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Author Topic: What does "queer" mean to you?
tallia7793
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As you've probably inferred from the subject, I'm not entirely clear on the definition of "queer."

Is it synonymous with "gay," or can it apply to anyone in the LGBTQ spectrum? Also, it is at all offensive to people in the LGBTQ community? To me, sometimes it seems like an insult and sometimes it seems like just another identity.

I'm confused and just don't want to sound ignorant or accidentally offend someone. Please help! [Big Grin]

Thank you.

[ 07-25-2008, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: tallia7793 ]

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Heather
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Honestly, when it comes to identifying someone else, it doesn't much matter what word you use, so much as it matters what your intent is, and if you're identifying them in a way they don't identify themselves. In other words, when you're asking someone what their orientation is, you can ask what their orientations is, as in: "What is your orientation?" or "Whose team do you play for?" or "Who do you date?" or "How do you roll?" In other words, asking a more open question leaves more room for a range of answers. Make sense?

Usually, when something is offensive it tends to be because someone intends it to be, and you vibe that out. For instance, someone can ask if I'm a dyke in a totally unoffensive way, but call me a dyke in a clearly offensive way. Same word, different intent.

In terms of those of us who use queer -- I do for myself often -- it really varies from person-to-person, but I'd say it most often just means "not heterosexual." Someone saying they're queer might be gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual. they might also be genderqueer, or might be talking about sexual practices more than gender preferences. If you're unclear when someone IDs that way, you certainly can ask what it means to that person.

For me, I know I like it because "bisexual" implies a binary that doesn't really exist in my attractions. I'll use bi, too, particularly when it's what I know a given person or group is most familiar with and most easily understands, but beyond the binary, it also doesn't speak as well for me to things like that I don't dig traditional gender roles or distinctions in the first place.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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tallia7793
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Thank you, Heather!

Mostly, I've been looking for a word to describe MY orientation (which seems to cover a lot of gray territory) and "queer" seemed right, but I didn't want to use it incorrectly or if it would offend many people. Thanks again for the clarification [Smile]

[ 07-26-2008, 01:09 AM: Message edited by: tallia7793 ]

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Heather
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Of course. [Smile]

And really, I think that whole-lotta-blurry-gray is why an awful lot of folks like "queer" as a descriptive for sexuality and orientation.

Too, know that really, when identifying yourself, I don't think you have to worry too much about offending others. It's certainly a term widely in use, one that lots of us use positively and gladly, and if a descriptive feels good to you and isn't about any kind of hate or dismissal of anyone else, in my book, it's all good.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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tallia7793
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Sounds great, really [Big Grin]
Posts: 20 | From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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