Social Question

girlofscience's avatar

What does it mean to not identify with either gender?

Asked by girlofscience (7477 points ) August 18th, 2009

I am genuinely confused by the concept of not being able to identify with either gender. I understand if someone is unable to identify with the stereotype of either gender; however, both genders truly encompass such a wide range of possible “selves” that I find it difficult to understand how someone would be unable to find a place in a gender that was coherent with him or herself.

I understand most other forms of gender and sexuality. I comprehend most types of sexuality for both men and women, but that really has nothing to do with gender. I understand men who were born in women’s bodies and vice versa. In all these cases of gender and sexuality, people still feel as if they identify with a particular sex, regardless of whom they’re attracted to and what their bodies looks like.

But what does it feel like to not identify with either gender? Is it that they can’t or that they don’t want to because they disagree with the societal pressure to assume a gender role? Do they feel as if they identify half as men and half as women, or do they feel as if they simply identify as “person,” and not as part or either gender? Are all people either “man” or “woman,” or are some people truly neither?

Also, while we’re on the topic of gender, if you have the time, could you define what the following words mean to you (please no links to definitions; I can find them myself):
Intersex, eunuch, bigender, agender, androgyne, genderqueer, third, fourth, fluid, androgynous, genderfuck, cisgender.

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71 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

As with other large random populations, we are distributed as to gender along what statisticians call a “normal” curve (also called a bell-shaped curve) in which the majority of us are within two standard deviations from the mean (96% if I remember correctly) but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of people in the “tails”, that is to say, there are enough of us as a whole that even the outliers contain a large population. Somewhere along the continuum must be people who identify with neither gender. Did you ever watch SNL? Do you remember “Pat”?

girlofscience's avatar

@pdworkin: This answer is not helpful at all. I am well-versed in statistics, and they don’t answer my question. And how would gender be represented on the normal distribution? Wouldn’t it be a bimodal distribution? Two peaks, each representing the number of people who identify completely as man or completely as woman? Even this distribution doesn’t really work… I wasn’t asking if there are people who identify with neither gender because we are already aware that there are. I was asking what this means.

And yes, I’ve watched SNL, and yes, I remember “Pat,” but that answers nothing for me. The situation with Pat was that no one knew if it was a man or a woman. That doesn’t mean that Pat itself identified with neither gender.

dpworkin's avatar

I am so ashamed.

marinelife's avatar

@girlofscience You’re feeling better, aren’t you? Speaking of links, could you provide me with some regarding the issue that you are raising? I am very interested in the answers, because I did not know this was a phenomenon.It makes me wonder (with no data) if people are declaring themselves genderless if that is a cultural choice. Can you give me some places to read about whatever it was that prompted you to ask this Q?

girlofscience's avatar

@Marina: Thanks for asking. I’m actually feeling awful. My boss sent me home yesterday because my cold was so extreme, and I’m staying home again today. I saw a doctor this morning, who informed me I simply have a viral cold and that nothing will make it better aside from rest and time. Great.

As for places to read about this phenomenon, I’m not exactly sure what would be the best source. It is one of those things I have been aware of for quite some time but am not exactly sure of the original source of my awareness.

I asked this question because I recently stumbled across a facebook application called SGO. The application is designed for those who do not fit into either gender category, as the choices on the default facebook profile are too limiting. The application describes itself as offering both binary and non-binary gender choices, implying gender that is neither man nor woman.

This website seems to define many of these terms in a basic sense.

I believe (but I may be mistaken) that the term “genderqueer” may encompass the phenomenon I am describing. From the above link, “Genderqueer: born with any sexual physiology, choosing not to identify as male or female.”

Wikipedia has this to say about Genderqueer.

Therefore, genderqueer seems to be a broad term that encompasses both people who identify as both sexes, as neither sex, or as something else entirely.

The related links mentioned on that page and further google searches of these times may point you in the right direction in terms of reading about these alternative genders.

girlofscience's avatar

Edit: Bad link above. The SGO facebook application can actually be found here.

tinyfaery's avatar

I want to say that calling oneself a nongender (no matter the term) is more of a political statement, like calling oneself a wymman. I gotta go to work. :(

girlofscience's avatar

@tinyfaery: I think there are actually people who personally do not identify with either gender. I don’t think it is always a political statement.

I thought it was womyn, so that “man” was not part of the word?

nikipedia's avatar

I am so glad you don’t have swine flu!

