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Most people are aware of the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) from mainstream media. However, besides the intersexes, there is a type of gender that is often overlooked; and when noticed, misunderstood. Genderqueer people are defined as someone who is non-binary in their gender, thus not identifying as man or woman. They would likely think themselves to be both man and woman, neither man nor woman, moving between genders or a third gender altogether. They may express themselves through dress any way they please, mixing up the two genders with their wardrobes and makeup; tending to look more androgynous than either one gender or the other. Having a wide variety; their sexual orientations defined by them and not the gender binary! Genderqueer people face a lot of different issues thought their lives that are specific to Genderqueer people. Here are some ideas that might help out someone at the beginning and during their gender journey.
- Being Genderqueer: Is normal and not a curse; but rather a blessing. You are you and that is all you ever need to be. It’s Ok to question your gender and go against the grain. There are many people out there like you so remember that you are NOT alone. The feelings you are experiencing are a normal natural part of life; you are not somehow a freak or weird for having these feelings; in fact you are incredibly brave for exploring this part of yourself.
- Be gentle: Exploring gender identity can be a very big deal so be gentle. Allow yourself to feel what you feel, experience what you need to experience and explore yourself as openly and truthfully as you can.
- Your gender: Your gender is only one part of the wonderful person that you are. There are many facets to your being so don’t let it take over you whole identity. Do the things you like to do while you explore your identity; go to movies, take courses, and make friends.
- Does it fit: If have found the word Genderqueer and it seems like a good fit for you; then don’t let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do while exploring. There are no set requirements or actions that you must take in order to be Genderqueer. There is no ideal that you need to aspire too or prove to your fellow Genderqueers that you belong in their community. There should be no look, no rules, no style and no judgements.
- Take inspiration: Take inspiration from other Genderqueer people about what it is to be so. Join and meet as many Genderqueer people who you can and explore the culture of this very distinctive gender identity. Just remember that you don’t have to copy anyone, so be yourself; taking and leaving whatever you like. Nothing is set in stone so prepare yourself for a fluid experience and see where it takes you.
- Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you are feeling overwhelmed, confused, scared or suicidal in any way; reach out and talk to people. Find any Genderqueer groups on line and glean as much information about anything that is bothering you. Connecting with other Genderqueer people can help you with the loneliness and feelings of disconnection. There are some web sites available like Genderqueer Revolution that can help you with your journey.
- Not a mental disorder: Being Genderqueer is not a mental disorder in any way, shape or form; any more than being transgender is! Do not think that you’re damaged or broken in any way!
There are many ways to be Genderqueer and explore that part of who you are. Take your time and feel things out; there is not rush or finish line. Being outside the gender binary can be the scariest, most exciting and educating experiences a person can have. So count your blessings; you are one of the most unique individuals on this planet. You are not just like everyone else; but truly an individual blazing your own trail through life. Be kind to yourself and ignore the haters; the just live to hate anything different. Give yourself a hug and welcome to the Genderqueer community!