Archiv der Kategorie: Queerulant_in Ausgabe 8 (englisch)


Translation by Kim

Mit dem Glossar wollen wir Begriffe und Fachjargon aus den Artikeln von Queerulant_in erklären. Um Barrieren abzubauen wollen wir deshalb allen Menschen eine Hilfe geben um die Themen von Queerulant_in auch vollständig zu verstehen. Die Erklärungen der Begriffe beziehen sich auf den deutschsprachigen Kontext. Deshalb kann es unter Umständen vorkommen, dass manche Begriffe euch merkwürdig erscheinen, wenn ihr nicht mit der deutschen Sprechweise vertraut seid.
Weil wir ein so gut und umfassend wie mögliches Glossar bereit stellen möchten, sehen wir immer gerne, wenn ihr uns Vorschläge zur Verbesserung oder zum Hinzufügen von Begriffen habt. Dabei wird das Glossar ständig von Ausgabe zu Ausgabe erweitert und mithilfe von Autor*innen von Queerulant_in und anderer Glossare erstellt.
Begriffe, die im Glossar erklärt werden sind jeweils mit einem Punkt gekennzeichnet, bei der ersten Nennung des Begriffes im Magazin.

With this glossary, we want to explain lingo which is used in the articles in Queerulant_in. To reduce barriers, we want to ensure that everyone can understand the topics discussed in Queerulant_in. The explanation of the terms and expressions are special to the German-speaking context. This is why some explanations might seem a bit odd to you, if you are not used to the German-speaking ways of using them.
Because we want to keep this glossary as comprehensive as possible, we are always glad to see if you have any suggestions for improvements of explanations or want to add any words. The glossary is expanded with each issue and has been produced with the help of authors of Queerulant_in and other glossaries.
Expressions explained in the glossary are always marked with a dot in front of them, the first time they appear in the magazine.

§ 175 – Held throughout the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany until 1994. Among other things it contained punishment for sexual acts among male people.

§ 218 – Refers to the German „abortion law“. According to §218, termination of pregnancy is generally illegal in Germany. Women*, Inter*, Trans* and Queers who wish to abort are forced to undergo counseling and scrutiny periods, risking to increase their psychological strain many times over.

Able-bodied – People who are neither mentally nor physically disabled, nor have a (chronic) illness.

AIDS-Relief-Associations – AIDS-Relief-Associations were founded after the first cases of AIDS occurred in 1981. (The first one in Berlin). The main focus of their work is on public education on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted illnesses and diseases. They also offer support and counseling for people with HIV/AIDS.

Asexuality – Being asexual means not to be interested in any sexual interaction. This is not a deliberate choice (as for instance celibacy) but there is simply no desire for sex. This does not necessarily entail that asexuals don’t desire physical affection or never experience sexuality with others.

Bigender – People who switch between male and female gender roles, deliberately and often visibly.

Bisexuality/Bi – Bisexuality means someone is romantically or physically attracted to people of more than one gender and/or sex, however not always at the same time, in the same manner or to the same extent.

BDSM – Short for bondage & discipline, dominance & submission, sadism & masochism. The acronym is meant to combine the spectrum of Bondage, Power- and Roleplaying, and Sadomasochism.

Boys‘ Love Manga/BL Manga – Manga which put their main focus on desire between male characters. Since the most of the authors and readers are women*, one often speaks of a genre „by women for women“, ignoring the range of identities among its fans and writers.

Christopher-Street-Day (CSD) – The German equivalent to Gay Pride. Refers to the Stone Wall Riots which started in New York’s Christopher Street. The riots, which took place in 1969, were directed against state repression by police towards queers. Particularly People of Color, Drag Queens, Transvestites, Trans*gender as well as Lesbians and Gays were involved in the riots.

CIS*/cis* – The prefix „cis“ refers to the accordance of the gender assigned at birth with one’s own gender identity. Cis is often used to avoid marking only trans*, inter* and non-binary people. The ability to name people cis avoids holding cis as „normal“, with all other genders „the deviance“. In addition, naming „cis“ as such underlines that any gender identity is socially constructed and none is more „natural“ than the others.

Coming-Out – A personal, self-determined process during which people acknowledge and accept their own sexual desire and/or gender identity (also: inner coming-out.), as well as expressing it.
Mostly refers to sexual desire and gender identities which divert from the social norm (cf.: Heteronormativity). Sexual desire and gender identities which comply with the social norm (such as cisgendered people and heterosexuality) therefore do not have a Coming-Out.

Demisexuality – Demisexual people only experience sexual attraction to others once they have built a deep emotional and/or romantic relationship with them.

Die Krake (The octopus) – An annual feminist D.I.Y. zine collecting and publishing features on „alternative“ relationships. Alternative relationship comprises all which do not conform to the ideal of a monogamous, romantic couple: happy singles, sexy queers, polyamorous, connoisseurs of spontaneous sex, communards and passionate roommates, cuddling friends or cuddly pets. The octopus as heraldic animal with its many limbs symbolizes the many possibilities to conduct completely different relationships at the same time.

Drag Queen – A drag queen is a person (mostly male) who imitates a woman by means of dress, make-up and behavior during a humorous staging or a show presentation. Often, exaggerated and at times also old-fashioned attributes and gestures are being used to achieve a parodic show of the „womanness“ presented.

Dysphoria – Mild to intense discomfort, when one’s own body is not recognized as complying with one’s own gender temporarily or all the time.

