What's the difference between Queer, Transgender and Intersex?
Last Updated: 03/08/2021 at 1:04am
Danielle Gonzales, PsyD
Hello! My name is Dani, I am a Psychologist and registered Psych Assistant. I have a passion for helping a different types of clients from all diverse backgrounds!
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Queer is an umbrella term for anyone not heterosexual, not heteroromantic, and/or not cis-gender. In other words, anyone on the LGBTQ+ / MOGII spectrum. However, queer has historically been used as a slur, so while it has largely been reclaimed, not everyone is comfortable with the term. It's best to not call anyone else queer unless you know they are OK with it. Transgender is another umbrella term for anyone not cis-gender, where cis-gender means identifying as the same gender as was designated at birth. Transgender is often associated with transition to another gender -- such a male-to-female (MtF) transgender -- but someone does not need to transition in order to be transgender. Furthermore, people who identify as a non-binary gender (genders that are no wholly male and not wholly female) are also under the transgender umbrella, but may or may not choose to identify as such. Intersex is the only term of these three based on biology/body parts. It's also an umbrella term, but refers to those who were born with reproductive organs or sexual anatomy that doesn't fit the typical definitions of the male sex or the female sex. The difference may be with the external organs, internal organs, or at the cellular level. Remember: everything is a spectrum. It's not male *and* female, it's male *to* female with an infinite number of variations along the way.
Alright, those are three entire different things. Intersex is someone who has both male and female reproductive systems. They can have both vagina and penis, none or inside organs of a female and outer of a man and vice versa. Transgender is about someone gender, The are divided to three groups: Transsexuals- The people who are in the opposite gender to their body (male-woman/female-man). They usually change their sex by different treatments. Genderqueers are the one who fall between man and woman: pangenders, fluids, trigenders, bigenders and so on. And the are agenders which are genderless. At last, Queers are a group who doesn't like to define itself. They don't like to put labels (such as: gay, woman, bisexual and so on) on themselves and live without the labels the society uses for sexual orientation or gender.
Queer is generally an umbrella term that applies to anyone who feels like they're not cisgender or heterosexual and has an identity that falls outside of the societal norm and is more fluid. A transgender person is someone who was biologically born as one sex but feels that does not match their gender identity. Intersex individuals have biological differences that don't fit with a male or female norm. So basically, both transgender and intersex people are queer and have identities that don't match the usual societal norm. Transgender people identify with a gender that's different from their biological sex. And intersex people are biologically not just "female" or "male".
As a disclosure, this information is based on personal understanding of research and studies, although as accurate as possible, this may not be the definition of all individuals*** Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or not cisgender (Wikipedia). To some, queer can be considered offensive, as it also means strange or odd in some cultures. Transgender is a term used to describe a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex. They can be someone who identifies as transgender, who has transitioned using hormone treatments, gender reassignment surgeries, or simply dresses to match their preferred sex/gender. Being transgender is different from Drag or cross-dressing, which may not include the individual wanting to alter their sex/gender. Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not typically fit the social normative definitions of female or male. This varies but normally is caused by chromosomal differences at birth. Not all causes or expressions of intersex are yet to be fully understood.
Intersexuals are people that were born with both male and female physical characteristics, be it genitals or secondary sexual traits (for example breasts). Transgender people are those who identify with the gender that is opposite to the their biological sex, like women who identify as such though they were born in a male body, and vice versa. Queer is an umbrella term that encompasses any gender identity and gender expression that defies the traditional male-female vision, like for example non-binary people.
Intersex is one of the three biological sexes. Transgender is when an individual’s gender identity doesn’t match with the sex this person was assigned at birth. Since it isn’t specified whether you’re wondering about queer in terms of orientation or gender, I’ll explain both. Queer is often used to describe the LGBTQ+ community, as in “here is some news from the queer community”. It essentially envelops the entire spectrum of orientation. Genderqueer is often interchanged with nonbinary, which includes identities outside male or female. People with these identities often use different pronouns than “he/him/his” or “she/her/hers”. Using someone’s correct pronouns only requires that you ask that person. They/them/theirs is used in many cases, but people who are nonbinary or genderqueer may not use they/them/theirs.
Queer is a blanket term for people who are not straight, or not cis. Transgender refers to people who identify as a different gender than the one they were assigned at birth. Intersex refers to people who were born with genitals that are deemed "not normal" or that do not fit the definitions of 'female or male' anatomy
Queer: There isn't much of a label other than not following gender/sexual norms as set by society. Transgender: This is when you feel disphoria associated with the gender with which you were born; you feel like a man in a woman's body or a woman in a man's body. Intersex: This is genetic ambiguity, occurs naturally, and provides physical characteristics that do not allow someone or something to be identified as male or female.
