How do you feel about Gender Queer? Do you understand it?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2009 5:20 AM GMT
    My boyfriend is the president of the LBGT group at my college, and weve been talking about this a lot today in light of a presentation at his meeting, as a social worker he naturally is going to be supportive of the idea and open minded, but he cant explain it to me.. and just says that gender and sex are seperate and that there is more than one gender... to which i respectfully dissagree. I related people who desire to be something other than male or female, to people with an obsessive desire to have one or more of their limbs amputated a certain way ( i forget the name for it) and that it's a state of mind, and not necesarily of the right mind.

    Personally, I dont have a problem with it, but if i try to think about why someone would want that, and what they get out of it i get really confused.. what do you guys think about it? I dont think that i need to be welcoming of all forms of 'gender' and orientation just because I'm a homosexual, is that right?
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    Nov 05, 2009 5:24 AM GMT

    Well that was interesting, lol!


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genderqueer
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    Nov 05, 2009 5:31 AM GMT
    Academically, I can understand it. Viscerally and emotionally, I cannot fathom it.

    I imagine that must be the difficulty some folks face dealing with and understanding homosexuality, too. It gives me renewed patience for my family and certain loved ones.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Nov 05, 2009 7:27 AM GMT
    "Transamerica," starring Felicity Huffman
    "Normal," starring Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkerson

    Before I saw the film, "Normal," I thought that transgender was weird, and creepy, and sort of like a mental illness.
    I hope that everyone will rent the two films above.
    Regardless of how you feel about transgender, these films are well written, very entertaining, along with some great, great acting, and a little comedy thrown in.
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    Nov 05, 2009 1:31 PM GMT
    ive seen transamerica, i still dont understand.. like i can understand what it is... but not the why or how. To want to do something like that so bad to go against what everyone you know says (in cases ive seen) and face a life of persecution for it, to be other than male or female is very strange to me
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    Nov 05, 2009 1:52 PM GMT
    lifted saidI related people who desire to be something other than male or female, to people with an obsessive desire to have one or more of their limbs amputated a certain way ( i forget the name for it) and that it's a state of mind, and not necesarily of the right mind.


    There are those in our society who relate people who desire to be something other than heterosexual, to people with an obsessive desire to have one or more of their limbs amputated a certain way ( i forget the name for it) and that it's a state of mind, and not necesarily of the right mind.

    Seriously, think about the arguments you have offered here and ask yourself if you would find them to be offensive, not to mention entirely incorrect, if those same arguments were applied to yourself and your own desires.

    Just because society oftentimes trashes those who exist outside of gender or sexual 'norms' does not mean we gay folk are obligated to do the same. Can we not give others the freedom to live THEIR TRUTH as to what their gender is, just as we ourselves have claimed the freedom to live OUR TRUTH as to what our sexuality is?
  • Little_Spoon

    Posts: 1562

    Nov 05, 2009 1:57 PM GMT
    Goes right over my head, that does.
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    Nov 05, 2009 2:14 PM GMT
    I have personally known some transexuals in my life, mostly when I used to live in Cleveland. They were all male-to-female transexuals. I do have to say that some of them transitioned seemlessly, and afterwards seemed so completely female that it was hard to remember that they had ever been men, whereas they had seemed awkward and very feminine when they were men. In other words, they seemed more "unnatural" before their operations than after. In cases like that, I've got to believe that they are just using modern medicine to correct something that went wrong on the outsides of their bodies so that they match the insides. But who knows? Personally I can't imagine anyone wanting to go through that unless it was the most important thing in their lives, because it's a very long, grueling, expensive process, and most insurance policies will not pay for it. Plus, it's irreversible. Once you go all the way, you can never go back to what you were before.
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    Nov 05, 2009 2:28 PM GMT
    It's strange. This outside vs. inside thing. People often claim to subscribe to a "it's the person on the inside that counts" way of living, but, when the outside changes and the inside stays the same, those same people flip out.
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    Nov 05, 2009 5:22 PM GMT
    I know a couple transexuals too, some nice ones.. and some that are really down about life and miserable all the time, they are cool dont totally understand them but gender queer is a whole new level... Gender queer is different than a transexual though, its like trying to be something other than one of the 2 'traditional' genders. some like to be androgenous, and some change their 'gender' based on how they feel that day.. this is what i find bizarre.. because to me there are only 2 genders
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    Nov 05, 2009 5:32 PM GMT
    I can't seem to get this. I mean I don't know about you guys but when I was a kid I would see things in a guy that I wanted... his body, his smile, his charm, etc... I would not see something in a girl that I wanted. But thats just me. icon_neutral.gif
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    Nov 05, 2009 5:49 PM GMT
    This thread is about genderqueer, not transsexuals. They are part of the picture, but genderqueer is so much more. So, I don't think many people really get the idea behind it.