Emancipation – In general the liberation from a state of dependence. Emancipation may refer to an individual level as well as to the social process or a social group.

Empowerment – „Empowerment“ aims at (re)instating one’s ability to self-determine one’s own living conditions. During this process individual resources of ability and self-empowerment work together with and depend on political resources of social interest policies.
(University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf: Master of Empowerment Studies)

Endosexual – Anyone who is not inter*.

Feminism – The term Feminism comprises extremely diverse concepts. Often feminist movements are about attaining the social, economic and political equality of men* and women* and the relating struggle against sexist structures.

Fetishists – People who are sexually aroused by certain materials, objects or body parts for a variety of reasons.

FTM – Female To Male. Cf. Transman.

FTN (female-to-neutrois) – Desire to change their physical appearance in such a manner that they are no longer read as women, for instance by binding or a mastectomy, changing the pitch of their voice (e.g. by taking testosterone), oophorectomy or hysterectomy. (

Gay – A form of desire when a man* or a GirlFag desires another man*/gay/girlfag.

Gender (verb)
– In German, as in many other languages, nouns are gendered as male or female (or neutral). Gender refers to rendering all genders visible in written and/or spoken language. There are many forms of gendering texts. If only the male form is used in a text (cf. generic masculine), all „intended“ genders are rendered invisible and stereotypes are reinforced.

Gender_Gap – The gender-gap, the underscore, is a queer and gender-equitable way of writing used in German. In German, endings of nouns are almost always indicating a gender, whereas in English this only happens rarely (e.g.: actor and actress). In German, the gender-gap includes the gendered endings after the underscore to include male, female, and all other genders between and beyond.

Generic Masculine – The generic masculine (GM) is a widespread form not to name people who are not male in the German language. (GM) is used in such a way that groups of women, Inter* and Trans* with only one male person are also referred to using the male form. According to GM; it would be correct to refer to a group of 100 female workers and one male worker using only the term for male workers.

GirlFag – GirlFags or gay women are people of diverse identities who are/were often read as female, whose desire is gay and (either exclusively or among others) directed towards gay/bisexual/… people. More at:

Equality – Equality designates the state of two or more groups or people obtaining the same rights. Examples are the equality of women and men (female suffrage, equal pay) as well as equal rights for homosexual and heterosexual partnerships.

GuyDyke – GuyDykes or lesbian men are people of diverse identities who are/were often read as male, whose desire is lesbian and (either exclusively or among others) directed towards lesbian/bisexual/… people. More at:

Hedonists – In everyday language, people who hold short-lived enjoyment over all else in an egoistic fashion are referred to as „Hedonists“. This meaning often claims a fundamental contradiction between ones own enjoyment in general or the emphasis on ones sexual desires in particular, and political action on the other hand, as though fun/sex and politics were mutually exclusive.

Heteronormativity – Heteronormativity describes a state in which heterosexuality and therefore the idea of a binary gender system are understood to be the norm.

Heterosexism – The idea that heterosexuality is normal is the basis to discriminate against and attack other types of desire apart from heterosexuality and genders beyond normative maleness and femaleness.

Heterosexuality – A sexual orientation. The prefix „hetero“ means „different“. In a society which only knows men and women, heterosexuality means to be attracted only to the other gender. If heterosexuality is the norm, it also rules what sexuality and relationships should look like. One can assume that because of heteronormativity, more people are living in heterosexual relationships than would be the case if all sexual orientations were socially accepted and equal.

Homonationalism – Can be a consequence of homonormative politics/thinking, which propagates nationalist ideas: instead of aiming to bond with other countries‘ queer scenes, there is on the one hand support for racist stereotypes against Muslims and foreigners, who are seen as homophobic. On the other hand, wars are defended by stating that the homosexual population has to be liberated. Thereby, homonormative gays and lesbians can latch onto patriotic white mainstream.

Homonormativity – designates the state when homosexuality exists as part of the heteronormative system, or when homosexuality is derived from heterosexuality. Instead of questioning the ideals of the bourgeois, white, heterosexual middle class, these are obtained. Monogamy, normative sex in one’s own private home, the gender binary etc., are aspired to without question and regarded as normal, while deviating behaviour is critizised.

Homosexuality – Homosexuality designates (usually based on the image of gender binary) men* desiring men* and women* desiring women*. This can refer to sexuality as well as to love and relationships.

ICD10 – ICD10 is a pathologizing international standard to categorize „illnesses and health problems“. In short, among others, Trans*- Identities, „Transvestism“, preference for BDSM and other deviances from common gender- and sexual norms are presented and categorized as illnesses.

Intersex*/Intersexuality/Inters*x – To this day, in medicine the theory prevails that genitalia have to
conform to the norm and be surgically adapted to either male or female sex. In general, gender identity is defined by outward anatomic appearance instead of genome. Today, the ablility to engage in heterosexual sex is the most important aspect when evaluating the longterm impact of genital surgeries on intersexuals. Among the affected persons and expert personnel, surgeries are harshly criticized. (11.5.2006)

Lady(*)fest – Lady(*)fest, also LaDIY*fest, is a political event with a feminist background, mostly organized by WomenLesbianTrans*. Ladyfests comprise theoretical workshops and lectures as well as art and cultural events such as stencil workshops, readings, concerts by (feminist) bands, and such.

Lesbian – A form of desire when a woman* or a guydyke desires another woman*/lesbian/guydyke.

