In the modern day, more development and understanding is being put into sexuality and gender identity.
This is due to the further visibility that many LGBTQ+ people have been receiving over the years, and this has been helped along by many prominent and well known people of the community putting themselves in the spotlight.
However, another way that LGBTQ+ has been highlighting knowledge for the wider public to explore is by making preferred queer terms more well known as well.
For many years, the only queer terms that people used in heteronormative societies were slurs or academic terms to describe the community, neither of which helped people outside the community to understand people within it.
Nowadays, there are plenty of terms that describe the multifaceted and complex LGBTQ+ community that has been built. One of these terms is ‘masc’, but what is masc? And what does it stand for?
In this article, we will explore this topic and shine a light on information about the LGBTQ+ word masc.
What Does Masc Mean?
Masc is quite literally a shortened version of masculine, and what it means to someone who is LGBTQ+ when describing another person is that that person is presenting as masculine and falls somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
While this may seem strange as a definition to some people, it is an important distinction, for it is describing a facet of a person without boiling it down to being their whole sexuality or their whole gender identity.
A good way to look at this is to look at some of the different people in LGBTQ+ groups who use the term.
Transgender men – those who were assigned female at birth but are or have transitioned to a male identity – may use the term masc to describe how they present at that moment, as compelled by their dysphoria.
It can also be used to describe more fluid aspects of the gender spectrum, from demiguys – those assigned male at birth who don’t feel that connected to the masculine identification –, gender-fluid people – those whose gender identity varies over time and situation –, Agender – those that feel a lack of gender –, and non-binary – those whose gender identity falls outside the gender binary –, all these groups of LGBTQ+ people can at one point or another present as masc.
Another group who may use the term masc, but to a lesser extent, are lesbians. When a lesbian presents as more masculine, they are normally referred to as ‘Butch’.
However, this term is not for everyone, and so some lesbians will refer to themselves as ‘masc’ instead to describe their presentation.
Unfortunately, there can be some negative connotations to masc within the community as well.
Some people prefer to date people of a certain persuasion and this became an issue on grindr, as some people in the community would use the terms ‘masc’ and ‘femme’ – those who present as feminine while falling on the LGBTQ+ spectrum – to discriminate against others characteristics and presentation.
However, it should be noted that this is a very small group of people in the community, and most people are welcomed with open arms.
Why Was It Important To Descriptors Of Gender?
Almost all people on the LGBTQ+ spectrum are not bound to norms of heteronormative society’s gender and societal expectations. Indeed, many along this spectrum actually have a fluid identity that shifts and changes with how they need to express themselves.
Normally, these people know exactly what they are about, but the LGBTQ+ community is all about understanding and humanity in general has an obsession with categorizing things.
As such, it makes it easier for those who fall outside even the traditional standards of what defined LGBTQ+ while being queer themselves, to describe themselves to others who may not understand.
An example of this would be people who are non-binary or gender-fluid, again. On the day they are feeling more masc, they may present as such.
If they are questioned by members of the community about their fashion or style today, they may use the term ‘masc’ to describe themselves as a non-binary way of talking about the traditional binary.
This is also true with transgender people who are non-binary. They can refer to themselves as transmasc or transfemme, depending on their presentation.
It allows people who may struggle to keep track of the terms to see the nuance of a person’s identity in simple to understand terms.
Can I Apply Masc And Femme To Any Person I Think May Be Such?
No, you shouldn’t. Unless you are absolutely certain how that person is presenting – like they are your best friend or sibling – you should never just comment on how a person is presenting.
For starters, you honestly don’t know if that is how they intended to present, and honestly they may not be comfortable about you questioning them on the topic.
The LGBTQ+ community terms are incredibly simple and ridiculously confusing at the same time, because they are deeply personal.
Some people who have been trans and present as their preferred gender for years may still struggle to be referred to as such when spoken about in public.
You need to be sensitive and kind, and the best way to do that is to not question a person heavily on what gender or sexuality they are.
Instead, let them be and if it comes up in conversation, you have your answer, if it doesn’t, just carry on with your life.
The only time you should question it is if their life relies on the answer, otherwise it is their business and their business only.
Masc is used to describe a person who is presenting as masculine and is on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
Considering there are many different genders and types of people, this term – along with femme – is incredibly useful to those trying to understand the fluidity of the spectrum within their own binary.
It is not a perfect solution, but it is a useful one that many people enjoy using.