Couldn’t this be the same as “not identifying” with any other identifying characteristic? For instance, I am aware that I have American citizenship, but I don’t feel particularly American. I run, but I don’t identify as a “runner.” And so on.

Most of the terms you listed are meaningless to me, but I’ll give them a shot:

Intersex: biologically (?) neither male nor female

eunuch: a man who has been castrated

bigender: two-gendered?

agender: not-at-all-gendered?

androgyne: andro (male) + gyne (female) = both male and female?

genderqueer: as you point out, an umbrella term encompassing anything that doesn’t fall into the male/female dichotomy

third: ....a placement after second

fourth: ....a placement after third

fluid: a substance that doesn’t resist deformation and takes on the shape of its container

androgynous: without exclusively male or female characteristics

genderfuck: no idea

cisgender: gender with two substituent groups oriented in the same direction

tramnineteen's avatar

@Marina I share your confusion. Don’t fit in a stereo type? Ok, I get that, I’m no frat-guy. I’m a graphic designer at an interior design firm.

What does it even mean to identify with a gender anyway? I’m a guy. I define being male by the body parts, I take stereotypes into account but don’t limit myself by them, and I have my own view of what my role should be around other men and around women. That’s all I can think of but none of it has to do with how I feel.

girlofscience's avatar

I agree it is confusing. That’s why I asked this question. I can’t comprehend the idea either. I am a female who feels female, looks female, and acts female. Clearly, no one who has answered this question is “genderqueer.” However, such people do exist. Just because we can’t understand the concept doesn’t mean we should dismiss it, right?

PerryDolia's avatar

I think the reason we can’t understand it is because it is a form of mental illness.

For a person to be unable to relate to either type of sexuality puts them at odds with the normal flow of the cosmos. Everything from living thing with a brain from ants to zebras relate to one sexual polarity or the other. To be unable to relate to either one shows a deeper inability to connect with the orderly flow of life.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@nikipedia I think the difference between your American comparison and gender identification is that being American is an idea, a concept designed by humanity, the fact that I have a penis doesn’t change.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

where’s Simone?

casheroo's avatar

@PerryDolia Whoa. Back up. You think anything you can’t understand about another person means that person has a mental illness?
Okay, here’s an example: I’m straight. I have no desire to have sex with another woman. I understand it can be satisfying and what others desire..but I can’t put myself in that mindset. Does that mean they have a mental illness? Wouldn’t that mean that I have a mental illness from a gay persons point of view?
Okay, maybe I’m blowing your comment out of proportion. But, to say just because we don’t understand and because it goes against the “orderly flow” shudders Does not mean something is wrong with that person.

lefteh's avatar

@PerryDolia What a closed-minded view of this issue. It’s truly quite stunning that you would believe that someone’s “inability” to identify with either gender shows an “inability to connect with the orderly flow of life.” Who are you to decide what personal feelings constitute mental illness?

People who are genderqueer or genderfuck are no more or less healthy or sane than any of us, other than the occasionally inevitable mental instability that is a direct result of members of society like PerryDolia who brand them as outcast and deficient.

Sometimes, people are born into the wrong body. A woman is born with a man’s body, or a man is born with a woman’s body. This concept, transgenderism, is becoming more and more commonly understood (but still far from acceptable, unfortunately). Sometimes, in a related phenomenon, someone is born without a distinct gender identity into one sex’s body or the other. These individuals, whose gender identities do not fall neatly into the gender binary our society hold so dear, are genderqueer. Related are genderfuck individuals. This term carries the association of intentionally and consciously playing with the gender roles our society has grown accustomed to.

Genderqueer people are a small minority of the LGBT community, and thus an even smaller minority of the general society. As a function of this, they are unfortunately overlooked and gravely misunderstood. It is a hard concept to grasp for those of us with a comfortable, concrete gender identity — however, we all must try to understand and enfranchise this community. What would it say about us as a society if we didn’t?

Zaku's avatar

One place to start looking at this could be the observation that there are more than two genital configurations, and that doctors routinely mutilate and reconfigure newborns to conform to the idea that there are only two genders to choose from.

Another place to start could be identifying as person, then person with love and sensuality, and not needing any of that to be about sexual identity.

Another place to look might be at female internal anatomy, and seeing how it’s actually very similar to male internal anatomy.

So many people end up dissatisfied with the stories about male and female, and prefer to identify as human or queer.