LGBT* (also: LGBT*IQ) – An acronym for LesbianGayBiTrans (or also complemented by the addition „Inter*Queer“). The shortening „LGBT*“ is most commonly used, but can also be broadened with many more terms, such as A for asexual, Q for queer or questioning, etc.

Marginalization – Groups of people being dragged to the „margins“ of society. As a consequence, such groups are excluded from economic and social life.

Mastectomy – A surgery removing mammary glands or breast fatty tissue.

Monogamy – Monogamy describes a type of relationship in which two people have a close and (apparently) exclusive love relationship, without sexual contact to others.

MSM – Men having sex with men is a term functioning regardless of the categories „heterosexual“, „queer“, „gay“, „bisexual“, „homosexual“, therefore applying to a broader target audience.

MTF – Male To Female. Cf. Transwoman.

MTN (male-to-neutrois) – Desire to change their physical appearance in such a manner that they are no longer read as men, for instance by removing facial and body hair, raising the pitch of their voice (e.g. by larynx surgery), or testicular and/or penis removal surgery. (

Misogyny – Designates aversion and devaluation of women* and femaleness. In everyday language one often speaks of „women hatred“ or „hostility towards women“. Misogyny is present for instance in sexist structures discriminating against women.

N-word – The n-word is a pejorative, colonial, and racist term for PoC (People of Colour) and/or blacks.

Nationalism/Patriotism – Nationalism refers to a world view which strongly emphasizes the sovereignity of national states, placing great importance on national identity. Patriotism in turn designates the emotional bond to the nation state one has geographically been born into.

Open / Free space(s) – cf. WLT(I)* / WomenLesbianTrans*(Inter*)

Pansexuality/Pan – Pan refers to a sexual orientation based on the idea that there are many different genders and gender expressions. To people identifying as pansexual, the love, romance and/or sexual desire they feel is independent of the desired persons‘ sexual and/or gender identity.

Passing – Being able to „pass“ or be categorized as a member of a certain group without being noticed. The term is often used to refer to Trans*, for instance if a transman is recognized as a (cis-)man. Passing can also refer to race, for instance if PoC are read as white. Passing may also be applied in other areas, for instance with (dis)abilities. However, passing always entails being recognized as a member of a more socially acclaimed group.

People of Colour / PoC – Political self-designation of Blacks and other non-white people who are negatively affected by racism.

Pink list – Pink lists mean lists which are / used to be conducted by police and other prosecution authorities to list supposed gays and lesbians. In Munich, the Pink List is also a gay-lesbian-bi political party, which even obtained a seat in the city council.

Playparty – A sexparty focusing on BDSM, role playing and similar variations from normative sex.

Poly – The term „Poly“ comprises a broad variety of non-monogamous relationship types.

Queer – Originally meaning something strange, funny, unconventional, but also slightly insane. At the end of the 19th century, „Queer“ was mostly used as a pejorative term for non-heterosexual and non-cis people. In the 1960s, the term has been reappropriated by mostly black trans* and Drag Queens as a positive, empowering self-designation.

Queers – Collective term for a wide variety of gender and sexual identities, who mostly define themselves as non-heteronormative.

Queer Theory – Queer Theory is a cultural theory analyzing the relation between assigned sex and social gender as well as desire. Queer Theory originates, among others, in a critical assessment of racist and heterosexist assumptions in previously dominant feminisms. Queer Theory doesn’t comprise one consistent theory, but is rather a diversified concept, with political as well as theoretical aspects. Often, reflecting on one’s own position and the inherent power structures as well as an attempt to deconstruct these power structures, form an integral part.

Race – In German, the English term „Race“ is often used instead of the German „Rasse“, since „Rasse“ has too strong an association to biologist and naturalist ideas. Additionaly, „race“ is understood as a social construct resulting in racism.

Registered Partnership – Also wrongly dubbed „gay marriage“; registered partnership designates an achievement by the conservative gay (and lesbian) movement which is not equal to heterosexual marriage. Registered partnership partially state-approves gay and lesbian partnerships, but nevertheless consciously denies many of the privileges of heterosexual marriage.

Safer Sex – „Safer Sex“ refers to behaviour, measures and practices which minimize the risk of being infected with sexually transmitted diseases and illnesses (such as hepatitis, gonorrhea, HIV … ) when having sexual contact. Among others, using a condom during penetration is an example.

Schlampenau – The first „Holiday in Schlampenau, summer camp for unnatural women“ took place in 2007 and has since become an annual event. It’s a summer camp where Poly – WLT* meet to go on holiday together.

Sexualised violence – Power and violence are also exerted via sexual acts. The term „sexualised violence“ (in contrast to the term „sexual violence“) indicates that those are never about sexuality, neither sexual desires nor their satisfaction.

Slutwalk – Since 2011, „Slutwalk“ designates a form of protest aimed against victim blaming in rape cases, rape myths in general and sexualised violence. Since the term „Slutwalks“ is rejected by many affected, especially those who are discriminated on several levels, the name was changed in many cities.

Standards of Care (SoC) – The Standards of Care are guidelines for the treatment of trans*, which have been worked out by the Harry Benjam Society (Harry Benjamin International Gender Disphoria Association) since 1979. The current, seventh version of the SoC was published in July 2012:

Tomboy – Tomboy usually refers to girls and (young) women who don’t behave according to the rules, which is to say to conform to female gender stereotypes, but are rather particularly wild, excitable or physically active

– the prefix trans* indicates something is „beyond, over, further than“. Trans*, transgender, transident or transsexual (see below) therefore designates a (gender) identity defined by features beyond the sexual-biological ones, or stands in opposition to these. Identity, emotion and behaviour are decisive to recognition by oneself and others, rather than merely the body or even genitals. For instance, a person who has an anatomy which is regarded as entirely female can identify fully or partially as a man and intend to be recognized as such (or the other way around of course).
Transmann e.V. (09.02.2007)

Transwomen (TW) – A person who was assigned male at birth but identifies as female and/or a woman.

