Queer Multilinguality and Embodied Speech

December 2022 - August 2023

The workshop series "Queer Multilinguality and Embodied Speech" provides the ground for a participatory, multilingual and international issue of the Journal InterAlia. A Journal for Queer Studies. This issue is scheduled to appear at the end of 2023 under the title The Multilingual Issue. untranslatability, linguistic multiplicity, embodied speech. Four thematic workshops will bring together contributors and those interested to explore and discover queer forms of speech and expression. The aim is to bring together poetic, artistic and academic contributions that promote queer multilinguality in an experimental way. The workshops activate different first languages, gestures, signs and facial expressions, queer slang and diverse Englishes. How can this be translated into journal contributions that express non-binary gender, queer ways of living, pleasure and desire?


Embodied language
Multilingual queer
Membranic translation
Collective editing

More information about the workshops will follow.

The workshop series is run by the Institute for Queer Theory.

Funded by the Hannchen Multi-Purpose Foundation.

Farewell to the binary sex_gender system

non-binary, inter*, trans*

The Gender/Queer e.V. association is committed to overcoming the binary sex_gender order, as its norms and constraints contribute to discrimination and promote social hierarchies. Socially, the existence of people who cannot be – or do not want to be – categorised according to a scheme of two options, either male or female, is still ignored or disregarded. The normality of the sex_gender binary thus entails a form of violence that is exercised by medicine, the legal system, education and the media. It is socially desirable that individuals conform to the two-gender norm. If someone falls outside this norm, the consequence is discipline, punishment, discrimination or even social exclusion.

The term sex_gender is used to signify an integral simultaneityrather than a distinction between its two elements: There is no social subjectivity, which is notalways also embodied, and there is no embodiment, which does not carry socio-historical, epistemic,discursive and biographical traces.

Medical grievances - depathologise sex_gender

One area in which this deplorable state of affairs is particularly evident is medicine. All people, whether non-binary or cis, hetero or homo, are subjected to medical gender and sexuality norms. But trans*, inter* and non-binary people experience the full force and violence of these norms. Inter* people are born with physical characteristics that cannot be medically assigned to one of the two predominant genders. Normative medical interventions are supposed to enable binary gender assignment. Despite such surgery being banned in Germany since 2021, inter* children continue to be subjected to surgeries and medical treatments that permanently alter their bodies in order to fulfil the binary gender norm, without having a say in what happens to their own bodies. Like inter* and trans* people, non_binary people are bypassed by a two-gender society that only recognises men and women. The gender self-understanding of non-binary people resists the either/or of the binary; it can be fluid, elude gender stereotypes, multiply or ambiguate gender. Trans*gender identities, historically referred to as transsexuality, continue to be subject to pathologisation and will still be regulated by the outdated so-called Transsexuality Act in 2022. For trans*gender or transsexual people, the sex assigned at birth does not match their gender identity and/or their own experience of their bodies. However, hormones or surgeries that allow them to live in a way that matches their identity and experiences are only available if a treatment recommendation is made with a psychiatric opinion, and only after 12 to 18 months of psychotherapy. In 2023, the legal situation will still make it difficult for trans* people to access hormones and medical measures to adapt their bodies. For trans*, inter* and non_binary people, self-determined and non-pathologising medical care that addresses their specific needs is essential. While they may not all have the same concerns regarding law and medicine, the demands for self-determination and de- pathologisation represent common ground. For some, this means refusing coercive measures, for others, fighting for access to treatment. In order to escape the pressures of the sex_gender binary and the violence that comes with it, trans, inter* and non_binary people require more support from law and medicine.

non-binary activism

Trans*, inter* and non_binary people act together under the acronym TIN to fight against the constraints of the binary gender order. The asterisk* signals that this is not meant to create a new pigeonhole, but rather open categories and political identities. Within Gender/Queer e.V., however, there is also a discussion about whether gender categories are needed at all. Whether a sex_gender-free society is conceivable or desirable? And what would be gained if gender were abolished, at least as a category of legal regulation? What can state action look like that fights discrimination based on gender and sexuality, but at the same time avoids gender attributions? What can be done on the part of the state, educational institutions, medicine and the law to enable people to break free from restrictive gender expectations and to recognise and live gender diversity?
Activism under the heading "non-binary" thus reaches further than the struggle for gender and sexual self-determination. The focus is not on gender identities but on social relations and resistance against a heteronormative, patriarchal two-gender order. The utopia of a farewell to bisexuality is linked to the possibility of breaking free from the norms and constraints of the order set in motion at birth and internalised and embodied in the course of life. However, opportunities also arise to actively reshape social conditions. The abolition of the TSG and the implementation of gender and sexual human rights would be decisive milestones in this process.

Our concrete demands are:

Equality of all genders - without declaring the diversity of genders to be natural.

The abolition of the TSG and the adoption of a self-determination law that renounces categorisation, consistently implements the depathologisation of gender and sexuality and establishes a state-financed, needs-oriented medicine.

The abolition of the state-forced gender entry in the civil registry.

The continuation and revision of state anti-discrimination measures for the equality of all genders.

The compensation of bodily harm by previous laws regardless of the change of civil status.

The public recognition, reappraisal and apology to the victims. As well as effective sanctioning and prosecution.

A law that does not use the term "variants of gender development" and thus offers less room for interpretation for medical professionals in order to prevent circumvention and non-medically necessary norm-adjusting treatments.

A central register of medical files and comprehensive reporting obligations, which are kept beyond the statute of limitations until the 48th year of the patient's life, with which information on past treatments is made more easily accessible to those affected.

Compulsory counselling by a qualified peer counsellor (counsellor with the same characteristics or in the same life situation).

