What is Genderqueer?

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While it is important to understand gender identities, sometimes, it can be difficult. Understanding and respecting identity is especially vital for the LGBTQIA+ community. While most people are familiar with the most common terms such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, there are those they don’t understand or aren’t aware of. We discussed non-binary in our previous blog post. For reference, genderqueer is a gender identity under the non-binary umbrella. 

Let’s take a look at what genderqueer is.
What is genderqueer?

While the term genderqueer and non-binary are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings. Genderqueer relates to someone that doesn’t subscribe to the gender binary (male or female). They may identify with none of these genders, both of them, or a combination of the female and male genders.
Even though the terms genderqueer and non-binary might be used interchangeably by some people, not everyone describes them as the same thing. For some, genderqueer is an umbrella term that describes identities that aren’t cisgender (those that identify with the gender they were assigned at birth). Remember also that gender identity is relative. This means that each individuals’ experience with their gender will vary from another’s. When someone is genderqueer, they exist in a way that doesn’t align with neither homosexual nor heterosexual norms. People that are genderqueer may experience a fluid gender. This means that their gender can change or shift at different times. Someone who identifies as genderqueer may be questioning their identity over a long time in an ongoing way or during a specific period. 

What’s the difference between genderqueer vs. gender fluid?

We’ve already mentioned that some genderqueer might identify as being fluid. Gender fluidity simply means that one fluctuates the two poles of masculine and feminine. There are genderqueer people who have a fixed identity. For some people, genderqueer, non-binary, and gender-fluid can be three sides of the same coin. 

Genderqueer and gender expression
There are differences between genderqueer and gender expression. Genderqueer is a gender identity of how someone feels about themselves internally while. It is who you know you are. On the other hand, gender expression is how you show yourself to other people. It has more to do on what you wear, how you behave, and your makeup or hair choices. 

Many times, for people in the LGBTQ community, their gender expression can be limited by discrimination. For instance, even if someone doesn’t identify with the male gender they were assigned at birth and are genderqueer, they may opt to adopt a masculine gender expression for their safety.

Other identities under the genderqueer umbrella

There are many identities that fall under the genderqueer identities. Some of them include:

Pangender
Androgynous
Genderfluid
Neutrois
Bigender
Demigender

While one may identify as genderqueer, they can also identify as something else. For example, a genderqueer person can identify as a genderqueer and bigender, genderqueer and androgynous, or as a genderqueer trans man. While some genderqueer people can undergo legal, medical, or social transitions to affirm how they feel, not all of them do.

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