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yancy

Lesbian but not-quite a girl?

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I identify with being a woman and heavily identify with the label of lesbian, but I also identify a lot with the label of genderqueer. I've heard a lot of discourse around whether lesbians can be genderqueer, though. Are there others on here who feel like this? How do people feel about identifying with womanhood, genderqueerness, and lesbianism?

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2 hours ago, yancy said:

I identify with being a woman and heavily identify with the label of lesbian, but I also identify a lot with the label of genderqueer. I've heard a lot of discourse around whether lesbians can be genderqueer, though. Are there others on here who feel like this? How do people feel about identifying with womanhood, genderqueerness, and lesbianism?

Hello there yancy. Starting from the top, I have heard that discourse too, but it has been centered more on the fact that people want us to choose just one label. Personally, I identify as pansexual, aromantic straight from the go to the LGBTQ+, but it is easier for me to explain to someone who is not in the community to say that I am genderqueer. I do this because in my case as aro/pan, people don't think I exist basically. So I see genderqueer as a more general term, and then pansexual and aromantic as more specific ones. People are more likely to believe me if I start as genderqueer, because it is a term that people are more familiar. Now, this doesn't mean that for being aro/pan I am not genderqueer, because it is a label that I like and I want to own it.

In short, use as many label as you want, there is nothing wrong with that. If someone doesn't like it then eat them :3 A label is something to use to feel valid, welcome and in peace, people have no say in that, and they shouldn't make you feel less of a woman/genderqueer/lesbian for using more than one label. Hope this can help you ^^.

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so, there's a lot of overlap of genderqueer with stuff like butch lesbians bc queering gender and stuff (I'm not explaining that the best, but there is history of overlap), so I'd say that yeah you could definitely be a genderqueer lesbian.  There's people who identify as nb lesbians etc too.  One open-ended definition of lesbian I've heard is "People who aren't men who are attracted to people who aren't men", so looking at it that way could be helpful?  Also like.....there's lots of discourse originating from parts of the lesbian community that are very exclusionary/gatekeeping and tbh there's not much point caring about what exclusionists think of the labels you use, just use the labels that are most comfortable for you.

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Hey there, fellow arospec lesbian here! Magni is really spot on with everything ze said. I don't even consider myself a woman at all and I'm still a lesbian.

The reason why that is, is because I have a really deep history with being a lesbian as well as being gender nonconforming. When I was growing up, I was really drawn to the lesbian label even though I also experienced gender dysphoria. There's a very rich history about gender variance existing in the lesbian community for a really REALLY long time. If you're curious more on this topic, I HIGHLY suggest you read Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg. There's a free PDF on hir website even!

Gender overall is a spectrum, it's one giant color wheel. So some gender queer people like yourself can also identify as women, it's a lot more common than what modern lesbians online think. 

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15 hours ago, Blake said:

In short, use as many label as you want, there is nothing wrong with that. If someone doesn't like it then eat them :3 A label is something to use to feel valid, welcome and in peace, people have no say in that, and they shouldn't make you feel less of a woman/genderqueer/lesbian for using more than one label. Hope this can help you ^^.

Thank you for your help! It actually helps a lot, and I think that's a great explanation of labels.

10 hours ago, Magni said:

so, there's a lot of overlap of genderqueer with stuff like butch lesbians bc queering gender and stuff (I'm not explaining that the best, but there is history of overlap), so I'd say that yeah you could definitely be a genderqueer lesbian.  There's people who identify as nb lesbians etc too.

Yes, I think you're completely right. It's weird because I completely support people who identify as genderqueer and/or nonbinary lesbians, but when I apply it to myself I feel bad. Probably some internalized stuff I need to work on!

 

10 hours ago, Magni said:

Also like.....there's lots of discourse originating from parts of the lesbian community that are very exclusionary/gatekeeping and tbh there's not much point caring about what exclusionists think of the labels you use, just use the labels that are most comfortable for you.

That's very true. I've never liked the exclusionary parts of the lesbian community and I tend to stay away from that, so I suppose there's no reason listening to it now.

