Question: How do I come out as Genderqueer?

Eli asks…

How do I come out as Genderqueer?

I’d like to use they/them/theirs pronouns but I’m too afraid to ask. I don’t want to complicate things and constantly have to explain myself to everyone I know. I can barely explain what being genderqueer feels like to myself, how do I explain it to others in a tangible way?

If applicable, what does being genderqueer mean to you?

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on June 30th, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 4 comments »

4 Responses to “Question: How do I come out as Genderqueer?”

  1. Anonymous

    To me, being genderqueer means that no binary gender fits me to a T. It means that, while I do identify as a female in most situations, this is largly due to the immense impracticality of identifying as anything else. It means wearing “men’s clothes” and “women’s clothes”. It means being able to reject a man’s garment for being too feminine. It means not really understanding what this whole gender thing is about anyway, who freakin decided that skirts are feminine anyway?!?

    It means that I am questioning my gemder, I don’t feel cis but I also don’t feel trans. Gender feels like a deranged game and every action I take will either play by or disregard the rules.

    You know that town that straddles the border of Quebec and Vermont? Some people can look across the street and see their neighbours, citizens of another country. There’s even a theatre built on the border, the stage is in Canada and the seats in the US. Well gender feels a lot like that town to me. Other people may lie on one side or the other of a divide where they can easily be defined as distinct, but I’m in that grey area where distinct labels make little sense. That towns not in Canada or the US, that town transcends such silly human definitions as my gender can be described by neither man nor woman. Another way of thinking of it, is it is like trying to describe a 5 dimensional object using a piece of paper.

    But that’s all a mouthful, so I use the term genderqueer.


  2. Charlotte d'Arcangelo

    Whatever you do, be mindful of the fact that most people can’t conceive of “coming out” as “genderqueer.” When most people hear “coming out” they can only think of one thing: coming out as gay/homosexual. And *that’s* a sexual orientation, whereas ‘genderqueer’ is not.

    (Personally, I believe people really ought to ‘come out’ as heterosexual, too…)

    Anyway, I wish I could be more helpful, but I’m not going to write your itinerary for you. That’s just rude, since I don’t know anything about your situation. My point is that, while coming out is generally employed to alleviate confusion and to *explain* things, ‘genderqueer’ as a concept is still a foreign concept to many and you may inadvertently *further* confuse them.

    My suggestion for a quick explanation of what genderqueer is all about, in case anyone asks: it’s when you realize that gender assignment to all things in life (clothes, mannerisms, cars, whatever) is *completely arbitrary*.


  3. mredydd

    In my personal experience, explaining that I just don’t feel like a woman or a man, and that it makes me more comfortable for people to use gender-neutral language has usually gone well.

    If people are curious, sometimes they ask questions, but a lot of them don’t really want any more information than preferred pronouns.

    Some people I’ve met will ask about pronouns, but then get very confused when the answer isn’t ‘he’ or ‘she’. Being polite but firm about ‘they’ usually works, although some people want to argue about “proper grammar”.

    Hope some of this helps you figure out an approach that works for you. Best of luck with your journey.


    Anonymous replied:

    Anyone wanting to argue about singular 3rd person “they” is not going to listen to your arguments in its favor (like that Chaucer used it…). The best way to get them to back down is to, *if* they don’t like “they”, demand a different pronoun, like “xir” or “zan” or something, that, being pretty recent inventions, their grammar will be invented recently too. The arguer will almost inevitably back down to the familiar old “they”…


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