Transgender – „Generic term for all transpeople (as used in „Transgender Network Switzerland“). Is also being used to designate: a) people whose gender identity reaches beyond the gender binary; b) Trans who do not desire to undergo any or not all surgical measures“. (Transgender Network Switzerland)

Transgenderradio – The transgenderradio is an online radio station reporting on selected news about trans once a month. This includes current events, protests, interviews, changes in law or publications.

Transidentity – The term Transidentity has the same meaning as Transsexuality, however the term Transidentity is preferred by some Trans* as it puts the focus on ones identity, in opposition to the term transsexuality, which is often understood as pathologizing.

Transition – The process taking place between the realization of being trans and the arrival at the fitting gender identity and expression. The term used to designate the „completion“ of the „steps“ (deemed normal or necessary): outing, taking hormones, sex adjustment surgeries and changing name and gender. Nowadays, transition does not have to be linked to these steps and does not have to be completed at a certain point in time. Gender identity may continue to change over time, therefore, transition may never be completed or may be seen as complete when a person feels like they have „arrived“.

Transman (TM) – A person who was assigned female at birth but identifies as male and/or a man.

Transsexuality – Transsexuality means that a person does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Transvestite – „People who, for a variety of reasons, wear the clothing of the opposite sex but do not (necessarily) aim to live as the other sex. In some cases, it may be the precursor to Transidentities, or people realize only later that they are trans. For the most part, transvestites do not dare to leave their privacy and thereby suppress an important part of their personality.“ (10.02.2007)

Trans*Conference – An event for self-empowerment, which gives Trans*, their relatives and others interested the opportunity to host workshops and to exchange with each other. Mostly a multiday event.

Veganism – Veganism is a diet and lifestyle which doesn’t make use of any animal products.

WLT(I)* / WomenLesbianTrans*(Inter*) – Some organisations or spaces are open only to WLT* or WLTI*, which means Women, Lesbians, Trans*- (and Inter*). This is rooted in the call for a safer space, which can be neccessary when dealing with a patriarchal, male-dominated society.

Wendo – Wendo is a concept of self defense centered around women* and girls* which originated in feminist movements. In Wendo, exercises for self awareness and empowerment are taught as well as techniques against verbal and physical assaults.

Back to the dossier overview.

Menschen, Mythen, MUTTIationen– Ein Abgesang (engl. version)

A contribution by alsmenschverkleidet
Translation by bleistiftrebellx

I wasn’t free before either. At least my structurally forged chains were of a nice and decent lenght though, so I was sometimes able to successfully convince myself that they didn’t exist at all.
Freedom. Whatever that may mean to you. For me it means holding the privilege of choice, amon other things. Becoming and Being what I am, to live the way I want to. Together with those who are important to me. Without de_gradation, comments, oppression. Being subjected to even worse than that.

1st verse
The conclusion that I am not sick but pregnant occured simultaneously to the insight that I had been life-changingly mistaken in this case. EqualityTM in shiny writing glued, from now on, onto a family size package. The content unchanged. From human to nothing-but-emissary of my uterus in less than nine months. Compulsory labour following. All rights transferred to the holy mother. Finally, complete mummytation.

An ode to servitude.
If actually something more has been achieved than the highly-praised New Daddies buggy-parading around gentrified hip neighbourhoods, then why are we still missing visible and noticeable consequences everywhere? In the still rare case of their parental leave being longer than some months, their promptly written books or tales of woe that fill the feuilletons of notable daily papers eventually merely get the stamp: REMARKABLE. A monument cast in words to cement the EXEMPLARY EXCEPTION and to pirouette in large circles around themselves… and to not change a thing about the actual distribution of power.

As a person affected by sexualized violence, I have struggled to feel at home in my body again for a long time. Now I was again, and very differently, thrown back to physical traits, and I marveled – bemused or optimistic – at what was happening there for months. Above everything the measuring and commanding units with which a pregnant person today is strictly weighed. If you don’t comply, you’re instantly suspected of being an uncaring mother. Another successful strategy among the many diciplinary actions that focus on the female body, thus legitimizing all forms of appropriation.

Learning that I’m not cis either during this time – not exactly a coincidence. The more people around me insisted on me being on the peak of my femininty, the more I realized that this wasn’t true for me. I felt odd in a comfortable way in this body that hadn’t been there for me for such a long time… I wanted to enjoy that and not have to deal with and be bugged by the attributions of others.

2nd verse
Faded decal pictures of the mother serve as a basis, ostensibly enriched by high gloss covers à la working mum. There’s no room there for the fact that not only women get pregnant and that family does not equal fathermotherchild. The mother remains as a doubly biologically charged hinge-joint in charge of the functionality of the heteronormative system. Even if one resists, one will be pushed back into the old mold via the child. FamilyTM must remain what familyTM always has been. All who (want to) do it differently – only deserters, to be decried.

