alumiere (alumiere) wrote,

Genderqueer Thoughts

rosefox posted a great article on being genderqueer and a link to the interviews that played a part in the article. And the questions made me think about why I tend to self-identify as genderqueer (although I mostly present as female when I'm clothed, simply because I hate pants) so I thought I'd answer them for myself and share them here...

If I asked you to describe your gender in one sentence, what would you write? Androgynous/female in presentation, but queer and of variable gender (often masculine) in mind and action.

What pronouns do you prefer?
I'm indifferent regarding gendered pronouns (he/she/zie/they), but I very very much dislike being called Mam or Miss and tend to point out that I'm neither quite often.

Do you think most people do have a binary gender, or is it just that most people never think about it?
I think that a lot of what we view as binary gender is cultural conditioning. But it's much more like a triangle with male, female, and non-gendered as the three corners and people fall anywhere and everywhere on the plot.

Do you prefer to date people who are also non-binary-gendered, or doesn’t it matter?
Yes, no, maybe - I don't tend to think of someone's gender as the first thing when I look at them/speak to them. Although for a partner they would have to be accepting of the fact that I'm queer/bisexual and polyamorous. So anyone I date has to be pretty (or very) open minded and secure in themselves to begin with, and then there's my dislike for traditionally masculine men or feminine women. Hmmm... I guess if you fully fall into either of the approved gender roles without thinking for yourself you don't stand a chance, but being genderqueer isn't necessary.

Is your gender important to you? Or does it matter more to other people than it does to you?
Genderqueer is part of who I am; I have no wish to change that, and will defend to the death my right to look, act, think the way I do. But it also seems that other people find it important to be able to pigeon-hole me and others, and that to them their view of my gender is more crucial.

Have you had to deal with a lot of hassle because of your gender/lack of gender? E.g. harassment, bureaucracy, bewilderment?
Not physical violence, but lots of verbal/sexual harassment around not being feminine enough or looking too much like a lesbian.

Do you think it would damage children to be made aware that some people are not uncomplicatedly male or female?
No. I wish I had known when I was failing at being a proper 'young lady' that gender wasn't strictly male/female and that just because you appear one way doesn't mean you fit the rest of those traits. I grew up in the 70's and 80's, and in spite of Act-Up/AIDs activism and dressing drag queens for shows, I didn't understand genderqueer until I was in grad school. I always knew I didn't fit, but I just thought I was wired 'wrong' - for years I described myself as a bisexual male in a woman's body because I didn't have a better way of putting it. Friends who have kids now are raising them with much more awareness of the fact that we're all different and that's OK.

If you could make one gender-related change in the world, what would it be?
I'd want to remove the gender check-boxes on everything - ID/Passport, web pages, bathrooms, marriage licenses, clothing, etc. The first time I think I understood gender neutral was at a gay club where there was one (huge) bathroom - each stall had a door that closed ceiling to floor and there was a big row of sinks and mirrors in front of it - why can't the whole world be like that, where gender is irrelevant to the everyday workings of life?
Tags: deep? thoughts..., geek, history (aka life pre-lj), political, poly/open

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