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-   -   The Idea of Genderqueer (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7927)

FireWater 03-18-2011 02:18 PM

The Idea of Genderqueer
I just started reading the book "The Ethical Slut" and I'm a little bit unclear on what it means to be genderqueer. The term queer makes me think of gay/lesbian/bi/etc., but the term seems to specifically apply to the gender(s) one sees themselves playing in society. Is this correct?

I see myself as a straight male. But I don't always enjoy playing the male gender role in a relationship. Sometimes I absolutely love being submissive and allowing the woman to lead and be "the guy", and I really enjoy feminine energy and being around it. I hang out with a lot of females and I don't see myself usually perusing woman the way most guys do.

Does this mean I could be genderqueer? Or is it simply my sexual preference (ie; I'm a "sub" type)?

Magdlyn 03-18-2011 02:28 PM

You like topping or bottoming? You're a switch. Women can Top. That doesn't make them more masculine. Men can bottom. Doesn't make them more feminine.

Genderqueer doesn't have anything to do with sexual preference. It's identity. You feel you fall somewhere on the spectrum between femme and butch.

RfromRMC 03-18-2011 04:15 PM

Maybe a synonym for androgynous?

FireWater 03-18-2011 07:37 PM

Thanks for the replies!

I think what confuses me is that I've had females tell me that I give off a lot of feminine energy at times (which, to some, seem to be a turn off). I often saw "aweeeee!" and get emotional like females do over stuff. I know this is playing into a gender stereotype, but that's exactly it... I don't seem to always fit the male stereotype in terms of what I want and how I want to act.

habitat 03-21-2011 12:03 AM

Genderqueer often means that you don't staunchly identify as either "man" or "woman". My partner, for instance, is a male-bodied genderqueer. S/he has had some intimacies with men, but, since s/he doesn't exactly identify as a man, s/he's not "gay". S/he does (as do I) identify very strongly as queer, however, which has to do both with hir gender identity as well as hir sexual identity.

I'm using androgynous pronouns here (s/he and hir), although DP usually uses male pronouns in public, because that's where s/he's at as far as comfortability at this time. Perhaps that will change down the line. Together, we use almost exclusively female pronouns (she/her) to refer to hir when we are in safe spaces. Many people who identify as gender queer prefer to use androgynous prounouns like they, zi/zir, zi/zon, etc... Personally, DP rarely uses androgynous pronouns for day-to-day interactions, but really likes it when s/he is told s/he looks "feminine" or "pretty".

It's hard to line up these gender-deviant feelings, put them in a box and label them. Everyone has their own journey when it comes to exploring gender. If you feel that you don't necessarily feel comfortable identifying as a "man", please know that this is totally legitimate, and that you are more than reasonable for feeling that way. I gently encourage you to do some more exploration, and identify as you feel most comfortable, at your own pace. Remember that the gender binary (man/woman) is a social construct.

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