Reminds me a bit of how when I try to talk about new ideas about economy, so many people tend to yell “commie” at me, even though that’s not what I’m saying.

Human minds are very prone to pattern recognition – they prefer to lable things they don’t understand, tell themselves they’re right, and have a hard time being with what’s actually so in all it’s detail and unknowability.

marinelife's avatar

@lefteh Thank you for that explanation. I did not know about these two communities. It makes sense to me now that genderqueer would be a stop on the human sexuality spectrum. (I did not know the term.) I imagine it is a very difficult position to be in in our very gendered world.

The second term, genderfuck, then is as I surmised a cultural choice, which, of course, people are free to make.

@girlofscience Great question! I love learning new things on Fluther. Also, get some rest. Feel better. Bravo to your doc for not giving in and handing out antibiotics for a viral illness.

tinyfaery's avatar

Aren’t we all genderqueer? None of us exhibit traits of only one gender, in fact gender means nothing at all; it’s culturally determined and has no biological cause. Sex is one thing, but gender is not the same. That’s why I say they are political terms. I don’t identify as a gendered female or male. I’m just me.

lefteh's avatar

There are as many genders as people in this world.

girlofscience's avatar

@tinyfaery: Well, yes, but I believe the majority of people identify with one gender far more than the other. If my physical body was male, but I still had my own mind, I would feel something was terribly “wrong” because I had a penis.

lefteh's avatar

@girlofscience I think you’re confusing gender and sex. tinyfaery was referring to gender, which is someone’s self-conception of their identity. Sex is the biological, physical condition of being male or female.

If your physical body was male and you had your current mind, with a self-conception of a female gender identity, you would be transgendered.

girlofscience's avatar

@lefteh: You are right. Sorry about that. I fixed my post.

lefteh's avatar

With that cleared up, I do see your point. The majority of people clearly identify predominantly with either the male gender or the female gender, so if your definition of gender is whatever a person identifies most as, then, yeah, most people fit into two genders. But if your definition is wherever an individual lies on the spectrum, each person has a unique gender.
I’m not saying either of these definitions are more correct than the other…just that they are different and as an effect of this, people use the term “gender” to mean different things.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m with @tinyfaery. Gender identity is a political thing. It has to do with how you want to be perceived by others. There’s a whole spectrum from Macho man to girly man to bull dyke to girlie girl. Lot’s of points in between, and off to the sides, too.

I think if you surveyed people about what things they think are related to gender identification, you’d probably find a number of different attributes that people place you on a continuum of (sorry for the awkward sentence construction), and then they mush it all together in their heads and decide what you are, genderwise.

For most people, men are men, and women are women, and that’s it. Some are aware that it’s more complex than that. The urgency with which they bring up the complexity has to do with how activist (or political) they want to be about it. Some people want to change society, so they can be freer to be themselves without being judged. Others don’t give a fuck. They just are who they are. Still others never even think about it. It’s a fact, for them. Nothing to discuss.

So, if you don’t identify with either gender, then it means that on most or all of the continua related to gender, you find yourself, on average, somewhere in the middle. You may dress sort of genderlessly. Speak in a not easily gender-assignable voice. Do and enjoy both male and female-identified activities. Love people of both genders. Have the physical apparatus of both genders. Not identify with one more than the other.

Most of your list of words doesn’t mean much to me. I think they are political slogans that various people throw around in an attempt to educate the public at large that there is more to gender than they think.

I have no idea how it feels to have a hard time identifying more with one gender than the other. I imagine it is confusing and hurtful, since there is so much social pressure to place yourself in one camp or the other. I suppose you’d feel like no one (or very few people) understand you or can understand you. I think you’d find it “normal” to be the way you are, since that’s what you feel, but all the shame and judgment would come from others, especially parents and those in the medical profession.

You’d feel discriminated against, and constantly having to explain and justify yourself to people who don’t understand and probably don’t give a crap. You’d probably want to either get away from it all (like in the far tundra of Alaska), or seek out communities of people like you (San Fransisco or New York City, or Berlin, or Amsterdam or the Internet).

Personally, I’m sorry I live in a society that is so judgmental, and makes it so hard for anyone who is at all different to be who they are.