I didn’t plan to become part of a fathermotherchild ensemble. Even during my pregnancy, friends and I discussed about possible parent-al-ternatives, made plans, laughed and were scared together. After the child was born, for the time being there was neither time nor space to continue working on that. Theorizing about alternatives was now a complete luxury I couldn’t afford to practice. Pushed aside into a wholly one-dimensional layout of motherhood. To be filled in right now, closely emebedded in a tightly measured code of conduct. Misdemeanour leads to penalization by your entire surroundings, first and foremost by fellow parents (solidarity always ends where „my“ child is concernded!) and also everybody who had ever held a book about child development in their hands or seen something about it on TV. Diversity in parenting styles and a seemingly widened definition of family – ultimately another fairy tale of capitalist free market reason. Only going so far that it doesn’t really shake up the Traditional and remains economically exploitable.

Striking up a new song?!
Questioning the mythically overloaded term „Mother“, stripping it down little by little and laying bare with the scalpel of deconstructivism what is at work underneath it, that’s a possible way (for me). Starting far away from the confining one-way streets towards a parting of the ways to explore new variations and concepts of real-life parenthood.

For me, this isn’t about attacking those who (can) identify with the term „mother“ and fill it for their purposes, but to make room for those who don’t. I have met a lot of great people, since the child is there, who go their paths of parenthood with sky-high burdens on their backs… Far too often the supposedly constructive criticism of the mother – from the dissociated examination of (mostly derogatively) so-called mama-blogs to the sole blaming of mothers for all evils of the world – only again masks the many facets of misogyny, more or less aptly.

The child teaches me personhood anew, reminds me of what really counts, and above everything there’s an omnipresent snugly orange-yellow giant love. That only makes me take offence more at the close-knitted confines of the mother role, at how little, in its stereotypical version, it represents me and my life.
For me, family (by choice) and parenthood is what I make of it. It’s not a rigid construct, but fluid and adaptable to the needs of everyone involved, or at least that’s the idea that lights up the path. As practiced by me, it includes friends as much as relatives that are dear to me. I would love to accompany many more children into the world and watch them as they take up space and grow… but under no circumstances do I ever want to go back to that hell of biologistic backlash that I was pushed towards in my pregnant body and that I haven’t left for long yet.

Alsmenschvergleidet is the white genderqueer parent of a three-year-old child, writes for about queerfeminist parenting issues and occasionally blogs on, where this text was originally published. The TM or italic letters are meant to point out the problematic constructs behind the thus marked terms.

Back to the dossier overview.

“If I were a boy”: Young Queers in US-Television

By Steffi Achilles
Translation by Elena

What kind of rolemodels exist for non-heterosexual youth in US Television? How are young queers represented there?
The ability for underaged people to decide what gender they identify with, which sexual orientation they have or what kind of relationship they want, if they are cis or trans*, gay or lesbian is often under discussion. Within these public debates young people are portrayed as too young, too immature, too unexperienced . Some people even think that having contact with non-heterosexual people can be dangerous for young people, or thinking about it: for everyone.

The other side of the debate claims that young people are capable to decide on their identities and bodies. Kids are already raised in heteronormative structures, where the logic dictates that they are only two opposite genders that are romantically and later also sexually attracted to each other.
There is no uprise against the heterosexualisation of young kids, because it is seen as normal.

What kind of young people are portrayed as gay, lesbian, bisexual/pansexual, genderqueer, transgender or inter(sex) in current US-Television?

Gay boys were starting it off
Young, non-heterosexual main characters are relatively new in mainstream television.
After seeing Rickie Vasquez (played by Wilson Cruz) in the Series ‚My So-Called Life‘ (ABC, 1994) it took 10 more years for me to stumble upon Justin Suarez (Mark Indelicat) in the show ‚Ugly Betty‘ that was screened from 2006-2010 on ABC. Shortly after that we could see Eric van der Woodsen (Connor Paolo) in ‚Gossip Girl‘ (2007-2012 The CW) and Marshall Gregson (Keir Gilchrist) in ‚United States of Tara‘, which was screened 2009-2011 on Showtimes.
Justin and Marshall are portrayed in a similar way: young, skinny teens, shy and ‚unmanly‘ in a way that gave the viewers a chance to interpret them as queer right from the beginning. Both of them do arty activities (editing films & fashion design) and are from less privileged families.

Like ‚Ugly Betty‘, ‚Gossip Girl‘ is also situated in New York but in an upper class setting, meaning that Eric is part of a rich and influential family. In all three shows the characters main topics are coming out, their first samsex kiss and relationships. Another interesting show in this contest is ‚South of Nowhere‘ (The N – Teen Nick) in which a lesbian and a bisexual teen are portrayed. The Show ran from 2005 to 2008

Looking for an Identitiy during High School
The Fox-show ‚Glee‘ that started screening in 2009 features 5 main characters that are LGBT*. Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) is bullied by his peers for not presenting as heterosexual from the very beginning of the show. In Season 2 he is joined by, his later romantic relationship, Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss), who helps him stand up to the abuse he endures in school.

The two cheerleaders Brittany Susan Pierce (Heater Morris) and Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) start off as close friends, that are revealed having a more complex relationship to each other later in the show. After a lot of struggles they start leading a more or less monogamous relationship.
The Show ‚Pretty Little Liars‘, that runs since 2009 is evolving around four girls that share a common friend Ali, who disappears and whose corps is (presumely) found.
The main story line is the detective work that the friends do in order to find Alisons killer.

One of the friends is Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell), whose lesbian relationship is part of the storyline from day one. Emily experiences a difficult coming-out in the first season, where her parents are not ok with her relationship with Maya and her identification as lesbian.
This being said, the romantic lifes of the four friends take less room in the show than their relations with each other, which makes the show even more interesting.

