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Genderqueer (GQ), also termed non-binary, is a catch-all category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities which are 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. Gender and sex are distinct concepts,[7] and some genderqueer people identify as a male woman or a female man, or combine genderqueer with another gender option.[8] Gender identity is separate from sexual or romantic orientation,[6] and genderqueer people have a variety of sexual orientations, just like transgender and cisgender people do.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11] Some references use the term transgender broadly, in such a way that it includes genderqueer/non-binary people.[12][13][14]

A flag with lavender on top, white in the middle and dark chartreuse green on the bottom.
Genderqueer pride flag

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 some prefer to use only their name and not use pronouns at all.[15]

Many genderqueer people prefer additional neutral language, such as the title "Mx" instead of Mr. or Ms.[16]

Genderqueer was one of 56 gender identity options added to Facebook in February 2014.[17]


Agender (from 'a-', meaning "without", and 'gender') people, also called genderless, genderfree, non-gendered, or ungendered people[18][19] are those who identify as having no gender or being without any gender identity.[20] This category includes a very broad range of identities which do not conform to traditional gender norms. However, Enke notes that people who identify with any of these positions may not necessarily self-identify as transgender.[21]

Neutrois and agender were two of 50 available "custom" genders on Facebook, which were added on February 13, 2014.[22] Agender is also available as a gender option on OkCupid since 17 November 2014.[23]

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.

Legal recognition of non-binary gender[edit]

In Australia, sex/gender can be listed on passports as "male", "female", or "X" (for "indeterminate/intersex/unspecified").[24] An alliance of organizations including the National LGBTI Health Alliance, Organisation Intersex International Australia and Transgender Victoria has called for "X" to be redefined as "non-binary".[25]


Asia's first Genderqueer Pride Parade at Madurai with Anjali Gopalan[26]

United States[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%). 90% reported experiencing anti-trans bias at work and 43% reported having attempted suicide.[27]

Notable people with non-binary gender identities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Usher, Raven, ed. (2006). North American Lexicon of Transgender Terms. San Francisco. ISBN 978-1-879194-62-5. 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 978-1-57344-318-0. OCLC 227570066. 
  3. ^ Winter, Claire Ruth (2010). Understanding Transgender Diversity: A Sensible Explanation of Sexual and Gender Identities. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-4563-1490-3. 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. ^ "WHO – World Health Organization". 
  8. ^ 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). 
  9. ^ Stryker, Susan (2008). Transgender History. Berkeley: Seal Press. ISBN 978-1-58005-224-5. OCLC 183914566. 
  10. ^ Dahir, Mubarak (25 May 1999). "Whose Movement Is It?". The Advocate (Here Media): 52. 
  11. ^ Girshick, Lori B. (2008). Transgender Voices: Beyond Women and Men. Hanover: University Press of New England. ISBN 978-1-58465-645-6. OCLC 183162406. 
  12. ^ Johanna Schorn. "Taking the "Sex" out of Transsexual: Representations of Trans Identities in Popular Media" (PDF). Inter-Disciplinary.Net. Universität zu Köln. p. 1. Retrieved 23 October 2014. The term transgender is an umbrella term "and generally refers to any and all kinds of variation from gender norms and expectations" (Stryker 19). Most often, the term transgender is used for someone who feels that the sex assigned to them at birth does not reflect their own gender identity. They may identify as the gender ‘opposite’ to their assigned gender, or they may feel that their gender identity is fluid, or they may reject all gender categorizations and identify as agender or genderqueer. 
  13. ^ Marc E. Vargo (30 Nov 2011). "A Review of " Please select your gender: From the invention of hysteria to the democratizing of transgenderism "" (PDF). Journal of GLBT Family Studies (New York/London: Routledge) 7 (5): 2 (493). doi:10.1080/1550428X.2011.623982. ISSN 1550-4298. Retrieved 23 October 2014. up to three million U. S. citizens regard themselves as transgender, a term referring to those whose gender identities are at odds with their biological sex. The term is an expansive one, however, and may apply to other individuals as well, from the person whose behavior purposely and dramatically diverges from society’s traditional male/female roles to the "agender", "bigender" or "third gender" person whose self-definition lies outside of the male/female binary altogether. In short, those counted under this term constitute a wide array of people who do not conform to, and may actively challenge, conventional gender norms. 
  14. ^ Kirstin Cronn-Mills (2014). "IV. Trans*spectrum. Identities". Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-4677-4796-7. Retrieved 23 October 2014. Many different individuals fall under what experts call the trans* spectrum, or the trans* umbrella."I'm trans*" and "I'm transgender" are ways these individuals might refer to themselves. But there are distinctions among different trans* identities. […] Androgynous individuals may not identify with either side of the gender binary. Other individuals consider themselves agender, and they may feel they have no gender at all. 
  15. ^ Feinberg, Leslie (1996). Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 978-0-8070-7940-9. OCLC 33014093. 
  16. ^ Ruth Pearce (July 21, 2011). "Non-gendered titles see increased recognition". Lesbilicious. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  17. ^ Weber, Peter (February 21, 2014). "Confused by All the New Facebook Genders? Here's What They Mean.". Slate. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  18. ^ "LGBTQ Needs Assessment" (PDF). Encompass Network. April 2013. pp. 52–53. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "Gender alphabet" (PDF). Safe Homes. p. 1. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  20. ^ A. Stiffler (23 April 2014). "Five Things You Should Know About Your Agender Acquaintance". 
  21. ^ Enke, Anne (2012). "Note on terms and concepts". In Enke, Anne. Transfeminist Perspectives In and Beyond Transgender and Gender Studies. Temple University Press. pp. 16–20, see pp. 18–9. ISBN 978-1-4399-0748-1. 
  22. ^ Facebook sex changes: which one of 50 genders are you?. The Daily Telegraph. February 14, 2014.
  23. ^ "OkCupid expands gender and sexuality options". PBS NewsHour. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ "One Who Fights For an Other". The New Indian Express. 
  27. ^ Harrison, Jack; Grant, Jaime; Herman, Jody L. "A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels, and OtherWise in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey" (PDF). 

Further reading[edit]