    The wiki Meninlove linked to is pretty good and the book Genderqueer: Voice Beyond the Sexual Binary is excellent. I saw it transform a class room of people with some embedded transphobia to a few of them identifying as genderqueer themselves. It is required reading if you are a self-respecting homosexual.
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    Nov 05, 2009 5:57 PM GMT
    I was first introduced to gender queer ideas in college but a fellow writer who had drafted a massive paper on gender. He needed a proofreader, asked me, and so I delved into his massive exploration of the FIVE genders in play in India.

    It was quite an eye-opening read. His paper explored how in India they have the regular binary of male and female but also middle genders defined within society. People we might refer to as eunuchs, etc, as well as various trans people that they classify as separate genders.

    I find it easier to discuss gender identity and gender expression separate from sexuality. Sexuality's terms are often linked to gender, but not necessarily dependent upon it. Someone can gender identify as a male (via self definition or biological/genetic definition) but gender express as a female (by wearing women's panties and/or makeup.) That same man at other times could gender express as male. Or something in between. Meanwhile, the same person above could be hetero, homo, bi, a, or polysexual - dependent on self definitions, inclinations, partners desired and chosen, etc.

    I always think of the ballroom scene when I think of gender queer - those events very much toy with the traditional ideas of what is male/female, butch/queen, gay/straight.
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    Nov 05, 2009 6:00 PM GMT
    Generally, I disapprove of the politically-correct habit of re-defining objective terms into twisted subjective meanings. For most people, gender is a clear-cut biological trait. Having your records legally changed (as some do) is just likely going to confuse things and possibly get you killed if you ever get into a situation where it matters, such as medical treatment.

    Of course, there are a very few people who do have biologically ambiguous gender, but it would be better to describe that in some objective way.

    I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with varied sexuality, but describing it as something it's not is incorrect.
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    Nov 05, 2009 6:10 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidThis thread is about genderqueer, not transsexuals. They are part of the picture, but genderqueer is so much more. So, I don't think many people really get the idea behind it.

    The wiki Meninlove linked to is pretty good and the book Genderqueer: Voice Beyond the Sexual Binary is excellent. I saw it transform a class room of people with some embedded transphobia to a few of them identifying as genderqueer themselves. It is required reading if you are a self-respecting homosexual.


    I agree with you and I strongly suggest that the OP check out this book.
    I have several friends whom identify as genderqueer. The first step
    to understanding is to let go of any preconceived ideas and to be open.
    The comparison of cutting off limbs analogy was a bit creepy if you
    ask me. But I digress. Here are a few links that I hope will
    be helpful.
    http://www.genderqueerrevolution.org/gqr/home.html
    http://genderqueerview.blogspot.com/
    http://genderfork.com/

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2009 6:14 PM GMT
    I think that because 'gender', to me, is socially constructed I can understand this. Unlike sex which is a hardwired physical attribute.

    When I think of gender I think of a persons sensibilities. I for instance feel that I am a very emotional person, I enjoy talking to friends about issues that are going on with my life and having 'heart to hearts'... This is stereotypically a more feminine attribute. Along with many others I hold and do not.So in this culture, I feel that in a lot of ways I associate with more 'feminine' qualities.

    I think something that makes this hard to grasp is the fact that language will always fall short as a form of expression. Language states things as defined and static, which is not the case. People move in and out of these loosely defined qualities all the time. So called 'gender' qualities which exist in one part of the world may not exist in another.

    As far as going to the lengths of cross-dressing or sex-change, I would think that a person would feel he/she identified so much with the gender qualities of one place/culture/society/time that they felt the need to make that transition to better identify within that culture.. just a thought though!

    Costa
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    Nov 05, 2009 6:15 PM GMT
    I do not understand it (beyond knowing what it is).

    I do not understand electricity either (beyond knowing what it is, roughly)

    I am happy for both to do their thing.
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    Nov 05, 2009 6:53 PM GMT
    I always get beaten up when it comes to this but the way see it
    there's

    Straight
    Gay
    *Other*

    Other basically covers anyone that through own doing (by being in denial) or otherwise feel they do not fit into those two categories and any way in which that individual wants to describe or choose to label themselves icon_rolleyes.gif

    I don't particularly want to hear the details of why, because most of them come up with, I don't associate with this type of behavior, or all the gay guys like something I don't value at all. At then end of the day if those behaviors, values or opinions don't directly involve sexual acts with someone of the same sex.... It has nothing to do with being gay
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2009 9:45 PM GMT
    Hey lifted, this explanation form The World Health Organization should help....

    " What do we mean by "sex" and "gender"?

    Sometimes it is hard to understand exactly what is meant by the term "gender", and how it differs from the closely related term "sex".

    "Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.

    "Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.

    To put it another way:

    "Male" and "female" are sex categories, while "masculine" and "feminine" are gender categories."

    http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/index.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2009 9:52 PM GMT
    I consider myself gender queer and I have since 1990.
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    Nov 05, 2009 10:19 PM GMT
    Also:

    Homosexual or heterosexual= what your sex is in relation to the person you are sexually attracted to.