The Show ‚Faking It‘ exists since 2014 and portrays Amy Raudenfeld (Rita Volk) and Karma Ashcroft (Katie Stevens), who are faking to be lesbians and are couple in order to be more interesting in their progressive high school. While Amy is starting to think that she might be in love with Karma for real, Karma is trying to catch the attention of boys at their school.

A lot of storylines in ‚Pretty Little Liars‘, ‚Glee‘ and ‚Faking It‘ discuss finding an identity and words for young people to explain themselves.
Santana experiences a big break through when she finally self-identifies as a lesbian and comes out to her religious latina family.

Santana, Brittany, Amy, Karma and Emily are TV-figures that are portrayed as equally feminine to the other girls in the shows. Emily is a swimmer and while her other friends also do sports, like running or tuning their bodies, Emily is always seen as the sporty one or as a tomboy. Amy is also portrayed as less feminine than Karma, altough this distinction within the show is not visible for the viewers on the first glance.

Trans & genderqueer as a sidenote
In Season 3 of ‚Glee‘ the young transwoman Unique Adams (Alex Newll) enters the Glee Club. In the Musical-Club which gives the show its name, the young people cover rock and pop songs, often in order to work through conflicts or share personal thoughts and emotions. Unique sings the song ‚If I were a boy‘ by Beyoncé in episode 05×05 after being harassed by cis boys while trying to use the bathrooms.23

‚House of Lies‘ (Showtime) is, as far as I know, the only show in US-Television portraying a genderqueer person as a lead character: Roscoe Kaan (Donis Leonard Jr.). Their Father Marty is sometimes overwhelmed, for example when Roscoes wants to try out for the female lead in ‚Grease‘ or shouts at museum visitors because they stare at them. In general he is very supportive towards Roscoe and is the only one who believes them when they are accused to having kissed a schoolmate against their will.

Sex, Drugs & religious media campaigns.
The show ‚Skins‘ (MTV, 2011) who is a remake of a British show with the same name features the student Tea Marvelli (Sofia Black-D’Elia) who first appears having romantic relationships with girls but later on has a long affair with a boy called Tony. Sex with him is weird for her at the beginning, but this changes quickly. Tea is portrayed like most of the current LGBT*IQ characters as having high self-esteem, honest, witted and determined.

Sadly the show was stopped after the first season by MTV.24 One of the main reasons was that the ‚Parents Television Council‘ 25 called the show ‚child pornography‘ which had a huge impact of sponsors who withdrew their investments.
The fact that alcohol and drug use were also part of the storyline probably didn’t help the reputation of the show in these circles.

The Show ‚Shameless‘ who started 2011 in the US brings sexual activity and drug use by minors to the screens aswell. Ian (Gerard Kearns) is a gay teen who is part of the Gallagher family around which the show is centered. He wants to enter the US-Army and spends a lot of time training for this. After a short affair with a married man he starts a not-monogamous on-and-off relationship with Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher), an aggressive and violent boy from his neighbourhood. When Micheys dad finds out about their relationship he beats up his son and makes him having sex with a woman while he stays in the room and makes Ian watch aswell.
So far as I now the ‚Parents Television Council‘ hasn’t issued a statement concerning ‚Shameless‘, maybe because the show is not directly targeting teenagers as ‚Skins‘ does or because it is screened on the Pay-TV channel Showtime and not on public television.26

Showtime also features shows like ‚Queer as Folk‘, ‚The L Word‘ or ‚Nurse Jackie‘ who are probably not ‚family-friendly‘ from a Christian perspective.

Supernatural is the new queer
The fantasy show ‚True Blood‘ not only portrays a lot of queer characters but also plays with the similarities between real LGBT*QIA movements 27 and the struggle for rights for vampires, who in the most cases are not strictly heterosexual. I would also argue that supernatural characters in fantasy shows very rarely go through the same process of finding an identity and coming out as their human counterparts do. The status of supernaturals seems to give them more freedom and power over their bodies. Queer youth is not part of the main cast in ‚True Blood‘.

In contrast, the fantasy show ‚Teen Wolf” (MTV, since 2011) has a gay werewolf since 2013: Ethan (Charlie Carver), whose identical twin Aiden is heterosexual. In this show the sexual identity of Ethan is not a big topic and he has more or less an equal amount of affairs as his twin. This could also be because the twins stories are anyhow overshadowed by the heterosexual (ex-) relation between the two ultimate main characters.

Since a couple of years young queer characters are part of US-Television. These shows are rarely criticized by conservatives if they don’t target directly young people and show youth doing drugs or having sex.

The LGBT*IQ characters are mostly portrayed as powerful and often work through finding and identity and coming out. Only supernatural characters do not have to come out, because they are apparently able to self-define their sexual preferences and act outside of anti-queer structures.
In US-Shows we most often see gay boys/man, followed by lesbian girls/woman and very, very rarely also transgender or genderqueer people. Inter(sex) characters haven’t been main characters and the portrayal of asexuals is also a difficult topic that is worth an article of its own.

Steffi Achilles grew up near Bremen and is currently living in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). They mainly blog about queer characters in US-Shows on [german]

The „Parents Television Council“ ( is a fundamentalist christian lobby organisation in the USA who claim to be active for the ’safety of children‘. Their mainly talk about being ‚family-friendly‘ which means holding up their christian ideal of heterosexuality, monogamy and sexual abstinence. Everthing that they see as not ‚family-friendly‘ is being targeted by media campaigns and attemts of censoring.


