Question: Who I Am

Cupcake asks…

I told someone I was genderqueer. She said that because I’m biologically female and usually dress like a girl, that I’m not even close to genderqueer. But I don’t feel like a girl. I feel like I don’t need anything between my legs to define me. What do you think?

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «


Posted by on September 29th, 2011 at 04:00 pm

Category: questions 26 comments »

26 Responses to “Question: Who I Am”

  1. Regen

    I think you’re spot on. ‘Cause me too in every way. Just because I want to be pretty doesn’t mean I’m not more than a girl

    [Reply]

  2. Jak

    I think that person needs to shut up and take your word for it because you are the only expert on you.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    This x 1000

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    I agree with this statement. No one else can define you.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    Agreed!

    [Reply]

    Alex replied:

    Very well said.

    [Reply]

  3. Anonymous

    Just because you dress a certain way, doesn’t mean your gender changes.

    [Reply]

  4. Adelene

    I’m in about the same situation, and my take on it is that the ‘genderqueer’ descriptor is useful, which is more than enough reason to use it – in my particular case, I’m assigned female, present as female, and 90% of the people I interact with don’t need to know anything beyond that. But for those other 10% – well, if I’m going to be interacting with someone in the long term, and that someone expects me to act female on a consistent basis, we’re going to have problems. Explaining that I’m a bit genderqueer seems like the best way of framing that so that people can ‘get it’.

    Using the term also helps alert me to closed-minded types who I’m likely to have the aforementioned problems with, so that I can start preparing for the inevitable shit-hitting-the-fan. So, win-win, basically.

    [Reply]

  5. Moose

    I am right there with you. I am very female-bodied, and recently I’ve been indulging in how great I look in feminine dress. But that doesn’t change the fact that I know myself to be genderqueer. A skirt and a blouse can’t change that.

    To be honest, I feel even more genderqueer in feminine clothes– the closer I dress to my assigned gender, the more I feel like I’m cross-dressing. And sometimes I really love that. So even though I appear to present as cis-female, I’m secretly in drag!

    [Reply]

    Regen replied:

    THIS.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    I love doing that…hahaha. Confuses the heck out of most people around me…They suspect something is amiss, but cannot put their finger on it. Amuses me to no end.

    [Reply]

  6. Edison

    I think- no I KNOW- that no one has the right to define you but YOU. If you say you are GQ and you feel you are GQ then you’re GQ, period.

    [Reply]

  7. Avory

    You’re absolutely genderqueer, because you say you are. If you feel like explaining (which you don’t have to), you can explain that there is no “look” or presentation or body that matches genderqueer. Genderqueer is an identity, not a presentation! It doesn’t have anything to do with your body or your clothes, it’s simply your gender identity. I have “female” parts and dress femme and I feel no tension whatsoever–where I do feel tension is when folks in GQ spaces are constantly talking about androgyny and asking me if I’ve tried it yet, etc. So there are many ways to be GQ. It might feel like drag, as Moose says, or it might just be really comfortable and right for you to wear femme clothes. That doesn’t mean you’re female.

    [Reply]

  8. Brett Blatchley

    You are who you are.

    Perhaps this person thinks that “genderqueer” is more about externals?

    All of who we are starts from the inside and flows outward. For those of us who’s sex and gender are non-aligned, this is a crucial point. Many of us work through our lives to become more congruent – our outward expression matching our inward being.

    I am a female soul in a male form. I am essentially a woman inside, and to me that fact is actually more important that how I appear. That is, I would rather *be* a woman (even if no one sees or recognizes this) than simply look like one. Put another way, I want to be beautiful and graceful – both inside and out. BUT to me it would be a sham to be this way outside and not inside. So however I appear to others, I know who I am inside and that will not change.

    You are who you are – that is God’s gift to you – let no one take that away.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    Just so !

    [Reply]

  9. Carol

    I really like an activist called Emi Koyama, who said she stopped presenting as genderqueer when she felt genderqueerness was starting to be defined in a normative, strict way… That thought helped me understand why it is so hard for me to identify as gq as well (but actually it is hard for me to belong to any given category when it comes to gender). And there’s some tension that I never seem to grasp completely: I understand how masculine and feminine feels like, and i find just great to let myself feel both and all the rest in between, but I can’t overcome the idea that every time anyone is urged to describe what makes them more or less masculine and/or feminine (or even worse, defining any masculine:feminine ratio that will enable people to identify as genderqueer), we’re reinforcing gender codes.
    Nice post, made me think a lot!