    Anatomical Sex
    = [see meninlove 'sex' above]

    Gender identity = how you define and identify yourself in terms of sex (ibid.) regardless of literal physical attributes.

    Any one of these three things has no connection to the others although they are often incorrectly grouped.

    While I can relate to the plight of a transexual as a 2nd class citizen in the US, it is no different that my relating to the plight of someone's race related oppression. I don't relate to them directly because I'm neither a racial minority or a someone with minority gender identity. I'm a white gay man. That is a fact and it is the basis on which I relate to the others. When it comes to the issue of relating directly, I can only truly do so when the issue is about being gay.

    It would be foolish to say 'I know what it must be like to be black." because I'm not and will never know other than what I've been told, but never via personal experience.
    It would be foolish to say 'I know what it must be like to be transexual." because I'm not and will never know other than what I've been told, but never via personal experience.

    There are many parallels but they don't make anything 'the same'. Case in point, there's virtually no where in the US where you can be legally fired (or not hired) because you are black, Whereas, there are still 19 states where gays have no protections at all. However, as a gay man, I could 'hide' the fact that I was gay to gain employment etc. even though I would never do so. So I may be able to skirt the law, but the second class citizen tag is real and not just a social issue. Blacks are still heavily discriminated against in many area that I needn't list. But they do have civil protections. To be gay and black is far more difficult. Any time you add an oppressive 'class' on to your resume, life becomes more difficult. But each of these attributes is different. The only thing that ties them together is the ignorance of the masses who maintain the oppression and need scapegoats for their ignorance.


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    Nov 05, 2009 10:59 PM GMT
    lifted said. and just says that gender and sex are seperate and that there is more than one gender... to which i respectfully dissagree.
    yeah, there are tones of genders. Certain eastern cultures have a third gender for hermaphrodites/transgendered people and they are just as respected (if not more) thanothers.

    lifted said.

    I dont think that i need to be welcoming of all forms of 'gender' and orientation just because I'm a homosexual, is that right?
    No, you should be welcoming of all forms of "Gender" and orientation because you're not a retarded bastard.


    on top of that, Genderqueer; given the person associating themselves with said term is attractice, is usually a super turn on for me.

    I like girls and I like guys.

    why wouldn't I like a guy that looked like a girl?
    why wouldn't I like a girl that looked like a guy?


    what predetermined set of rules am I supposed to adhere to?
  • jokbod

    Posts: 22

    Nov 05, 2009 11:22 PM GMT
    This is interesting, as the topic has been coming up a lot lately for me - both in conversation and introspection.

    My current belief - and for me, beliefs evolve over time based on current information and experience - is that there may be a need for two or three parallel measurements for sexuality and gender.

    The Kinsey scale for sexual preference seems to hold up after decades of research, but it does not take into consideration the vast range of internal and external gender identification. That is, does a person behave in a more feminine or masculine manner both subjectively and objectively.

    For example, I've met several self-identifying straight guys (fathers, husbands) who are quite feminine, yet from everything I can see, straight. On the other hand, I tend to associate and relate best to heterosexual and homosexual men who are extremely masculine - and am rarely rejected by the heterosexual men despite the fact that I'm very upfront about my sexual orientation.

    Then, of course, there are the more common homosexual stereotypes of feminine men who prefer men - especially really masculine men. Once in a while, the inverse is true, but interestingly, not too often in my experience. Again, this is subjective.

    I think the genderqueer label is probably an early attempt to simplify these categories in the absence of a properly researched dual-measurement system.

    Anyone else want to weigh in on this? I'm very curious as to the RJ community's opinions on this matter. Maybe it deserves its own thread...

    Hmmm...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2009 11:50 PM GMT
    I will concede it's a topic I have little interest in, but some would say: " a big opinion on." many women who have this procedure don in the US of A, won't to keep the female genitalia, but only won't to look like a man, facial hair, deep voice so on.

    If people can afford to have this done fine, but an absolute age limit should be on it, so parents can't let a child have it done, just because they won't to.

    But I don't agree with women who thank to the development of medical science, are able to look and to sound like men, should be in the men's toilets, or clubs, thats all.

    I don't agree that because a lesbian can have her look changed to that of a man, her lesbian relationship then becomes a heterosexual one either.

    In my youth in my 20s, I did have a lot to do with guys, who dressed as women, and who had the cut and tuck too, and I was always polite to them, and supportive too. But I never had an opinion, as thats up to the women.

    I think a women wanting to be a man, is all about state of mind. Look at many lesbian relationships, you see many more trying to look like a heterosexual couple, than you do in gay relationships.

    So yes maybe being a T could come under the banner of queer, but then so could elements of homosexuality, the SM scene, and the bears too for an example.

    But I now ponder with the "T"s now looking at themselves as heterosexuals, should they be in the GLB?