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Shabbat Shalom!

By Paul Kalt
translation by sophie

It is because of my Jewish heritage, that I have for a while now been contemplating my Jewish culture and religion. Recently, I decided to pay a visit to the local Synagogue. The first visits went by without any complications. The rabbi took me in with open arms and younger parishioners introduced me to the procedure of the service. The following incidents happened on the day, that I decided to out myself as a trans man. Because I did not have sex reassignment surgery and dress feminine on special occasions, it is not very obvious which gender I relate to. On this specific day a new rabbi than the one before was present at the service.

I am as nervous as the first time. Intimidated and confused my eyes dart over the waiting crowd in the entrance area. The fluted cup filled with coke slips through my hands. The plastic crinkles. I am trying to become invisible behind a newspaper.
„Hello! Who are you? Are you here for the first time? Where did you leave you`re kipah? Did you forget it?“
The child is approximately 5 years old. Excitedly it jumps up and down in front of me.
I have to smile to myself, but try to keep composure, arraying my black skirt.
Imagining the man next to the entrance being this child’s father, I reply: „I have been here three times alreay. Maybe you were not here then. I am a woman!“
„No way! You are lying!“
„No, just wait, I will be going up with the other women once the service starts.“
I don’t want to overwhelm the child, I’m thinking.
At the very same moment I get angry about this compulsion to assimilate.
Trying to find the right passages in the book, I am sitting up front, in between two elderly women.
Listening to the familiar sounds of the rabbi’s melody, I am entering a trance, feeling like I have arrived.
The child is looking up to me, whisper-shouting: „You are wrong up there!“
The pleasant feeling vanishes in an instant. What am I doing here? I am on the fence, but finally remain seated.
After the service the parish gathers in the neighboring hall of the synagogue. The table has been set and after the prayer the glasses are lifted.
„Boys don’t have things like that.“
With a serious face the child examines the rings and bracelets on my hands. „Or are you actually a women??“
With eager eyes and an impish grin he looks up to me. The mother of the child puts her forefinger on her lips: „Shhhhhhh.“ (It is forbidden to speak before the meal.)
„Well“, I open my mouth to speak, as the napkins are lifted. Fishbread and cakes appear underneath them. I turn to my neighbor as I am a bit embarrassed now of the unclear image I am projecting on the child.
„You are just right, I am not a women.“
The child smiles proudly.
„I knew it!“
„But now I have to ask you a question as well, after you have been pestering me all this time. So, why is that you think that men cannot wear things such as rings or necklesses?“
„Hmm“, the kid spots a lonely ring in my right ear.
„Oh ok, well, actually you are just wearing one earring, like boys do.“
In connivance we focus on the delicacies on the tables.
It doesn’t take long until the child wants to share his newly gained news about me.
„I am sitting next to a boy, a boy“, it reveals, high-voiced, the happy news to the rest of the group.
The relatives intend to intervene, admonishingly.
„Ruben, please leave the woman alone.“
„But its true, he said so himself!“
„Be quiet! This is nothing to joke about.“, his father rebukes him softly.
„S_he is certainly right“, I accede.
The rest of the group is looking mesmerized now. Some have to chuckle.
The rabbi approaches the source of turmoil with big steps.
„Who is this girl there? Is she new?“ He asks a person, who just shoved a big piece of trout in his*her mouth.
I feel compelled to make a move and get up hastily.
„Paul, hello. I am not a girl.“- I introduce myself, trying to extract my most graceful countenance.
The rabbi ignores my hand and instead uses his own, wide spread hands, to throw them up over his head in despair. His kipah almost falls off his head.
„That just can’t be true!“
Broad laughter, shaking heads. One person speculates that this could all just be a play.
I am trying to make myself heard. The blood is boiling in my temples.
„There is a saying among us jews“, the rabbi explains.
„We say: Can black people change their color of skin?! So, how can it be true, what you are telling me?“
„That goes without saying, there is no need for a discussion!“, another member of the parish exclaims. „Exactly. The women are sitting up front, and the men are sitting down here,“ the rabbi reckons, „so tell me, who are you?“
My face frowns.
I don’t have to put up with this, I think.
„A good day to you, Shabbat Shalom.“ I leave the hall.
In retrospect I think, that the conversation with the child was very valuable.

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Ezras adivce column

Translation by Jonah Evers

[Question 1] Before my current relationship I had several affairs at the same time, though all people involved knew about each other. Ever since, I have known that I don’t really want to live in a monogamous relationship, which is why „open relationship“ has been a subject for me and my current partner since the beginning of our relationship. When we gave an open relationship our first try at the beginning of this year I wasn’t sure whether my partner only consented to it to humour me, as I think he would have never had this notion by himself. Until now I have only become close to somebody outside of the relationship once; I talked to my partner about it and he said that it was okay for him. When I noticed that there was the possibility of me falling in love with this other person, I talked to them and, following that, mostly broke off any contact. But now I notice – again – that my attraction is mostly directed at people outside of the relationship. My partner says that this is alright with him, but when he actually notices me coming in contact with people I could potentially find attractive, he reacts hurt and resentful. Most of his friends say that they can’t really picture an open relationship being a good thing for him. I am scared that I am acting abusive towards him. Maybe he is scared of my reaction if he voiced his concerns? Maybe you can advise me how I can assure him that I don’t want to talk him into anything he doesn’t want and that he can talk to me anytime he feels uncomfortable.

