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Genderfluid!?

Question:

Hi, my name’s Mercy. I was born a female, but I identify as genderqueer.
I’m confused as to why my gender identity is not recognized as a gender. I have been bullied by even members of the LGBT community. Some of my friends don’t understand my pronouns and why I feel insulted when referred to as she. Please help?

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Mercy,
why “genderqueer” doesn’t seem to receive recognition as a gender identity is a very good question that many others along with you ask.  First off, I would just like to confirm that “genderqueer” is most definitely a legitimate term and appropriate manner of identifying yourself. It is a common term used in the LGBT community especially. Yet, it is also a relatively new and progressive term that society as a whole and even some LGBT communities are not quite familiar with. In many cases, communities and individuals (such as your friends) may never have encountered the term and have no idea how to approach or utilize it, let alone know the meaning of it.  Keep this in mind, and be patient with those who may insult you out of ignorance. I suggest explaining the term “genderqueer” to whomever it may be, clarify how you would like to be identified, and allow time for those changes to take place, as many are not accustomed to referring to individuals outside the conventional male/female binary.
As for the members in your LGBT community that bully you, the same situation may apply. Restate, re-clarify, and ask that they respect your genderqueer identity. Nonetheless it is, rather immature, inconsiderate, and discriminatory of them to antagonize you for your gender identity. I would suggest discussing this issue with an LGBT resource center director, or any respectable counselor to seek further help. Any type of bullying is unacceptable and you are entitled to a community where you feel comfortable and safe.
Stay true to your identity and do not be afraid to declare your identity as you see fit. Identity is determined by you alone and you are justified in whatever you choose.
If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to ask.

We wish you the best,

Trevor Staff