    [Reply]

  10. Jimmy

    I know what you mean. I recently came out at school as genderqueer and sometimes I dress more androgynous, but most of the time I just throw on some clothes over my female body and I feel like my friends don’t always recognize the fact that I’m not what they see.

    [Reply]

    Regen replied:

    This is a battle that many of us have to fight. At school, especially, it will take some time and a LOT of intentional explanation before it becomes excepted. I just started college, and it’s easier here (but maybe that’s just because it’s Oberlin), but I still get funny looks when I tell people I’m not cis. And a lot of people who forget about my pronouns (though that’s still better than in high school, where no one bothered to try with my pronouns…)

    [Reply]

  11. Joe Shmoe

    No other person can ever inform you of your identity. Only YOU know who you are, and that’s it. Being genderqueer (or any other gender identity for that matter) has nothing to do with how you dress or look and everything to do with how you feel and how you see yourself. I think some people have this idea that if you have a non-normative gender identity you have to break all the societal stereotypes associated with your birth sex, but that isn’t true at all. Everyone, no matter where they fall on the gender spectrum, is capable of liking things stereotypically associated with femininity or masculinity. Just as a man does not stop being a man because he likes wearing dresses, a genderqueer does not stop being genderqueer just because they like wearing clothes associated with their birth sex.

    I, too, am female bodied and wear mostly women’s clothing, so this is something I’ve thought about quite a bit. The moral of the story is (or TL;DR): A genderqueer person is always genderqueer whether they’re in a suit, a dress, something androgynous, or naked, because it’s not about clothing, bodies, or social stereotypes, it’s about who you are inside.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    Indeed. This frustrates me when people think that somehow if you aren’t cis, clothing starts defining who you are…(Case in point: men who stay men while wearing drag…It’s not like they become women)…It can be an expression of that person inside of you, but it’s not like all the rules change when you’re unusually gendered…

    [Reply]

  12. Lumbergill

    “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”
    Harvey Fierstein.

    I keep this stored on my phone for those times when I need to be reminded that it is really only my definition of myself that counts.

    [Reply]

  13. @grrlAlex

    Sounds like they were insecure in their own identity. The great thing about genderqueer is that it allows fluidity and it is about queering norms: in a sense you could even inhabit a space that queers genderqueer norms and sometimes present cis-gender just to queer genderqueering itself. Like they guys above say: you go with what feels right for you and don’t feel intimidated by others, especially insecure or ill-educated others.

    [Reply]

  14. Em

    You are genderqueer if you feel genderqueer. No other requirements.

    [Reply]

  15. Nicholai

    i understand what you mean. i don’t see the point of even having sexual organs(at least for me). that probably has something to do with the fact i’m asexual. i consider myself mostly masculine but i am in a female body. however i don’t feel so masculine that i’d say i am absolutely a transman. i think genderqueer is more accurate. the gentials i was born with don’t bother me or make me feel less masculine.

    [Reply]

  16. Heather

    I think she obviously doesn’t know you very well or what it means to be genderqueer. Seems like she operates within the societal constructs of “girlness” and “boyness” and doesnt understand what it is like to think outside of those lines. You can look any way you want and still reject gender stereotypes.

    I can see where she would be confused because clothing is often an outward expression of our inner selves, but you cant judge a book by its cover, and rather than seeking to understand what you meant, she looked at your body and your clothes and made a judgement call. Did you have a further conversation or was that all that was said?

    And i agree with you: our genitlia is the least of what defines who we are as people.

    [Reply]

  17. Hannah

    How you look on the outside definitely doesn’t define whether you are genderqueer or not – it’s all about how you feel on the inside. I’m biologically female and tend to present as feminine (I have long hair and look a lot like a cis girl), which means that when I told a friend that I was genderqueer he said he didn’t think I was. To which I replied that he couldn’t possibly tell me whether I was genderqueer or not because he isn’t me! The only signs from the outside of my genderfluidity are that I dress pretty masculine at the moment and I’ve started lightly binding, but inside I tend to feel either gender neutral or masculine, barely ever feminine. You are the only person who can say whether or not you are genderqueer, and if you know that you’re genderqueer then you’re most definitely genderqueer.

    [Reply]


Leave a Reply


Can I show your picture? If you have a Gravatar associated with this email address, it will be displayed as your photo. If not, I'll just put a picture of a fork next to your comment. Everybody likes forks.

Be nice. Judgmental comments will be quietly deleted and blacklisted. There's plenty of room for those elsewhere on the web.

You can use some HTML tags for formatting, e.g. <em>...</em> for emphasis (italics) or <strong>...</strong> for strong emphasis (bold) or <a href="http://(url)">...</a> for links.


Back to top