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Ellen Friedrichs

What's Up With the Word Queer?

By December 11, 2012

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What do you think of the word queer? For some people it still sounds really hostile and negative.

But many others embrace it as an inclusive term that doesn't force them to specify any one identity.

Where do you stand on the issue?

December 11, 2012 at 3:31 am
(1) Thomi (AKsr) says:

I don’t see what’s wrong with it. ^^

December 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm
(2) David says:

Personally, I don’t mind the word queer, though I have noticed that mainly older speakers use it.

What I think is a bigger issue, though, is how we’re shifting into using adjectives as nouns. We can even see the picture above falls into this dangerous pattern despite its positive message.

I can’t say how many times I’ve heard people say things like “Gays should have equal rights as straight people.” as though gay people are not human. Notice how we never say that someone is “a straight”, yet it’s perfectly acceptable to say something like “She is a lesbian”. I’ve noticed similar things in regards to racism as well. People use ethnicities as nouns like that is the sole defining characteristic of the person.

I find it distressing that people think like this, and I feel that this train of thought sets up a competitive dichotomy of one group vs another- which obviously hinders our best efforts towards equality.

January 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm
(3) Abby says:

I feel like queer is just another word for ‘ gay ‘, be it derogatory or not, but now with people identifying as ‘ genderqueer ‘ or otherwise, the term is being changed. I can’t say I’m crazy about the idea. Queer has been used as an insult, and using that word to identify is, in my opinion, a bit ill advised. There are many other words that can be used, so why that one? If ‘ genderqueer ‘ means neither gender, wouldn’t something like ‘ nongender ‘ be clearer to understand and have a less negative background connotation?

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