Best regards,

[Answer] Hello B.,

Today, I will put the conclusion at the beginning: In my opinion it is of less importance to find out what is behind the incongruity between what is said (your partner consents to opening the relationship) and what is done (his resentment); you should rather ask yourself honestly what is to become of this relationship. I can see the following facts: Your partner consented to the opening of the relationship, but his consent/ostensible neutrality has turned to discontent with this situation, which you perceive as resentment. Even without a detailed account of your partner, I think it is adequate to trust your gut: your partner doesn’t like your agreement (anymore).
As a consequence, your ideal relationship model is poly and that of your partner is monogamous. You can continue the relationship in one direction or in the other. Either you keep acting according to your agreement and your partner is unhappy, or you listen to your gut feeling, live monogamously – and become unhappy yourself. Of course there are levels of „openness“ in a relationship, but your situation doesn’t strike me as one where a compromise both parties would be satisfied with is possible.

Believe me, I know these relationship situations, where one talks and talks and the problem doesn’t disappear and one believes if one would talk more, one could find a solution. But in real life one stands before the unsolvable conflict that derives from different needs. Just because the value of open dialogue in relationships is often stressed it doesn’t mean that two people can always find a solution, if only they talked to each other long enough. It’s understandable that you look for a solution in better communication, but deep within yourself you already realized that your partner is not content like this. In the hope that he would simply spill his beans and voice his opinion, so that you two can talk it out, you want him to talk. I fear that this is doomed to fail. He already showed where he stands on the current situation. Captain Awkward often emphasizes that one shouldn’t (only) be aware of what people say but that in the end what they do is what counts. That is what I advise you. Your partner shows resentment because he doesn’t want to continue the relationship on these terms. What do you want to do under these circumstances?

A few tips on how to proceed: First you could clear with yourself how you see your future together. What would be your ideal arrangement, no matter if your partner has similar ideas? Where do you see yourself and your partner in one year, or in five? When you have answered these questions for yourself, you can initiate the conversation with your partner. What would his ideal arrangement look like, no matter if it accomodates you? Where does he see you two in one year, or in five? Can he imagine himself living with the situation as it is now for another year, or two, or five? Could you in turn imagine living with the situation as it is now for 1/ 2/ 5 years? I don’t have a magic spell that will make you two always find the right words. But these questions can help you and your partner picture the future and your relationship more clearly. Good luck!

This time around I received an additional question, therefore now the bonus round.

[Question 2] Hello Esme,
i really like to read your column and this time I am brave enough to pose a question myself:

I am female, in the end of my thirties and married. In the last years I have concerned myself with a lot of different queer subjects and two things have become clear to me. The first thing: I am asexual. That was really liberating for me. I accept it (my husband does, too, implicitly, as I have not deliberately come out) and the pressure of having to want something – sex – is gone. The second: I am a GirlFag. Sometimes I wish I was born a gay man. I do not believe I am trans. Do you believe there is a connection between these two things? That I, because I am a GirlFag, don’t like (hetero) sex?

Best wishes,

[Answer] Hello Anonymous,

A general warning: I will make wild assumptions, as I neither identify as asexual nor as a GirlFag. What I am about to say does not count for all, or even most of asexual people and GirlFags. Reality can be very different for everyone, which is why the same identity can be completely different for different people (see GirlFag-/GuyDyke articles in Issue 6).
The following text is to be seen as a buffet: take what fits for you and leave the rest.

So to finally approach the question: yes, i think there can be a connection between the two. While asexuality simply „is“ for some people, there are others who are/have become asexual through certain circumstances. Sadly, these circumstances can include negative experiences; others develop their identity in the context of how their body is perceived in society and sexualised/desexualised.² This is where different dimensions intersect, like fat, non-white/black or non-ablebodied, experimenting with feminine presentation as an amab* person or with masculine presentation as an afab** person. Especially in the intersection of these two, people are downright made asexual.³ Concerning this I’d like to offer you the two links in the footnotes, because I assume that you, just like me, are white and I want to let people speak for themselves.

Only you can figure out how strong the connection between your asexuality and your identity as a GirlFag actually is. A very real and well-known side effect of a trans identity is dysphoria, which can happen if your gender is not perceived as your own or if one is sexualised for gendered body parts that don’t go together with the own self-perception (for instance the strong sexualisation of breasts, when one would feel more comfortable without breasts). This can happen in a very sensitive situation if it happens during sex. Thus the potential of offense or injury is very high, which can lead to avoidance, unpleasant sensations or feelings of disgust/repulsedness. At the same time it could be that the „atmosphere“ isn’t right during sex because one expects a different dynamic from the one that actually develops. How people treat others is influenced by what gender they assign to themselves and their counterpart and which unspoken rules those gender identities bring with them. There are lots of tiny details that can lead to a situation where sex with a specific person doesn’t work and I think that the own gender identity, especially if it has changed in the course of the relationship, is a very big tiny detail. (Not talking about the fact that people sometimes come to the conclusion that they don’t want sex with a specific person or don’t want sex with them anymore.)
In the end, only you yourself can answer the question if and how there is a connection between your identities, but do I think it’s possible that they influence each other?

2, in leicht veränderter Form in Queerulant_in Nr. 7, S. 20 nachzulesen

*amab=assigned male at birth – sometimes also camab=coercively assigned male at birth
**afab=assigned female at birth – somtimes also cafab=coercively assigned female at birth

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