MacBean's avatar

Just commenting to follow the question at the moment. I’ll be back later to answer from a first-person point of view. :)

Also, I have to add a plain and simple and thoroughly hearty FUCK YOU to @PerryDolia, since it’ll probably be moderated, and I don’t want the lengthier answer I’m planning on giving later to be removed.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I also agree with tinyfaery. I don’t think of myself as being ultimately male or female… I’m just me. I have “female” traits and just as many “male” traits. I took a test once that deals with this kind of thing and I was smack-dab in the center of male and female. I truly believe that “male” and “female” are socially constructed ideals for each sex. They aren’t real.

girlofscience's avatar

@DrasticDreamer: Do you have a link to that test?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@girlofscience I was actually just trying to find it so I could put a link up, but I haven’t been able to so far. I’ll definitely continue looking, though.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@nikipedia No, I don’t think that was it. It was quite a while ago and I’m having trouble remembering.

girlofscience's avatar

I found this and am taking it now.

girlofscience's avatar

My results:

Your Raw Score is: 525, which indicates that overall you are Feminine.

Your appearance is Feminine.

Your brain processes are mostly that of a Androgynous person.

You appear to socialize in a feminine manner.

ANALYSIS:
No conflicts, you appear to fully accept your physical sex and gender identity.
NOTES:
Your Answers indicate your psychological state has likely prevailed since you were quite young.

—————

This is somewhat insightful. Socially and appearance-wise, I identify as 100% female. However, I suppose my brain processes are more “androgynous.” If gender was only about mental processes, I’d have a hard time calling myself a female.

casheroo's avatar

@girlofscience How the hell did I get higher Feminine than you?! That blows my mind. lol
Here’s my results

Your Raw Score is: 555, which indicates that overall you are Feminine

Your appearance is Feminine

Your brain processes are mostly that of a Androgynous person.

You appear to socialize in a feminine manner.

You believe you have mild conflicts about your gender identity.

You indicated your were born Female.

ANALYSIS:
No conflicts, you appear to fully accept your physical sex and gender identity.
NOTES:

Your Answers indicate your psychological state has likely prevailed since you were quite young.

I don’t know why it says I have mild conflicts about my identity. I don’t feel I have any. Maybe because I answered some questions in a more liberal manner? I don’t even know.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Okay, well… Here are my results:

Your Raw Score is: 355, which indicates that overall you are Androgynous

Your appearance is Feminine

Your brain processes are mostly that of a Androgynous person.

You appear to socialize in a androgynous manner.

You believe you have normal doubts about your gender identity.

You indicated your were born Female.

ANALYSIS:
Female to Male Crossdresser
NOTES:

* You are in a statistical minority as a anallophilic crossdresser. Most crossdressers are heterosexual. Your motivation for crossdressing may be driven by the undirected nature of your sexuality, as a way to more fully explore the Male gender role.
—————-
I’m not a crossdresser, though. So I don’t know what that’s about. Is it even possible for chicks to crossdress anymore? Seriously.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Good question – I suppose I can help somewhat because I do identify as genderqueer or gender non-conformant – I was born with ‘normal’ female parts and was and still (most of the time) am ‘passable’ as a woman. Up until I learned about transgender and gender-variant individuals I just hated all the stereotypes associated with being a woman (like you said in your details section). Later as I grew into my 3rd-wave feminism, I realized that gender norms (and by this I mean gender not biological sex, although I have an issue with the normalization and medicalization of only two ‘normal’ sexes) are ridiculous and that I don’t identify with what a woman or a man should be like and I don’t think there is anything wrong with my body and I don’t mind my breasts, vagina, uterus, whatever but all other conclusions stemming from those body parts are dumb and my best friend and husband (born with ‘normal’ male parts) feel the same way about themselves…in that the term man only really briefly describes them in that they grew up perceived as men but don’t really support what that means as everyone has different definitions and they are all incomplete and don’t speak to us…this isn’t always political for me as @tinyfaery mentions because no one really understands this part of my life and no one really cares to support me because it’s all about the way they view their own world and god forbid something doesn’t fit…because how could I be a queer gender non conformist when I married someone with a dick and pushed 2 babies out of my vagina…yeah how could I be anymore more than that…but like @DrasticDreamer mentions I am me, a human first and foremost, and while I answer to female pronouns, I’d prefer gender neutral pronouns..do I get that from people? no..do I still ‘look’ like a woman to others? I guess my body speaks for me because of my big boobs and curves, etc. I like to wear long colorful skirts and to people this of course means that I’m somehow a hypocrite…to me it just means I like long skirts and anyone should be able to wear them, my husband and sons included…but can they freely? not really, because our society is obsessed with keeping everyone in check…I gotta tell you I think about how rigid gender norms limit us every day…it is part of my education it is part of my future thesis work it is part of all that I teach…people, sadly, don’t know how liberating it is to not spend your life worrying about how to properly act, look, be a woman or a man or about how the ‘opposite’ sex thinks or feels…I don’t have those problems because I don’t think the sexes are that opposite, just raised that way and it’s not hard to understand each other – we all should feel comfortable to be passionate and sensitive and sexy and confident and aggressive if we feel like it without random people informing us that that’s kinda ‘manly’ and that’s kinda ‘effeminate’ and oh yeah, thanks, @PerryDolia that there is some sort of a mental disorder…in closing, genderqueer and genderfuck would both apply to me as it means that I’m ‘queer’ in my understanding of gender or am ‘fucking’ the concept of gender and ignoring it…