Transgender is someone that feels like the opposite gender of the one they were born to. Intersex is someone born with born genitalia. Queer on the other hand is a lot harder to explain, it's someone that doesn't feel they fit in the sexual orientation categories and tend to, but not always, lean towards the same sex.
Queer tends to describe sexual preference - Gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, pansexual... most anything but straight. Transgender is when someone feels as though they should have been born of the opposite gender they are. A male who really feels like a female, or a female who really feels as though she is male. Intersex is when someone is born with traits or organs of both genders.
Queer can now be used to describe homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgendered people. In scholarly studies the word queer is also used to describe those who practice unconventional sex (e.g. bondage, etc.), therefore even heterosexuals can sometimes be defined as queer. Transgender is a term referring to when one's gender and sex are not always or ever equivalent. Often used as a referrant to the person themself. Intersex is a congenital anomaly of the reproductive and sexual system. Intersex people are born with external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, and/or endocrine system that are different from most other people.
(Answering because a lot of the other answers missed other very, very important information or used problematic language.) Queer - a blanket term that covers anyone not heterosexual, heteromantic or cisgender. However, it was at one time, a slur for the LGBTQ+ community, so you should not use this term unless you are absolutely sure the person/group of people you are referring to are okay with it. You can call yourself queer, especially if you have a lot of labels (or you can't describe your gender/sexuality.) Intersex - A person who does not conform to the general rules of "sex" (breasts + vagina, penis, etc). Intersex people can have combinations of different chromosomes plus the general unassociated-to-said-chromosome-genitalia, and some have internal organs that differ from the outside appearance of their genitals. NOTE: Intersex people, at one time, were referred to as "hermaphrodites", which is an INCREDIBLY OFFENSIVE TERM, and should NEVER BE USED TO REFERENCE AN INTERSEX PERSON. Transgender - A person who does not agree to their AGAB (Assigned Gender At Birth). For example: I am an AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth) Nonbinary (Meaning I do not conform to binary genders - male and female) person, meaning I identify as transgender. There is a common misconception that you can only be trans if you go from male to female or female to male. This is not the case, and it also is very uninclusive of intersex people (often times intersex people are assigned male or female at birth and don't know they're intersex until they're older). As mentioned above, a large portion of transgender people are AMAB (Assigned Male At Birth) or AFAB, but are ACTUALLY the opposite gender. It is important to note that if you are AMAB, you don't have "a male body" with a "female brain", but rather your body is female, because you identify as female (and vice versa). Often times, people use the word "transsexual" to refer to transgender individuals. Transsexual is a term that is perfectly okay to use, but has fallen out of use, and many transgender people find it offensive. Unless a person refers to themself as transsexual FIRST, do not call a transgender person transsexual. Also, transsexual can only be used if a part of your body has been altered to match your gender. -Cece
From my understanding, Gender queer is when one doesn't identify as one of the binaries (male and female) or identifies as both or one and another, etc. Transgender is when an individual identifies as one of the binaries and it doesn't match their birth sex. Intersex is a medical term applying to those who are born with partially developed genitalia or genitalia that partially resembles both of the binary sexes.
Queer is a umbrella term for any LGBTQ+ member to identify as. To identify as transgender is to identify as a gender different than the sex you were born as. And intersex is to be born with 2 sets of apposing genitalia, intersex is not a gender and many intersex people can identify as male or female.
Queer is a general term for people in the LGBT+ community, but some consider it a slur. Transgender people wish to transition from one sex to another, sometimes medically and sometimes just in lifestyle. Being intersex is a genetic condition meaning that your genitalia or chromosomes don't allow for definitively male or female characteristics.
Typically when a person is intersex they have sexual organs that are not consistent with only the male or female anatomy. A person who is transgender identifies as a different gender then they were assigned at birth. in some instances when someone identifies is queer they may be talking about their sexuality button other instances they may be talking about their gender. where can we find that someone doesn't identify in the binary boxes of male or female or gay and straight.
Queer is anyone who is from the LGBTQ+ community. Transgender is someone who feels they are those who feel like they were born in the wrong body. Intersex people are people who are actually born with an anatomy which is not considered typically female or male. Many intersex people receive medical attention because they realize that there is something unusual in their bodies. Intersex is more of an external thing whilst transgender is more of an internal experience of gender identity that is different from most people.
Great question! Generally speaking, queer is an umbrella term for people who are not heterosexual (including but not limited to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, etc.) but also can include people who are not cisgender as well (including but not limited to binary and non-binary trans people). Transgender is a term for people who do not identify as the sex they were assigned at birth, and can identify as a woman, a man, or a non-binary identity like genderqueer. Intersex people can also identify as queer, but are people who are born with ambiguous sexual characteristics, such as someone with XXY chromosomes or someone who has XX chromosomes but produces excess testosterone. Intersex people sometimes will identify as trans because often they are improperly assigned as male or female at birth even though they are actually a third sex - intersex.
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