What does it mean?
“A person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.” – Oxford Dictionaries
“an umbrella term used to describe gender identities other than man and woman – for example, those who are both man and woman, or neither man nor woman, or moving between genders” – NHS Choices
Terms with similar meanings are nonbinary and enby.
The term queer is often used as a slur - a word used to attack and insult people. As a result, people may find the word - or words like “genderqueer” that contain it - to be upsetting.
Through the process of reappropriation some people now use the word positively. Whether to use reclaimed slurs is a personal choice - but if you do use them, be aware that they may offend or upset some people.
"Genderqueer" is a word that covers a large number of different people - it’s an umbrella term.
Words like this can:
- help if you’re not sure what specific term describes you
- help if how you relate to gender is fluid and changes over time
- be more likely to be understood by the general public
- be useful for ensuring that a wide range of different people can access resources and support
However, words like this can also:
- hide how much people using the term actually differ
- hide how much more discrimination some people using the term receive
- include people in a term that they don’t like without asking them
- include people in a term that they don't feel actually describes them
Think carefully before using this word to describe someone or a group of people - they may not wish to be described that way.
Errors and omissions
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