Advanced search

Trans Terminology Thread

(29 Posts)
terfing Fri 10-Nov-17 16:07:43

Can we have a thread to discuss transgender terms and terminology? There seems to be new vocabulary every day and I'm having problems finding precise definitions and examples. (Please, I am genuinely not trying to be goady even though it may come across like I am).

Firstly, what does the word 'queer' specifically mean? It seems to have been firmly added to LGBT, but nobody seems to know what it means. I think it means 'sometimes gay', but wouldn't that just be bisexual?

Secondly, 'non-binary'. This sometimes means that someone is neither male nor female, but then it sometimes means that they are BOTH male and female (which is arguably the opposite definition!)

Any help appreciated! smile

Ereshkigal Fri 10-Nov-17 19:02:34

I think queer is meant to mean a more inclusive LGB movement which includes trans people and other "genders" like asexual. So yes you can be heterosexual and be queer. It's an overarching term which is backed up by post structuralist "queer theory" and politics. Lesbian particularly is considered a bit passé by the young LGBTQ crowd. Especially with its exclusionary focus on female sexed bodies.

Ereshkigal Fri 10-Nov-17 19:04:33

Non binary both baffles and irritates the hell out of me. So I may not be the best person to ask. I also see it being used interchangeably with gender queer and gender fluid.

Ereshkigal Fri 10-Nov-17 19:05:11

And agender, as you said.

Ereshkigal Fri 10-Nov-17 19:07:54

Sheila Jeffreys' book "Unpacking Queer Politics" is great for a feminist perspective on the origins of the queer political movement.

Penguin27 Fri 10-Nov-17 19:09:43

Great idea for a thread. I’d like to know what “peak-trans” means?confused

HatieCockpins Fri 10-Nov-17 19:12:28

No idea about the official definition of queer, but it seems to be used by people who are heterosexual but want to seem a bit edgy and go to gay pride events.

Datun Fri 10-Nov-17 19:19:50

Peak trans is like a hill.

So you may have felt you need to be inclusive. So far so good.

Then a couple of things begin to niggle. Maybe being gender critical. Maybe seeing a transwoman who’s an arse.

But you stick with it.

Then you encounter more things that question your allegiance.

You go up the hill.

And then suddenly, something, which could be big or small tips you over the edge.

That is peak trans.

When you suddenly realise that in an effort to be kind and accommodating, you have actually shot yourself in the foot.

For some people it is realising that the ideology erases homosexuality.

For others it’s realising that trancactivists are violent. Or understanding autogynephilia is a large part the ideology.

For others it’s just the realisation that debate around this subject is relentlessly censored.

And when you peak, you get it.

Unfortunately, once you get it you will peak again and again as you read more without your ‘I must be conned all costs’ goggles.

Erasing the definition of the word woman will peak you, too.

drspouse Fri 10-Nov-17 19:24:23

I'd also like to know what non-binary means.

BahHumbygge Fri 10-Nov-17 19:36:01

"Any woman who has ever told a man to fuck off is non binary" - Cathy Brennan

Datun Fri 10-Nov-17 19:51:22


As far as I know, non-binary means you do not subscribe to the binary. I.e. the concept of male and female.

So some days you feel male, other days you feel female, and it can switch and turn.

In other words, personality.

Although, many people swear blind that it is more than that. But frankly, if you have language and you can think, no it fucking isn’t.

I do understand the concept though. You don’t want to be limited by behaving in a constricted masculine or feminine way. And what you are doing is letting people know that.

Or, y’know, you could just call it feminism.

Ereshkigal Fri 10-Nov-17 19:54:47

There is no evidence, even dubious evidence, for "non binary" gender identity.

FizzyWaterAndElderflower Fri 10-Nov-17 19:58:19

I can't use 'queer' - to me it's too close to an insult still- like 'faggot' or 'dyke'. Words that I could cope with if those who were referenced were trying to reclaim, but I would never use myself.

As a common or garden hetero woman of middle age, the youth seem to use 'queer' as a signifier that they are holier than thou. That they accept gays/lesbians and might consider a same sex relationship (although also in my experience, will revert to hetero once past 25)

as to non-binary. Personally I think that describes pretty much everyone. Since non-binary sex is nonsense, and non-binary gender - well, who isn't.

terfing Fri 10-Nov-17 19:58:54


I think you're describing 'gender fluid' there?

This is why I'm so confused! I am trying to understand. I really am! But there is no logical consistency to any of this! confused

Ereshkigal Fri 10-Nov-17 20:00:37

I'm not sure there is a clear difference. I've never seen one articulated effectively.

drspouse Fri 10-Nov-17 20:00:49

Ah so if I do sporty things and tech things but wear makeup to do them?
AKA being a person.
Do you think I can persuade my biology, and the rest of society, to play along? Or are my male colleagues still going to set up a Working Group On Drspouse And Other Senior Woman's Selling Point To Clients excluding us two, only?
And I can persuade my body that it was just pretending to start but not finish a shed load of pregnancies?

DJBaggySmalls Fri 10-Nov-17 20:01:07

You cant challenge something if you cant define it.

drspouse Fri 10-Nov-17 20:02:29

Like in Alice in Wonderland.

Ereshkigal Fri 10-Nov-17 20:07:24

It's all smashing the binary!!

Penguin27 Fri 10-Nov-17 22:15:25

Thanks datun, that makes sense! Not sure where I am on the hill yet, but I’m going to say somewhere near the top! The erosion of women’s rights worries me.

I don’t get the whole gender fluid/non-binary stuff, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it. I also don’t understand why the trans movement is tagged on to the whole LGB thing, they’re totally different things!

Datun Fri 10-Nov-17 23:30:26



I think you're describing 'gender fluid' there?

This is why I'm so confused! I am trying to understand. I really am! But there is no logical consistency to any of this! confused

Yes, I think you’re right!

Non-Binary means you don’t believe in the binary? So you don’t subscribe to either. So when you behave in a certain way it’s neither masculine nor feminine? Is that right?

Which, again, is basically feminism.

Isn’t it?


Datun Fri 10-Nov-17 23:39:40

<pats bun, settles back in rocking chair and finishes darning by the light of the fire>

ALittleBitOfButter Sat 11-Nov-17 10:16:59

Ooh i have a question. How do you pronounce "Dolezal"?

CancellyMcChequeface Sat 11-Nov-17 10:48:20

I thought that non-binary meant that you did believe in the binary, just that it didn't apply to you. So a non-binary person would believe that most people have an ordinary, binary gender, but since they have both masculine and feminine traits, they must be special and non-binary.

So the term actually applies to anyone who has a personality that isn't wholly based on gender stereotypes, really.

Gender fluid is when you have a gender identity but it changes, so you can be masculine one day and feminine the next - and you dress differently to show how you're feeling that day? I don't know. It's all very bizarre. I need a word for people who are gender atheists - don't have one, need one or want one. (Or is that 'feminist'?)

Genderqueer I think is for the people who make up new labels for themselves like 'demi-boy' or 'trans-femme' or whatever else is in the list of 72 genders. Equally bizarre.

CancellyMcChequeface Sat 11-Nov-17 10:51:08

Actually I think part of the problem might be that the people identifying with these terms are using them to mean different things themselves, so of course the rest of us get confused.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: