We want to know what gender is. But metaphysical approaches
to this question solely have focused on the binary gender kinds
men and women. By overlooking those who identify outside of
the binary–the group I call ‘genderqueer’–we are left without
tools for understanding these new and quickly growing gender
identifications. This metaphysical gap in turn creates a conceptual
lacuna that contributes to systematic misunderstanding of
genderqueer persons. In this paper, I argue that to better understand
genderqueer identities, we must recognize a new type of
gender kind: critical gender kinds, or kinds whose members collectively
destabilize one or more pieces of dominant gender ideology.
After developing a model of critical gender kinds, I suggest
that genderqueer is best modeled as a critical gender kind that
destabilizes the ‘binary axis’, or the piece of dominant gender
ideology that says that the only possible genders are the binary,
discrete, exclusive, and exhaustive kinds men and women.