“Isn’t Queer an offensive word?”

So for those of you who are earlier in the LGBT community (or aren’t members but are curious) you may have heard of the word ‘queer’ being used as an insult. While it’s true that queer used to be offensive, I’m going to give you a short lesson in ‘queer’ usage now.

First it’s important to remember that sexuality is fluid. This means that your sexuality could change as your life goes on, so you could be a lesbian all your life or you could be a lesbian then be attracted to one or more men. This doesn’t mean that your lesbianism was “a phase” or confusion, it means that much like food you like or the personality type you are attracted to, your sexuality can evolve as you age, although you can’t purposely ‘train yourself’ to be something you’re not.

With that said one use for queer is when your sexuality changes and you don’t want to continue changing terms for each time. Erica Moen is a comic writer most famous for DAR, and she has dealt with her own changing identity until she decided to label herself as queer, and has done several interesting comics on it. I would suggest this one where she mentions the difficulty in changing terms as well as this one where she talked about her changing identity over the years.

Another reason some like to say queer is there is a unity behind it. If you are lesbian and he’s gay and they’re bi you’re all LGBT+ but there is that division. Plus a very common argument is queer has us focusing less on the words and makes labels less important. If I tell you I’m queer it says I’m not heterosexual and that is as specific as we need to get.

I myself like labels. Actually I LOVE labels but that’s a blog for another time. However for now I’m just your “Queer Peer” Sparkles the Ninja because typing everything I am would take a while, plus there would be defining to make sure we’re all on the same page and then there’s explaining since not everyone defines their sexuality the same even if they use the same labels. Really it’s far to long a blog title and tagline than using queer. So in settings like this I use queer to save time, not because I’m ashamed of what I am or I hate labels but just to not take so long.

It’s important to remember that although queer is becoming another word people identify with many of the older LGBT+ members still feel that it is offensive. They grew up with it being another hateful word they were bullied and tortured with so many still wish to not use it. So always remember that (just like pronouns) it is important to ask how someone wants to be called so you don’t offend anyone.

And there you have it. I hope this post has given you some new insight into the word queer, and maybe even someone who  finds this will have finally found the word they want to identify with. Have a wonderful day.

-Your Queer Peer

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