I’m not sure what is achieved by saying this. Does that make it any less real? No. I’d really like to meet a really old genderqueer person, because if society has forever been creating gender, there must always have been people who rebelled against it or chosen to disregard it. In theory, at least. But the thing is, i doubt you could find any. I think you’ll find it’s nigh on impossible to live genderless or between genders. Ultimately don’t you have to end up one side or another, for bureaucratic reasons and such?
I would prepare myself for an argument but no-one ever reads these rant I have anyway.
I’ve met some ‘really old’ genderqueer people before. I think the rise in genderqueer people nowadays is because the internet allows people to realise there are other people who feel the way they do, and that it’s okay, but even before this, I’ve known genderqueer people in their sixties and seventies. Is that old enough?
Yes quite, also the two most famous genderqueers/gender outlaws/transgender warriors, Kate Bornstein and Leslie Feinberg are 62 and 61 respectively and have been identifying outside of the gender binary for decades. I myself have IDed as genderqueer since 1997 (when I was a teenager) and have been presenting outside of the binary for ten years.
People have transgressed the rules and roles of gender for as long as people have existed, queer history supports this. How gender transgressive people are integrated, explained or policed by the wider society varies (whether they are offered an anthropological ‘third gender’ role or not, whether they were offered a priest or shaman role, whether they were called ‘perverts’ or ‘inverts’ or not) with culture and era, but there have been transgender people throughout the world’s history.
Gender is a social construct, we need not be constrained by it, we need not believe that cultural restrictions and roles are natural or inherent. Transgender identities such as genderqueer, transgender and even gay and lesbian are also socially constructed, but they’re constructed as acts of self-definition and liberation from cis/heteronormative restrictions.
How western culture explains and polices ‘natural’ gender roles has also changed with time, as this article shows. Female and male gender roles have been expanded due to people, most of whom not transgender identified at all, recognising that gender is a social construct and so breaking or pushing against its boundaries.
Regardless of whether we identify as female, male or outside of the binary, gender is a social construct that need not dictate how we behave, our interests or our abilities. Why on earth would we let ‘bureaucracy’ control our lives?