girlofscience's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: What pronouns would you prefer to be used?

Thank you for articulating your perspective. This is making a lot more sense to me.

I do not feel, however, that everyone would feel “liberated” by “fucking” the concept of gender. I do believe there are some of us who genuinely relate to one or the other end of the gender spectrum and feel most liberated by expressing themselves in a way coherent with the societal norms of that particular gender.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@girlofscience the pronoun ze in place of she and hir in place of her
and yes some people don’t feel limited in those norms, that’s all fine by me
I just find that a lot of people would be served so much better by realizing they don’t have to be what they don’t want to be…like if a woman doesn’t want to shave her legs, she shouldn’t…if that’s the only ‘unwomanly’ thing she wants to do, so what…she should be able to not shave…and my husband should be able to wear make-up or put his hair up in a hairstyle without close-minded comments…these objects like dresses or heels or make up are all inanimate objects, they have no meaning other than the one we prescribe them and I would like to prescribe them the appropriate amount of value, which is not that much

tinyfaery's avatar

I can’t take the test and I really wanted to. :(

wundayatta's avatar

Your Raw Score is: -570, which indicates that overall you are Masculine

Your appearance is Quite Masculine

Your brain processes are mostly that of a Androgynous person.

You appear to socialize in a masculine manner.

You believe you have normal doubts about your gender identity.

You indicated your were born Male.

ANALYSIS:
Normal doubts/curiosities about life as the opposite sex, but you generally accept your physical sex and gender identity.

Whatever

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

oh my god i couldn’t get through that test
it is so predictable
and on the shaving question, there isn’t an option for ‘none’

casheroo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir lol yeah it was tedious, and I felt I didn’t fit in with any of the options at some point…it’s like, if you are okay with how others feel, then you must have issues…which is what that test made me feel. And if you don’t do those things, you automatically think they’re not natural or whatever…which is so not true. Oh, and that shaving question was stupid. There should have been “I shave when I remember” lol

ththththth's avatar

Sexism. Well what’s left to be said but constructive criticism? We can argue points on Linguistics or the Etymology of various words but in then end is it not us as people, as human beings that ascribe not only value but also meaning to ‘things’ when we name them to do the dutiful task of saying that were human and yes, we like to fuck… we like to gender fuck and that through it all we are what we think we are. Is it not that we subscribe to the things we wish to be affected bye. Not our ability to label. This ability is what sets us apart from other animals as collectively our thinking leads us in this direction. The intent of how you choose to phrase what you say or the intonation of which you speak needs to be in just consideration with how you wish to be heard. For if you intend to harm people through words it’s entirely possible… S be Kind :-)

ththththth's avatar

As I do not Identify with either gender I simply see it as Sexist attitudes that wish to ascribe gender related terms on any one… So Sexism as constructive criticism in this case I think is relevant as most of the words you were asking for definition on are sadly in todays society used in derogatory ways to say that “your less than normal” ...

girlofscience's avatar

Sexism as constructive criticism? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

I also disagree that the terms I was asking to define are “derogatory ways to say that ‘you[r’e] less than normal’”—most of those terms are born out of the genderqueer community and are the ways some people choose to define themselves because they dislike the terms set forth by “today’s society.”

ththththth's avatar

Cool cool It is true I may well speak out of absolute ignorance and If you disagree for the reasons stated then I completely withdraw any former answer as to having any legitimacy to your clarification and any further definitions that are said with decency that do hurt and offend i would like to know so as I do not offend others (well at least on purpose).

girlofscience's avatar

@ththththth: I am baffled by your way of speaking. Your sentences are barely coherent. Is English not your first language?

ththththth's avatar

Just one of my languages though American English is most certainly not my first language. I am from Australia.

girlofscience's avatar

@ththththth: Being Australian is no excuse for making no sense.

