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Genderfuck is a portmanteau which refers to the self-conscious effort to "fuck with" or play with traditional notions of gender identity, gender roles, and gender presentation.[1] It falls under the umbrella of the transgender spectrum.


Genderfuck, as a form of gender identity or gender expression, uses parody and exaggeration to call attention to its transgression of gender roles, seeking to expose them as artificial,[2] oftentimes by manipulating one's appearance to create gender dissonance or ambiguity in stark opposition of the gender binary. In this way, genderfuck shares many characteristics with genderqueer, although they are two separate concepts.

Examples of genderfuck in relation to physical performance or appearance include people prominently displaying secondary sex characteristics of different sexes together, such as breasts and a beard.

Genderfuck is generally an intentional attempt to present a confusing gender identity which contributes to dismantling the perception of a gender binary.

Genderfuck implies not only the instigation of confusion for the sake of breaking down the binary, but also leaving more fluid room to be self-expressive and self-explorative with less expectations of a norm and more room to play via being radically honest. Though genderfuck is often associated with queer identities such as homosexuality and bisexuality, people of any sexual orientation may practice genderfuck.


Genderfuck is a politics of identity stemming from the identity politics movements of the 1950s and 1960s, a guiding principal of which is the idea that the personal is political.[3]

The term dates at least to 1974, when an article by Christopher Lonc, entitled "Genderfuck and Its Delights", appeared in the magazine Gay Sunshine. Lonc wrote "I want to criticize and poke fun at the roles of women and of men too. I want to try and show how not-normal I can be. I want to ridicule and destroy the whole cosmology of restrictive sex roles and sexual identification."[4]

See also


  1. Lawless, Elaine J. (Winter 1998). "Claiming Inversion: Lesbian Constructions of Female Identity as Claims for Authority". The Journal of American Folklore 111 (439): 3–22. doi:10.2307/541317. Retrieved on 2007-08-30. 
  2. Wilkinson, Sue and Celia Kitzinger (1996). "The Queer Backlash". In Bell, Diane; Renate Klein (eds) (1996). Radically Speaking: Feminism Reclaimed. London: Zed Books, 375–382.  Quoted in Weedon, Chris (1999). Feminism, Theory, and the Politics of Difference. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 74–75. ISBN 0-631-19824-5. 
  3. Elisa Glick. Sex Positive: Feminism, Queer Theory, and the Politics of Transgression. Feminist Review, No. 64, Feminism 2000: One Step beyond?. (Spring, 2000), pp. 19-45.
  4. Quoted in Bergman, David (1993). Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 7. ISBN 0-87023-878-7. 
  • Altman, D. (1996). Rupture or Continuity? The Internationalization of Gay Identities. Social Text 48:77-94.
  • Coviello, P. (2007) review of "World Enough Sex and Time in Recent Queer Studies", GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 13:387-401.
  • Glick, E. (2000) Sex Positive: Feminism, Queer Theory, and the Politics of Transgression, Feminist Review 64:19-45.
  • McKenna, Jack (2000). "How I Became a Queer Heterosexual", p. 65.
  • Stepp, Meredith (2005-07-15), “Playing our parts in ‘genderfuck’”, Southern Voice, <> 
  • Reich, J.L. (1992) Genderfuck: the law of the dildo. Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 15:112-27.
  • Thomas, Calvin, ed. (2000). Straight with a Twist: Queer Theory and the Subject of Heterosexuality. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06813-0.

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