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Genderqueer is Not Transgendered

08 Jan Posted by in Genderqueer | 11 comments
Genderqueer is Not Transgendered

When I say I hate labels, and I prefer not to wear them, most people have a tendency to turn up their nose. I have never truly understood why my not needing to identify as ‘something’ makes me an outcast. The only thing I truly identify as is genderqueer, but not as a label, more as an explanation of my life living outside the typical gender binaries.

Many people seem to confuse genderqueer with transgendered. I get asked a lot if I am FTM (female to male). My answer is simply, ‘no’. Both communities are very small and seem to get lumped together a lot. I am acutely in tune with the transgender community because I understand it, I get it. I know what it’s like to not fit your body and people’s perception of who you are or who you should be. I empathize with the lack of education, understanding, and resources. I would even be a liar if I hadn’t thought about transition more than once.

Genderqueer, to me, is about being something other than male or female. It is a completely separate gender. Being conditioned to understand gender within the two binaries, I can only explain it as being both and neither. I tend to say that a lot. There is no accurate way to explain what the gender is, since it doesn’t exist in general terms. There are many things about my female body I do not like, however if I was to transition to a male body there would be many things about that one I didn’t like as well. If I was to transition to a male I would certainly have regret, something people try not to acknowledge occurs.

I read several blogs and articles recently on transition regret. It was heartbreaking really. It made me wonder if those unfortunate people were really genderqueer all along. I would love to change my body. I want smaller undefined breasts, something a little less feminine. It would suit who I am. But I don’t want to change genders; I like my gender, even if it doesn’t fit into the rest of the world’s categories. Perhaps the people with transition regret were never afforded the resources to understand themselves better.

Genderqueer is not about sexuality or being queer in a sexual way. It is about having a minority gender identity. And as with any minority, education, resources, outreach and community are essential. Misinformation can cause someone to follow a path that may not be right for them. Grouping someone with a gender outside the typical binaries with people that are born into the wrong gendered body is dangerous. The internet is full of ‘information’ stating that genderqueer falls into a transgender category. It is easy to see how a young person, researching their destiny, can be misinformed and ultimately make a decision they may regret.

I am genderqueer, I am not transgendered. I am a female and a male and yet neither. Surgery to make me fit what I feel is not a viable option. Changing genders physically would leave me as incomplete as I am now. I am something other than what the world understands. I cannot be lumped, as a sub category, with another category, into a larger one. I am not a label, I cannot wear one, I don’t want to.

Echo resides in northern New Jersey with her wife and the two youngest of their five children. You can visit her blog at dysphoricallyspeaking.blogspot.com

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11 comments

  • Trish says:

    Very interestingly put. Maybe that is what I am. Hmmm. You got me thinking. Thanks for the article.

  • Thank you! There are a number of more radically aligned trans people who take exception to gender queer folks who attempt to assimilate the trans idenity. I learned the hard way, genderqueer is not transgender after getting burnt by a ‘queer’ site I used to publish on.
    The transgender experience is singularly unique.

  • Echo Brooks says:

    Kelli,

    I am saddened to hear anyone looking for their own acceptance would choose to ‘burn’ others. I personally don’t put myself in any group and wear no purposeful labels for that reason. I am just trying to find out who I am and hopefully help others find who they are from my experiences. I prefer to surround myself with people I can relate to on a personal level not a label level. Just because they have similar traits doesn’t mean they are someone I want to know. Thanks for reading and commenting! Feel free to check out my blog if you haven’t.

    ~Echo

  • Echo Brooks says:

    Trish,

    Please keep reading. My blog has a lot of additional thoughts. Feel free to check it out and contact me if you ever feel the need.

    ~Echo

  • Blai says:

    great reflection! I totally feel identified. I don’t wanna be a man (FTM), but I neither identified as a woman. Some days, maybe, I feel more feminine, other more masculine, others neither of both.
    I also thought about transitioning, because I want to have smaller breasts, but then I recognise that I just wanted SMALLER ones. So, it could be easier that other people don’t see them when I don’t wanted, or I could wear a tight t-shirt and show them. I don’t know if I have explain me (english is not my mother language…sorry for the grammar mistakes!)

    Thanks! I just discovered this site…now I have a lot more to read about genderqueer :D

  • Echo Brooks says:

    Blai,

    That is exactly how I feel! I could never transition, I would still be something I am not. I too think a breast reduction would help me flow back and forth easier within my gender fluidity. Check out my blog if you get a chance at dysphoricallyspeaking.blogspot.com.

    ~Echo

  • Mark says:

    I am a man. I was born into a females body. I was not myself until I took the T. I transformed into my swan.

  • Putergurl says:

    I find the continued fracturing of the transgender community to the exclusion of non-op, CD and TV folk distressing because I think we are missing the same commonality we share with the genderqueer community.
    It’s gotten to the point I’m not just anti-binary, I’m anti-gender. It may have served a purpose(s) at some point, but gender lines are becoming so transitory and amorphous now that the M/F model only serves to help subjugate and marginalize people based on a meaningless genital-centric classification done by a near total stranger at birth.
    I agree we’d be better off not wasting so much time affixing these labels. We should be working together inclusively towards removing the needs for these labels and allowing people to simply live and love in whatever fashion they desire. Sexism and sex negativity are our adversaries, not each other.
    We’re all a lil’ bit country and a lil’ bit rock’n’roll. Or whatever all those “other” types of music are ;)

  • Mel Harris says:

    What a thought-provoking post! Even though I have the stereotypical female body, I’ve always thought of myself as rather gender-fluid, too. Thanks for taking the time to talk about your feelings!

  • Echo Brooks says:

    Well put!! I couldn’t agree more. It is time to stop fighting each other and the world for labels to fit us all into specific shoe boxes. We need to concentrate on equality for all people, period.

    Thanks for responding!
    ~EB

  • Echo Brooks says:

    Thanks for reading! I think a lot of people would be able to relate if only they knew there were others to relate to. I absolutely love the fluidity of my gender, however it took me decades to realize that I was gender fluid and not just out of my mind. I am amazed at how many people with similar feelings I am meeting now that I have reached out to share my story.