 

9 hours ago, yurihands said:

Hey there, fellow arospec lesbian here! Magni is really spot on with everything ze said. I don't even consider myself a woman at all and I'm still a lesbian.

The reason why that is, is because I have a really deep history with being a lesbian as well as being gender nonconforming. When I was growing up, I was really drawn to the lesbian label even though I also experienced gender dysphoria. There's a very rich history about gender variance existing in the lesbian community for a really REALLY long time. If you're curious more on this topic, I HIGHLY suggest you read Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg. There's a free PDF on hir website even!

Thank you so much for sharing your story and for mentioning a source to check out, I really appreciate it! Thanks so much for the help.

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Genderqueer is not a gender in itself, but more of a political instance about gender. It means your view of gender is non-normative.

you can relate to womanhood in a non-normative way, you can be a genderqueer woman; and if being a genderquuer woman is a possibility, so is being a genderqueer lesbian.

There's also the fact that woman is not the only feminine gender and a lot of feminine non binary people are, and always have been, part of lesbian and sapphic spaces.

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On 5/24/2020 at 4:17 AM, Qim said:

Genderqueer is not a gender in itself, but more of a political instance about gender. It means your view of gender is non-normative.

As a genderqueer person, you're right that it isn't a gender 'in itself', but that's because its often used as an umbrella term that means something different to many people. However saying it's not a gender at all is a little insensitive to everyone who does identify as genderqueer. My identity is genderqueer, and genderqueer is my gender. (I use other labels sometimes to help further explain, but that doesn't mean genderqueer on its own isn't enough) It's also insensitive to those who have 'non normative' views of gender who are binary trans or cis. You don't have to be genderqueer to have political feelings about gender. That would fall under being gender non conforming, or just aware of issues with how society currently sees gender? Think of 'genderqueer' as like 'nonbinary'. You wouldn't say nonbinary can't be someone's gender, and that it's just a political stance? That line of thinking is often used to dismiss nonbinary people as genuinely trans rather than just being attention seeking or making a statement.

To address Yancy's original question: I can't speak for lesbians, but again as a genderqueer person I would fully support you identifying as a genderqueer lesbian, if that is what you decide fits best! Not all people who identify with a gender other than male or female feel totally neutral. Also, language is supposed to be helpful. If it's more helpful for you to communicate your feelings as 'I am a lesbian', than 'I am a genderqueer person with a connection to womanhood who is attracted to women' then you absolutely deserve to use it. Best of luck on your questioning journey. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, arokaladin said:

As a genderqueer person, you're right that it isn't a gender 'in itself', but that's because its often used as an umbrella term that means something different to many people. However saying it's not a gender at all is a little insensitive to everyone who does identify as genderqueer. My identity is genderqueer, and genderqueer is my gender. (I use other labels sometimes to help further explain, but that doesn't mean genderqueer on its own isn't enough) It's also insensitive to those who have 'non normative' views of gender who are binary trans or cis. You don't have to be genderqueer to have political feelings about gender. That would fall under being gender non conforming, or just aware of issues with how society currently sees gender? Think of 'genderqueer' as like 'nonbinary'. You wouldn't say nonbinary can't be someone's gender, and that it's just a political stance? That line of thinking is often used to dismiss nonbinary people as genuinely trans rather than just being attention seeking or making a statement.

I'm genderqueer. 

You can call yourself  genderqueer and just genderqueer, because that's the thing with genderqueer. It can be a lot of things: A gender, an umbrella term or a modifier meaning "non-normative". But in it's origin it just meant "gender non-normative" and was in fact created by an AMAB woman who didn't like the normativity predominant in the trans community. 

Genderqueer and non-binary are not the same. Genderqueer was created as a anti-assimilationist non-normative equivalent of transsexual (transgender came later), while "non-binary" means you aren't 100% male or a 100% female. Non-binary is politically neutral, genderqueer is not (just like everything with the word "queer" in it)

This terms are not the same and they are definitively not used in the same way.

Edited by Qim

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