And now I’m an expert…?

by Joanne von Spanien

I was lost and confused for years and now I’m suddenly an expert. I gotta admit it feels good.

(From a Fetlife questions whose gist was: “I feel like this but am not sure how to identify. Non applicable, genderqueer, genderfuld, etc.)

Well a lot of what queer theory is in general is just postmodern philosophy applied to human sexuality. And one of the great contributions of postmodernism was its emphasis of the “translinguistic”.

That may sound complicated, but it really just means that every experience, from our gender to eating an ice cream sundae is technically ineffable. We can approximate how we feel with words and phrases. And we do all the time. Some phrases fit quite well. If you’ve ever studied a foreign language you’ve probly had the experience of learning some phrase that you were like “Oh, that’s so perfect for situation X! I wish we had that phrase in English!”

So, to answer your question, genderqueer and genderfluid are just two terms with a slightly different emphasis on the gray space ‘twixt male- and femaleness. Genderfluid tends to be used for people who feel their gender “flows” or is variable day by day or hour by hour. Whereas genderqueer emphasizes a more static state between male and female. Basically like androgynous, but you also get a queer identity and get to be part of the queer community… I guess.

Loved your question. As a trans person currently transitioning, I’m still pondering whether I identify as a dykey androgynous woman or as someone non-binary or genderqueer or genderfluid… or if there’s really much of a difference there at all, if it’s just two angles of the same thing.

My strategy’s been to “feel out” what fits best. We’ll see. Best of luck!

Joanne

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