Equality - non-binary and intersectional

Discussion round on the occasion of the farewell to the GenderKompetenzZentrum, January 2021

Personal status: diverse - thinking equality further

Symposium of the Equality Team of the FernUniversität Hagen, June 2019


Engel, Antke Antek: Queering Gender Equality: UN SDG 5 beyond the sex_gender binary, in: Binswanger, Christa / Zimmermann, Andrea (ed.)(2021): Transitioning to Gender Equality, Basel: MDPI books: 139-157.


Open access full book: https://www.mdpi.com/books/pdfview/edition/1296

Neurodiversity intersectional

relationships and coalitions

December 9th 2022, 4 to 7 pm CET (Berlin/Vienna)


Neurodiversity suddenly seems to be the hip diversity category. But how do we benefit as neurodivergent people, especially if we’re not white autistic cis men with IT jobs? This conversation brings together neurodivergent women, lesbian, nonbinary, trans and inter people to share questions such as: What spaces do we have to share our experiences? How do we bring our specific perspective to our work or activism? What relationships and coalitions are important to us, and what do we need to feel secure in them? How do we bring intersectional aspects into discourses on neurodiversity?

Access info:

First there will be a moderated discussion among the invited participants. After a short break, all interested people from the audience can join the discussion with their questions and contributions.

The conversation will take place in German spoken language. Participation in English is possible, a non-professional translation between German and English will be provided.

The event is open to all people who identify as neurodivergent women, lesbian, nonbinary, trans, inter and agender (women and TINA people).

Invited participants:


Constanze Schwärzer-Dutta (Neurodiverse Couples Counselor, author of the book “Liebe mit Köpfchen”)



An event as part of a funding by LGBTI Inclusion Fund Berlin:

Logo Landesstelle für Gleichbehandlung und gegen DiskriminierungLogo IGSV BerlinLogo Senatsverwaltung Justiz, Verbraucherschutz und Antidiskriminierung Berlin

Gaga Feminism. Rethinking Queer Anarchy

an evening with Jack Halberstam (organized by the Institute for Queer Theory)
January 27, 2013 at Silverfuture

Prize question: What do pregnant man Thomas Beatie, comic sponge Sponge Bob and pop star Lady Gaga have in common?

Whoever knows (k)one answer to this question wins participation in a conversation with Judith Jack Halberstam: The creator of "Gaga Feminism" sees the three aforementioned media figures all as harbingers of a change that will radically turn our ideas of kinship, gender and sexuality upside down. Judith Jack Halberstam and Jana Günther discuss how we can accelerate this change by becoming "gaga" ourselves and what all this has to do with queer anarchy.

Moderation: Sonja Erkens (Missy Magazine)



Thank you very much for the donations received in this context for Gender/Queer e.V.!


The comic strip "I see something you don't see, or: Who sees whom here?"

was conceived and drawn by Imke Schmidt and Ka Schmitz as part of the work of the GenderKompetenzZentrum.

It deals - experimenting with drawings - with questions about the pictorial representation of diversities and power entanglements:

"Why is a stick figure automatically a stick figure? What happens when I want to ascribe to it an identity other than the 'norm'? And how does that even work?"

I see what you don't see
Comic by Imke Schmidt and Ka Schmitz,
published by the GenderKompetenzZentrum
Berlin, 2010 (17 p.)

The comic can be ordered for a nominal fee of 8.50 (including postage and shipping) from:


subtle? how sexuality gets racialized

The Subtle Racialization of Sexuality series

Workshop, April 23/24, 2012, TrIQ, Berlin

with Nana Adusei-Poku, Antje Barten, Zülfukar Cetin, Tülin Duman,Henriette Gunkel, Urmila Goel, Anja Michaelsen, Thoralf Mosel, Saideh Saadat-Lendle, Leticia Sabsay.

How is sexuality deployed for political ends? … in official state politics, in the media, in activism? Do political struggles acknowledge intersections between homo- and transphobia, able-bodiedness, and racism? Is “subtle” racialization a euphemism, or does it allow us to point out particular forms of dis/articulating racism? The workshop explores in more depth the discussions initiated by the lecture series „“The Subtle Racialization of Sexuality“ through activating knowledge and experiences from activism and project work.


· Political self-definition and solidarity in postcolonial times and places

· Queering kinship

· The (neo)liberal promise

· Redefining and redesigning publics

In cooperation with Gladt e.V.


Funded by hannchen mehrzweck stiftung


Booklet: 10 Years Institute for Queer Theory (iQt)

Pleasures in Complexity and Confusion

A booklet, published in 2016, introduces the work of the iQt

The iQt's work is defined by taking pleasure in complexity, confusion, and controversy. Its overarching concern is a critical reflection on both the binary order of gender as well as heterosexual dominance. Its focus is on dismantling hierarchic, exclusionary, and normalizing modes of organizing gender and sexuality, without losing sight of how different power structures interweave with (and amongst) each other.

Queer politics works within the paradoxical tension between fighting difference as a construction of inequality and fostering difference as uniqueness. The goal, however, is to promote non-hierarchic differences and to find an equally respectful and empowering way of interacting with asymmetries and the ineluctable otherness of others.

The following booklet captures the first 10 years of the Institute for Queer Theory, 2006-2016.

Lust an Komplexität und Irritation //
Pleasures of Complexity and Confusion
10 Jahre Institut für Queer Theory
10 Years Institute for Queer Theory

Antke Engel, Jule Jakob Govrin, Eva von Redecker (eds.)
Berlin, 2016 (96 pages)
Copyright: Gender/Queer e.V. (Berlin)
ISBN 978-3-00-053141-5
€ 8,- (€ 10,- incl. shipping)

download as/als pdf (10MB)

or order at: mail(at)gender-queer.de