From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search
Genderqueer and non-binary pride flag

Genderqueer (GQ; alternatively non-binary) is a catch-all category for gender identities other than man and woman, thus outside of the gender binary and cisnormativity.[1] Genderqueer people may identify as one or more of the following:

Some genderqueer people[5][6] also desire physical modification or hormones to suit their preferred expression. Many genderqueer people see gender and sex as separable aspects of a person and sometimes identify as a male woman, a female man, or a male/female/intersex genderqueer person.[7] Gender identity is defined as one's internal sense of being a woman, man, both, or neither, while sexual orientation refers to an individual's enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to others.[6] As such, genderqueer people may have a variety of sexual orientations, as with transgender and cisgender people.[8]

In addition to being an umbrella term, genderqueer has been used as an adjective to refer to any people who transgress distinctions of gender, regardless of their self-defined gender identity, i.e. those who "queer" gender, expressing it non-normatively.[9] Androgynous is frequently used as a descriptive term for people in this category, though genderqueer people may express a combination of masculinity and femininity, or neither, in their gender expression and not all identify as androgynous. However, the term has been applied by those describing what they see as a gender ambiguity.[10]

Genderqueer was one of 56 gender identity options added to Facebook in February 2014.[11]

Gender terms[edit]

Some genderqueer people prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns such as one, ze, sie, hir, co, ey or singular "they", "their" and "them", while others prefer the conventional binary pronouns "her" or "him". Some genderqueer people prefer to be referred to alternately as he and she (and/or gender neutral pronouns), and some prefer to use only their name and not use pronouns at all.[12]

Many genderqueer people prefer additional neutral language, such as the title "Mx" instead of Mr or Ms.[13]

In July 2012, Gopi Shankar, a gender activist and a student at The American College in Madurai coined the regional terms for genderqueer (Tamil: பால்புதுமையினர்) people in Tamil during Asia's first genderqueer Pride Parade. According to Shankar, Tamil is the only language besides English that has been given names for all the genders identified so far.[14][15][16][17][18][19]

Gender neutrality[edit]

Main article: Gender neutrality

Gender neutrality is the movement to end discrimination of gender altogether in society through means of gender-neutral language, the end of sex segregation and other means.

Pride Flag[edit]

Designed by Marilyn Roxie and completed in 2011, the genderqueer and non-binary pride flag composes of three horizontal stripes and is designed to compliment existing gender and sexuality flags.

Lavender stands as a mixture of blue and pink, traditionally associated with men and women, and so represents androgyny as well as 'queerness', as it has long-standing connections to non-heterosexual communities.[20] White stands for agender, reflecting the use of white on the transgender flag for 'gender neutral', and dark chartreuse green stands as the inverse of lavender, representing all whose identity is outside or without connection to the gender binary.[21]

In 2013, Roxie clarified that the similarity shared between the colours of the pride flag and those of the Women's Social and Political Union, a United Kingdom suffrage organisation, was unintentional.[22]

Out genderqueer people[edit]

Discrimination and legal status[edit]

The majority of respondents to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey chose "A gender not listed here." The Q3GNLH (Question 3 Gender Not Listed Here) respondents reported being 9 percentage-points (33%) more likely to forgo healthcare due to fear of discrimination than the general sample (36% compared to 27%). 76% reported being unemployed, 90% reported experiencing anti-trans bias at work, and 43% reported having attempted suicide.[35]


First reported in January 2003, Australians can use "X" as their gender. Alex MacFarlane is believed to be the first person in Australia to obtain a birth certificate recording sex as indeterminate, and the first Australian passport with an 'X' sex marker in 2003.[36][37][38][38][39][40] This is stated by the West Australian to be on the basis of a challenge by MacFarlane, using an indeterminate birth certificate issued by the State of Victoria. The West Australian newspaper reported in January 2003 that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade "had decided to accommodate people whose birth certificates recorded their sex as indeterminate ... Alex is also believed to be the first Australian issued with a birth certificate acknowledging a gender other than male or female. Alex's says “indeterminate - also known as intersex”. It was issued in Alex's birth State of Victoria, which unlike WA, changed its policy to allow the category".[36]

Government policy between 2003 and 2011 was to issue passports with an 'X' marker only to people who could "present a birth certificate that notes their sex as indeterminate".[40][41]

In 2011, the Australian Passport Office introduced new guidelines for issuing of passports with a new gender, and broadened availability of an X descriptor to all individuals with documented "indeterminate" sex.[42][43] The revised policy stated that "sex reassignment surgery is not a prerequisite to issue a passport in a new gender. Birth or citizenship certificates do not need to be amended."[44]

Australian Commonwealth guidelines on the recognition of sex and gender, published in June 2013, now extend the use of an 'X' gender marker to any adult who chooses that option, in all dealings with the Commonwealth government and its agencies. The option is being introduced over a three year period. The guidelines also clarify that the federal government collects data on gender, rather than sex.[45]

Also in 2013, people with non-binary gender identities received formal protection from discrimination, with the addition of a new attribute "gender identity" to anti-discrimination law.[46][47]

