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Genderqueer (GQ; alternatively 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. Genderqueer people may identify as one or more of the following:
- having an overlap of, or indefinite lines between, gender identity;
- having two or more genders (being bigender, trigender, or pangender);
- having no gender (being agender, nongendered, genderless, genderfree or neutrois);
- moving between genders or having a fluctuating gender identity (genderfluid); or
- being third-gender or other-gendered, a category which includes those who do not place a name to their gender.
Some genderqueer people 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 or a female man, or combine genderqueer with another gender option. It can be helpful for some people to consider gender and sex as two separate things. Genders can include, but are in no way limited to, man/woman, bigender, agender, non-binary, etc. 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. As such, genderqueer people have a variety of sexual orientations, just like transgender and cisgender people do. Many genderqueer people identify as trans in more current discussions, as trans simply means that an individual does not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth.
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. 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. Some references use the term transgender broadly, in such a way that it includes genderqueer.
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.
In July 2012, Gopi Shankar, a gender activist and a student at The American College in Madurai coined regional terms for genderqueer (Tamil: பால்புதுமையினர்) people in Tamil during Asia's first genderqueer Pride Parade. Shankar says Tamil is the only language besides English that has given names for all the genders identified so far.
Agender (from 'a-', meaning "without", and 'gender') people, also called genderless, genderfree, non-gendered, or ungendered people are those who identify as having no gender or being without any gender identity. 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.
Neutrois and agender are two of 50 available "custom" genders on Facebook, which were added on February 13, 2014. Agender is also available as a gender option on OkCupid since 17 November 2014.
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.
Notable people with non-binary gender identities
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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.
- 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.
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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.
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