can’t say it’s one or the other. A lot of my close friends say ‘she’. But a lot of people say ‘he’ too and I am not offended by that; when you are in this position, living this life between genders, you can’t be too offended by anything. Either way is fine, but I prefer “she”.”
Tilda Swinton has stated, “I don’t know if I could ever really say that I was a girl – I was kind of a boy for a long time. I don’t know, who knows? It changes.”
There is a whole spectrum of non-binary, gender-fluid and genderqueer.
I am not hiding behind my social media accounts. I am not pretending to be anything. I am a queer author. My gender shouldn’t matter. I am not fronting as a man. Derogatory comments referring to me as female are disgusting. I have never minded female pronouns even if I prefer male ones. But when they come from a place of hate on social media I do have a problem.
Genitals don’t define someone’s gender, and frankly unless you’re sleeping with someone their genitals are none of your business. To claim you’re ‘outing’ someone who identifies as genderqueer makes you ignorant and bigoted.
I am genderqueer. I love who I am. I love my body and I’m proud to be queer in every sense of the word.