The information and descriptions included in this educational document are loose guidelines for understanding important language and successfully navigating within queer space. Each piece of information included in this document is circumstantial and should be regarded with some degree of fluidity to ensure inclusivity and true understanding.
What does ‘queering’ mean?
- To ‘queer’ Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is to shine a light on all aspects of communal living and movement building.
- It means ensuring that members of the queer community do not feel invisible, undermined or neglected.
- It means introducing new language, new concepts and more inclusive tactics that promote diversity and compassion.
- It means honoring and infusing our actions with love, beauty and the collective fierceness of the united queer community.
- It means creating a safe-space within the movement for members of the queer community to come together, discuss issues that are important to them and support each other through direct interaction and active support.
- It means pointing out acts of transphobia, homophobia and sexism; to take a stand against these oppressive acts through visibility and open condemnation.
- It means sharing our history and sharing the tools needed to shift the paradigm, undermine the patriarchy and unravel the heteronormative supremacy that is the root cause of all the problems with this oligarchy.
“Transgender” is a general term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
“Preferred Gender Pronouns (PGPs)” are ways that people refer to themselves and prefer to be referred to as. It is important to not assume someone’s PGPs as it allows people to define themselves and not be addressed by terms based on someone else’s assumptions.
“Cisgender” is the opposite of transgender and “Gender Nonconforming” refers to people who do refers to someone who has a gender identity not follow other people’s ideas or stereotypes that agrees with their assigned gender. about how they should look or act based on the female or male sex they were assigned at birth.
“Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of “Gender Questioning” People who are
conditions in which a person is born with a questioning their gender identity might be
reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t wondering whether they identify as a male, a
seem to fit the gender binary definitions of female or another gender. They might also be
female or male. experimenting with different genders.
“Gender Identity” refers to how people see and “Gender Queer” refers to people who do not fit identify themselves; for example, some people within a gender binary system. This may identify as female; some people identify as manifest as someone who identifies as and/or male; some people as a combination of expresses aspects of multiple genders or
genders; as a gender other than male or female; someone who feels they have no gender.
or as no gender. For example, transgender women identify as women but were assigned as
males when they were born. Transgender men identify as men but were assigned female when they were born. Everyone has a gender identity.
“Gender Expression” refers to how people express their gender identity. Everyone
expresses their gender identity in different ways: for example, in the way they dress, the
length of their hair, the way they act or speak and in their choice of whether or not to wear
“Gender Binary” The social construction of gender as a dichotomy between male and
female. Male and female gender expectations, roles and functions are generally very rigid and the presence of alternate gender constructions are usually denigrated, ignored, or made oblivious.
“Queer” a reclaimed word used by some as an umbrella term to describe anything outside of heteronormativity. This word is still extremely offensive when used as an epithet.
“Heteronormativity (Heteronormative)” A pervasive and institutionalized ideological
system that naturalizes heterosexuality as universal; it must continually reproduce itself to
maintain hegemony over other non-normative sexualities and ways of identity construction.
“Homonormativity (Homonormative)” Politics that do not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions and institutions, but upholds and sustains them, while promising the possibility of a demobilized gay constituency and a privatized,
depoliticized gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption.
“Assigned Gender” Also called “gender assigned at birth” or “birth gender,” is the
gender, either girl or boy, that parents and culture give to a child based on the child’s
“Asexual” A person who is not interested in or does not desire sexual activity, either within or outside of a relationship. asexuality is not the same as celibacy, which is the willful decision to not act on sexual feelings. asexuals, while not physically sexual-type folks, are none the less quite capable of loving, affectionate, romantic ties to others.
“Sex Positive” An approach to sex and human sexuality that embraces the full
benefits of sexual interraction as healthy and uplifting, based upon the premise that sexual
expression is good and healthy and that societal repression or control of the
individual’s sex-drive is bad and unhealthy.
“Polyamory” The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving
relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners
“Multiple System (Multiplicity)” A group of people sharing the same body, while still
being individuals with their own personalities and interests.
“Two-Spirit” is a term chosen to distinctly express Native/First Nations gender identity
and gender variance, in addition to replacing terms imposed by colonialists. Two-Spirit
usually indicates a person whose body simultaneously manifests both a masculine
and a feminine spirit.