Do you ever get confused with all the different words describing sexuality and gender?

I just found out that a mate is genderqueer which I would like to be able to understand and/or talk about, except I have absolutely no idea what it means. =/

I tried looking on Wikipedia, and the definition is so vague he could be anything from a combination of male and female, to neither one, or possibly a third gender without a name. CONFUSED!


Well I mean there's homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, bicurious, asexual, pansexual, omnisexual, transexual, transgender, bigender, androgenous, genderqueer...

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It’s not so much the words themselves that confuse me, it’s their usage. Conceptually, I prefer to think of gender as a sliding scale rather than a series of little boxes. I prefer to place people on this mental scale rather than look for a word.

    Gender queer isn’t in my Dictionary. From a brief scrabble around the internet I think it’s a catch-all word for anyone who has a gender identity other than that of male or female. I suppose in general usage it could mean someone who does not think that they fit into the a ‘stereotypical’ conception of their gender. For example an HMV employee or a man wearing nail polish or women’s socks. Interestingly, half of German men wear tights according to yesterday’s Independent.

    I suspect that the difference between someone who is gender queer and someone who does not fit the stereotype male or female is the internal point of view i.e. ‘I am male, I am female, I am both, I am neither, I am third-gender etc etc’, a psychological fact. That would suggest that those with gender dysphoria (transsexuals) are not necessarily gender queer, as they have a clear gender identity, albeit one that is not synonymous with their biology.

    I consider sexual orientation and gender identity to be different questions, as your sexual orientation is defined by your own gender. Therefore, I would think that a gay person could not be gender queer as to identify as gay he would have to not only be attracted to men but also identify as one himself, otherwise the term would have little meaning. Pre-operation male-female transsexuals often describe themselves as straight.

    I think I have this right, I do apologise if I have offended anyone – it is not intentional. The usage of the words surrounding sexuality and gender has gotten very fuzzy and any attempt to draw lines is imprecise at best. I’m sure I’ve been as clear as mud, well – at least I’ve drawn some lines in it.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Kind of. Someone once asked me at a party if I'd ever do anything with a girl - I surprised myself, because I realised that the thought of doing something sexual with a girl didn't actually bother me. If I thought a girl was attractive and she came on to me, yeah, I probably would. I still haven't figured out if that means I'm bi or just curious. I've only had relationships with guys, only slept with guys, and can see myself eventually settling down with a guy (as in marriage and children). I think a lot of people go through a 'confused' stage at some point. Lmao at ella! "I like penis" xD

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There seem to be two different forces at work in society that are contributing to this confusion. On the one hand, there are those who wish to get rid of labels. The words they come up with tend to be as inclusive as possible, such as "queer" to mean absolutely ANYTHING that isn't straight.

    On the other hand, there are those who try to define circumstances with greater precision, which leads to more and more labels. For example, in the not too distant past, both "transgender" and "transsexual" meant exactly the same thing, but more recently there have been some distinctions made between the two words. Also, "questioning" used to be the "in" word for those who were unsure about their orientation, but now the term "bi-curious" seems to have replaced that concept entirely.

    So, we have these two different forces at work, one trying to be all-inclusive, the other trying to be more precise with the end result of not only kids being confused about their orientation but sexologists also being confused about scientific specificity and political correctness.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I Find It The Same, You Type Something

    Like That Into Wikipedia And It Comes

    Up With A Load Of Crap That You Can't


    They Should Just Put:

    Straight = Oppersite Sex

    Gay/Lesbian = Same Sex

    Bisexual = Both Sexes

    Asexual = No Desier For Sex

    Transgender = Changed Gender

    They Should Just Make It Simple

    Because There Are Alot Of Children

    Completely Confused About What They Are.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It can be confusing, yes, mostly because everyone has their personal different meanings for different terms. Some people think 'queer' only means 'gay', but I personally use 'queer' to describe anyone who's sexuality isn't a girl who is a girl and who likes guys or vice versa. Queer can be a nice term to use if you're not sure of your sexual orientation/identity.

    I would assume genderqueer to mean that your friend is transgendered, but you'd probably want to talk with your friend about it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Good grief

    I switched off when people starting talking about Pan-sexuality.

    All these new words are just another way for people to avoid giving themselves the correct label

    You are either

    Straight (you only sleep with the opposite gender)

    Gay/Lesbian (you only sleep with the same gender)

    Bi (you are open to both genders)

    Asexual (you dont want any)

    That covers sexuality, and gender can only be




    None (although that must be incredibly rare)


    Tranvestism has nothing to do with actual gender or sexuality. It's basically, fashion

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i get confused all the time with these stinkin' labels. people have been labeling me for years and then, after the dust settles, still don't know a thing about be - because i didn't come up with the label. someone else did. so they know what whos'it over there means but it's not about me.

    that didn't make any sense, i'm sure.

    forget the labels. ask him what it means and then understand HIM.

  • 1 decade ago

    i understand genderqueer to be a person who identifies themselves as either:

    either gender

    or neither gender...

    I think, i'm making up stuff here...they don't associate with a particular gender...or may be confused of which they are.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Got these from Google, and simply stated:

    "Sexuality - that which is characterized or distinguished by sex; sexual activity; the concern with, or interest in sexual activity; sexual potency; sexual orientation; sexual identity, gender; sexual receptivity

    Gender, in common usage, refers to the differences between men and women."

    I hope that would help!

  • 1 decade ago

    Uhm I think that means they think they are neither gender but im not sure. sorry!!!

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