I was so perplexed by everything you said that I went onto your profile and read through all of your previous questions and responses. Not a single one has any real meaning! This is mind-boggling!

What do you get out of typing absolutely nonsensical ramble?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@girlofscience well I suppose sexism can be a part of this – rigid norms are both a symptom and a cause of sexism

girlofscience's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: That still doesn’t make @ththththth‘s responses coherent. Sexism as constructive criticism? What in the f?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@girlofscience well I was trying to see through all that, lol

tinyfaery's avatar

hee hee

ththththth's avatar

To make it simple I do not think of my self as a male or female. I am just Me ‘Cory’ .. If you can use this train of thought as a starting point for your thoughts on what I write then it may be a little clearer. Or if you are just to baffled let it go. I am having fun. @girlofscience at least your trying… @Simone_De_Beauvoir Sexism is just a word. You ascribe a meaning to it without having to look at a dictionary. Change the ascribed meaning to difference between the genders and all it becomes is a label, much like girl of science is just a name and does encompass all that the person behind the name is.

To use current Media scandal:http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/20/what-sex-is-caster-semenya as one reference I can cite to bolster my argument…

Continue please

girlofscience's avatar

YOU MAKE ZERO SENSE.

ththththth's avatar

Did you read the article ?

ththththth's avatar

girlofscience?

downtide's avatar

this is a great question and a great thread, some really thoughtful answers here.

I’ll start by saying that usually I’m pretty comfortable with identifying as male, even though I was born female. Sometimes I have moments where I have doubts; I think I can’t be male because I don’t have the right parts, I can’t be female because I don’t have the right mind, and at times like that I do find myself unable to identify with either gender. I usually settle on male though, in the end. But I think those moments are a dreadful sense of not-belonging and that makes me very uncomfortable. I think if I could be more comfortable about it, maybe I wouldn’t have such a need for medical transition.

Anyway, to tackle some of your definitions:
Intersex – having genitalia of both man and woman and/or possibly also abnormal XY chromosomes.
eunuch – a man who has been castrated
bigender – someone who identifies as both male and female
agender – I’ve never seen this one used but take it to mean someone who doesn’t identify with any sort of gender at all
androgyne/androgynous – having secondary characteristics of both male and female
genderqueer – someone who identifies as something other than fully male or fully female
third, fourth – no idea
fluid – someone whose gender identity changes.
genderfuck – someone who deliberately plays with or mixes up gender cues.
cisgender – someone who has an easily definable male or female physical body, and who fully identifies with the same gender.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@downtide for some of these, I’d use a different definition – these are all such new terms – I identify as gender non conformant or genderqueer but I don’t care if they think I am ‘fully female’ which is true in terms of my physical sex

downtide's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir there’s a book I think you would enjoy, called “Gender Outlaw” by Kate Bornstein, which focuses on the concept of gender-non-conformity. I highly recommend it for anyone who’s questioning their gender or feels that they don’t fit the cultural norms.

MacBean's avatar

Kate! I have My Gender Workbook and her other books are all on my Amazon wish list.

downtide's avatar

I have My gender Workbook too. :) She really is a great writer.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@downtide I’ve read it, thanks! :)

val102288's avatar

Okay, so I’m currently trying to do research for my paper on LGBTQ Youth.
The way I see it is that we’re forced into the gender roles of society because when we’re born they base it off of our sexual physiology. You’re a girl if you have a vagina, and male if you have a penis. Now, intersex children don’t usually get a choice on what gender they want to be, because most parents choose. Children don’t usually understand their gender growing up, they only know what is taught, like girls wear pink and boys wear blue. It’s okay for children to play dress up and explore what they like, but many people get defensive when a little boy wants to wear a dress or a skirt because “they’re not supposed to”. Sex is completely different than gender identity, and both are different from sexual orientation identity. Society should have no say in how someone identifies, to include gender, sexual orientation, and sex.

Life is all about experiences and who you want to be. I personally don’t identify with being female or male, I consider myself genderqueer. I have always been told that I’m female and I should act like a lady and wear dresses, skirts, make-up, and I shouldn’t play sports. But who has the right to tell me who I should be?

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