The Genderqueer Challenge is here.
30. What does genderqueer mean to you?
It seems odd to have this as the last question — maybe it should have been at the start! Since I don’t really use genderqueer to describe myself, it seems disingenuous to say what it means to me, so I think I’ll answer this question for ‘nonbinary’ instead.
Nonbinary, to me, means ‘not part of the gender binary; neither wholly male or wholly female, and not necessarily in between the two’. I’ve seen a lot of people use the ‘neither wholly male or wholly female’ description, but I like to add ‘not necessarily in between the two’ because I think a lot of binary folk often miss that bit. Not on purpose, of course, or even knowingly; I think that, because we have so little language that is outside of the binary, it is difficult for a lot of people to get their heads round anything that isn’t either male, female, or in between. It’s less of an imaginative leap to get that there are people who feel like they are in between male and female, because we already have words for people who are a mix of binary gender traits, eg ‘tomboy’. It’s easy to see a continuum, but less easy to see something totally separate from that binary — even as someone who’s outside the binary myself, it can be difficult. So I like to make it clear so that it gets into people’s minds a bit.
From a more wishy-washy PoV, however, because I feel like the question implies a bit of whimsy, nonbinary means seeing the world from a slight angle. It means confusion (for yourself and the people around you), distance from your own lived experience, words that don’t click right, innovation of concepts and terms and ways of living, differences seeming clearer than similarities, community and, most importantly, queerness.