Sophia: Explaining Genderqueer
It’s a term being used quite a bit these days, especially on campuses, but what the heck does it actually mean? For those who live on planet YUSU, Trans issues have taken on added importance in recent weeks, with a Gender Neutral Toilets (GNT) motion being passed by the union a week ago. Originally written for Cambridge University SU by the person Wikipedia cites as the first to get a students union to pass a GNT motion, here’s a readable take on the concept of Genderqueer.
Even while you are still in the womb, society starts to try and put you into one of two boxes: boy or girl? From the moment you are born and the doctor checks between your legs and cries out “It’s a beautiful baby girl/bouncing baby boy(delete as appropriate)”, your fate is supposed to be sealed. Society will tell you what colour your clothes will be, what games you will like, who you can be friends with, even what you are good at.
Genderqueer says fuck that! Life isn’t so simple. Contrary to popular opinion, there are more than two sexes and as many genders as you can imagine: earth mother, metrosexual, tomboy, drag queen, butch, femme…
In fact, there are so many different masculinities and femininities that one day I realised I couldn’t think of a single thing that ALL women have in common (other than the label ‘woman’ obviously). Possessing a vagina? That both wrongly excludes some transwomen and wrongly includes some transmen. Liking pink and wearing skirts? I hope everyone knows that that is a ridiculous suggestion. But then, what do all men have in common? Fancying women? I know some gay guys who would object to that idea. (For me, being Genderqueer affects my sexuality too. What do ‘straight’ or ‘bi’ or ‘gay’ mean if you yourself aren’t male or female?)
Genderqueer is about being who you are and doing what you want and being aware that this can change.
People might be surprised to see me sewing patchwork in my army boots but I’m comfortable, and I’m just as happy cooking on a stove or a barbecue. When I fill in forms and the person behind the counter looks at me and says “You ticked Mr, surely that’s a mistake?”, I grin back and say “Nope, Mr Sophia, that’s me!”
Genderqueer is freeing, confusing, challenging, transgressive, comfortable, radical, normal and fun.
As well as wearing army boots and doing cooking various amazing veggie and vegan food, Sophia also co-authors a new blog entitled “Daleks Love Crafting”
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