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On Being Genderqueer and the Gender Binary

Posted on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 in Genderqueer

The interesting thing about explaining being outside of the gender binary is that you first have to explain what  gender binary is in order to understand what it means to be outside of it.  There is no quick and easy way to explain what it means to be genderqueer and even after several attempts at trying to explain it, people still don’t get it because they are stuck trying to put it in a box.

The gender binary is a form of hierarchy and oppression.  It divides the human race into two groups instead of uniting us as one.   Most people’s concept of self is centered around their identity and it influences the course their entire life.  It controls how most people will treat you down to which bathroom you can use.  I want no part in it.

For me, genderqueer is beyond male and female.  I don’t want people judging me based on genitals or my body.  My private parts do not define me as they do with so many of my fellow humans.  If we are to eventually have equality in the world, we need people to be treated as people not as genitals.

It is strange to me that I get treated with more respect and taken more seriously when I get mistaken for  a male verses a female.  I don’t like being called, “Honey,” “Sweetie,” or “Dear” because of the body I happen to exist in.  At the time it happens, I don’t even know where to begin because it’s socially acceptable.  Just because something is tradition doesn’t make it right.

It embarrasses me that our species didn’t have a women’s rights movement until War World II, that there was a division at all.  It wasn’t that long ago and it still isn’t over.  It won’t be over until we abolish gender all together.  As long as there is separation into groups, one group will oppress the other until people understand equality isn’t the same as sameness.

I imagine a world in which males wear skirts as often as females.  A world in which people can just be people.  No gender, no sexuality, no racial tension.  That we can be fluid and undefined.  Once you start worry about defining something, you lose it.  It’s like grasping sand, the tighter you grip it, the faster it slips through your fingers.   Be free.  As long as you know yourself, that’s all that’s important.  People like what they like and that should be it.

The problem with society is that most people don’t know themselves.  They know an illusion which they considered to be self – but all those layers are fake.  What’s real, is that we are all human and all need love.  If we learned to love and accept each other regardless of outside fluff, we can have utopia.

Being genderqueer to me gives me the freedom of having a label for those who need boxes but still be able to be outside the box.  It’s not fully definable and that’s okay because our language is flawed and can’t express all aspects of being human succinctly.

Bring on the comments

  1. Firebolt says:

    “… we need people to be treated as people not as genitals.”

    My thoughts exactly.

  2. Pythos says:

    I love the prior commentator’s statement.

    I have never understood why the separation of the sexes or genders. I can see it being useful for only one thing…procreation of the species. However, despite the fact I wear skirts, and other feminine items of clothing, and present a split between male and female, I like women. Biologically that is how I am “wired”.

    Gender is wholly and completely a construct, and when one really looks at it, it was meant to make one sex higher than the other.

    Thing is, the other sex went along with it. The old ‘go along to get along” syndrome.

    My appearance does not control my orientation, my job, car, or pets also do not, yet these are things connected to one sex or the other. (What is the usual reaction when a man owning a fancy poodle is shown on TV?)

    The big question is, how do we push the boundaries without risking our well being?

  3. Jess Five says:

    There’s always a risk of pushing the boundaries. For every action, there is an opposite reaction. The thing is doing it safely as possible to minimize risk. For example, I avoid straight bars and homophobic places. Is it fair that a genderqueer female-bodied person with a boyish presentation would probably get punch or harassed at these places? No, it’s not. I avoid going out alone in my small town at night because that’s just asking for trouble. Does it suck that I feel that I need to have an escort to get around safely without being harassed? Yes. Will I change to appease the populace? No. Not everywhere is a safe zone – it’s avoiding trouble areas to avoid trouble. You just need to figure out what matters most to you: personal safety or executing your rights – and finding the middle ground between the two.

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