Norrie May-Welby is popularly - but erroneously - often regarded as the first person in the world to obtain officially indeterminate, unspecified or "genderless" status.[48][49][50] May-Welby became the first transsexual person in Australia to pursue a legal status of neither a man nor a woman, in 2010.[48][49][51][52] That status is subject to an appeal by the State of New South Wales.[50]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Usher, Raven, ed. (2006). North American Lexicon of Transgender Terms. San Francisco. ISBN 9781879194625. OCLC 184841392. 
  2. ^ Brill, Stephanie A.; Pepper, Rachel (28 June 2008). The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals. San Francisco: Cleis Press. ISBN 9781573443180. OCLC 227570066. 
  3. ^ Winter, Claire Ruth (2010). Understanding Transgender Diversity: A Sensible Explanation of Sexual and Gender Identities. CreateSpace. ISBN 9781456314903. OCLC 703235508. 
  4. ^ Beemyn, Brett Genny (2008). "Genderqueer". glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. Chicago: glbtq, Inc. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Transgender (adj.)". Stylebook Supplement on LGBT Terminology. National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Transgender Glossary of Terms". GLAAD Media Reference Guide. Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Walsh, Reuben (December 2010). "More T, vicar? My experiences as a genderqueer person of faith". All God's Children (Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement) 2 (3). 
  8. ^ Stryker, Susan (2008). Transgender History. Berkeley: Seal Press. ISBN 9781580052245. OCLC 183914566. 
  9. ^ Dahir, Mubarak (25 May 1999). "Whose Movement Is It?". The Advocate (Here Media): 52. 
  10. ^ Girshick, Lori B. (2008). Transgender Voices: Beyond Women and Men. Hanover: University Press of New England. ISBN 9781584656456. OCLC 183162406. 
  11. ^ Weber, Peter (February 21, 2014). "Confused by All the New Facebook Genders? Here's What They Mean.". Slate. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  12. ^ Feinberg, Leslie (1996). Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 9780807079409. OCLC 33014093. 
  13. ^ Ruth Pearce (July 21, 2011). "Non-gendered titles see increased recognition". Lesbilicious. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Madurai student pens book on gender variants". The Times of India. 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2013-06-16. 
  15. ^ Karthikeyan, D. (2012-07-30). "Cities / Madurai : Madurai comes out of the closet". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  16. ^ A. Shrikumar (2013-10-18). "No more under siege". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  17. ^ a b "Genderqueer - The Minority among minorities". Tinpahar. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  18. ^ M. Gopi Shankar (2012-07-05). "Making themselves heard". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  19. ^ "Out of college as an author - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  20. ^ "Why is lavender often associated with the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender rights movements?". Case Western Reserve University. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "About the Flag". Genderqueer Identities. April 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "On the Genderqueer and Non-Binary Flag and Suffragette Colours in the UK". Genderqueer Identities. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  23. ^ Young, Angie (1 July 2005). "An Interview with Chris Pureka". Off Our Backs (Arlington). 
  24. ^ M. Gopishankar (2012-06-20). "Voices unheard". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  25. ^ V Devanathan, TNN Dec 25, 2013, 03.49AM IST (2013-12-25). "Madurai gender-queer activists to offer course on gender and sexuality - Times Of India". Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  26. ^ "Clipping of The New Indian Express-Madurai, 25-12-2013 :readwhere". Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  27. ^ "New LGBT Website Aims at Gender Awareness". The New Indian Express. 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  28. ^ TNN Jul 10, 2013, 12.20AM IST (2013-07-10). "24-hour helpline launched for LGBTs in Madurai - Times Of India". Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  29. ^ Lee, Jiz (15 December 2010). "What Is Genderqueer?". Jiz Lee – Blog. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  30. ^ Albo, Mike (April 12, 2011). "The Official Justin Bond". Out. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  31. ^ "He said/she said?", SEE Magazine, 2003-05-08, retrieved 2007-09-22 
  32. ^ "Elisha Lim and Rae Spoon: Talking Shop". No More Potlucks, January 2012.
  33. ^ "Rae Spoon: Powerful album reignites the pronoun debate". NOW, January 26, 2012.
  34. ^ Scott, A.O. (February 4, 2000). Gendernauts film review. The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  35. ^ Harrison, Jack; Grant, Jaime; Herman, Jody L. "A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels, and OtherWise in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey" (PDF). 
  36. ^ a b "X marks the spot for intersex Alex", West Australian, via 11 January 2003
  37. ^ "Ingrid Holme, "Hearing People's Own Stories", in Science as Culture, Volume 17, Issue 3, 2008"
  38. ^ a b "Neither man nor woman", Sydney Morning Herald. 27 June 2010
  39. ^ Newsletter of the Sociology of Sexualities Section of the American Sociological Association, American Sociological Association Sexualities News, Volume 6, Issue 1, Summer 2003
  40. ^ a b Ten years of ‘X’ passports, and no protection from discrimination, Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia, 19 January 2013
  41. ^ Sex Files: the legal recognition of sex in documents and government records. Concluding paper of the sex and gender diversity project (2009), Australian Human Rights Commission, March 2009.
  42. ^ "Getting a passport made easier for sex and gender diverse people". The Hon Kevin Rudd MP. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  43. ^ On Australian passports and “X” for sex, Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia, 9 October 2011
  44. ^ "Sex and Gender Diverse Passport Applicants". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australian Government. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  45. ^ Australian Government Attorney General's Department, June 2013, "Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender"
  46. ^ On the historic passing of the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013, OII Australia, 25 June 2013
  47. ^ LGBTI groups welcome the passage of “historic” national discrimination laws, OII Australia, NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Transgender Victoria, A Gender Agenda, Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, 26 June 2013
  48. ^ a b "No sex for me, please! Ex-transsexual Australian Norrie May-Welby is first legally genderless person", New York Daily News. 16 March 2010.
  49. ^ a b "Briton is recognised as world's first officially genderless person", The Telegraph. 15 Mar 2010.
  50. ^ a b "Norrie May-Welby's battle to regain status as the world's first legally genderless person", Daily Life Australia. 8 November 2013
  51. ^ "I’m not a man... or a woman". Scottish Sun. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  52. ^ "Norrie May-Welby: The World's First Legally Genderless Person", The Huffington Post. 18 March 2010.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]