Skip to Content

What is the word for queer in French?

Being able to express oneself is a fundamental right. However, people who identify as queer often find it challenging to find or use a word that accurately represents their identity and how they feel. This challenge can be even more cumbersome in different languages. In French, the word for queer has evolved over the years, and there are some nuances that one should be aware of. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what the word for queer in French is and its cultural implications.

The Evolution of the Word

The term “queer” originated in the 1980s as an umbrella term for the LGBTQ+ community. However, the word’s meaning has evolved over time, and sometimes, it is seen as a derogatory term, especially when used in a negative context. Therefore, finding an appropriate word in French that reflects the same meaning without being insulting can be somewhat tricky.

Traditionally, the French word for queer was “pédé,” which roughly translates to “fag” in English and is considered rude. However, in recent years, the word has evolved to have a more positive connotation and is embraced by many LGBTQ+ individuals. The French have started using variations of “queer” like “queerosexualité” and “queeridentité” to describe non-conforming sexualities and gender identities.

Cultural Implications

As the LGBTQ+ community grows, acceptance of different sexualities and gender identities is slowly increasing in France. However, there is still a long way to go as some individuals still face stigma and discrimination. It is crucial to choose the right word when referring to someone’s gender identity or sexuality to show respect. Using a derogatory term like “pédé” can be hurtful and reiterates harmful stereotypes.

In France, the fight for LGBTQ+ rights has resulted in several legislative changes and social movements. The French parliament legalised same-sex marriage in 2013, and then in 2016, the country introduced a law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2018, a third gender option was also introduced for legal documents. These legislative and social changes show that France is taking steps towards accepting individuals who identify as queer and people from the LGBTQ+ community.


In conclusion, the word for queer in French has evolved over time, and it can be challenging to find a word that accurately represents the LGBTQ+ community without being derogatory. It is essential to understand the cultural implications of the word you choose to avoid accidentally hurting someone’s feelings. With time, acceptance and inclusivity towards the LGBTQ+ community will continue to grow, and hopefully, in the future, no one will have to worry about finding the appropriate word to describe themselves.


What is the French word for sexes?

In the French language, nouns and pronouns are categorized into different classes based on their gender. Unlike in English, French nouns have a grammatical gender, that is, they can be classified as either masculine or feminine. Additionally, some nouns can be classified as neuter. The French word for “sexes” can be translated to “les sexes” in its plural form. The masculine singular form of the word “sexes” in French is “sexe,” while the feminine form is “sexe” as well. It’s important to remember that in French, every noun is assigned a gender, hence the need to distinguish between masculine and feminine forms when referring to objects, people, or even animals. This is an essential aspect of French grammar and a topic that non-native French speakers often struggle to understand and use correctly. The concept of gender in the French language is not that simple, and there are many exceptions to the basic rules. However, with practice and persistence, one can easily become proficient in distinguishing between masculine and feminine nouns, which is crucial for accurate communication in French.

How do you say drag queen in French?

In French, the term “drag queen” is not directly translated. However, there is a term that is commonly used to refer to drag queens in the French language, and that is “un/e artiste transformiste.” This term literally translates to “a transforming artist” in English.

“Transformisme” refers to the art of cross-dressing and impersonating a different gender, which is commonly done by drag queens. It’s important to note that while the term “un/e artiste transformiste” can refer to drag queens, it can also refer to any performer who transforms their appearance on stage for artistic purposes.

In France, “un/e artiste transformiste” is a common term used in the LGBTQIA+ community and drag scene. It’s a term that has gained acceptance and respect in recent years, as society is becoming more diverse and inclusive.

While there is no direct translation for “drag queen” in French, “un/e artiste transformiste” is the commonly used term to refer to a performer who engages in the art of drag.

Why does every word in French have a gender?

The French language is known for having every word categorized into either feminine or masculine genders – a feature that has often perplexed language learners and remains the subject of much frustration to this day. While most languages around the world have some kind of gender differentiation, French’s strict requirement that every noun be assigned one of two genders can seem overly complicated and arbitrary. Although there may be some patterns and rules that can help discern the gender of French nouns, they are often complex, and mistakes can easily be made.

One of the main reasons why every word in French has a gender is that it is a feature inherited from Latin – the language that greatly influenced French. In Latin, nouns were also categorized as either feminine or masculine, and this system was carried over by the early French language that developed from Latin. When the French language was formed, it retained this gender system, and it has been maintained to this day as an integral part of the language’s structure.

While no explanations exist as to why French nouns were assigned genders originally, they may have been based on different characteristics of the objects or concepts they represent. It could be that the initial gender assignment was based on the noun’s endings or the gender of the noun it described. Later, new words evolved, and their gender assignment has often been based on the gender of similar words or their origins, which makes the gender rules seem even less predictable.

Despite the difficulty it poses for learners of the French language, the gender system remains an important aspect of French grammar and culture. French speakers are accustomed to assigning gender to every noun without thinking, and it is just as much a part of the language as any other grammar rule. Moreover, since gender in French affects almost every aspect of the language, including articles, adjectives, pronouns, and verb agreement, learners have to understand the gender system if they truly want to master the French language.

The reason for every word in French having a gender is rooted in historical linguistics as well as the language’s ties to Latin. It may seem illogical and arbitrary to non-native speakers, but it plays a crucial role in the French language’s vocabulary, grammar, and structure. Despite its complexities, understanding the gender system is essential for those who aspire to become fluent in this beautiful language.