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Posted By Sage     September 3, 2015     5,572 views     2 likes     0 comments
Tags - #queer
Queer is a Reclamation of Power
The Urban Dictionary definition of QUEER is: “Originally perjorative for gay, now being reclaimed by some gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered persons as a self-affirming umbrella term.” (It goes on to caution that it can still cause offense whe...  more

By Elvert Barnes from Hyattsville MD, USA (02.RainbowUmbrella.45thSFF.WDC.4July2011) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Queer is a Reclamation of Power

The Urban Dictionary definition of QUEER is: “Originally perjorative for gay, now being reclaimed by some gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered persons as a self-affirming umbrella term.” (It goes on to caution that it can still cause offense when used as an epithet... Well now, can't everything?)

 

In the historical past of the LGBTQIA community, “queer” had a tremendous and horrible power—namely the power to produce shame in the one so labeled. Just like “Pride” is a proactive response to that relentless tradition of shame, so too is “queer”.

 

Queer is an Alternative to Acronyms

 

Are we GLB, GLBT, GLBTQ, LGB, LGBT, LGBTQ? And is that Q for Questioning or Queer? Depends on who you ask. And let's not forget all the Is (Intersexed) and As (Asexual or Androgynous, again unclear--and why leave anyone out?) To be completely fair why not LGBTQQIAA?

 

When seen through this paradoxical prism are we even a we?

 

As Queers we are.

 

By nathanmac87 (Rainbow Umbrella  Uploaded by Anastasiarasputin) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsQueer is a Unifier

 

As queers, the primary factors that unite lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, FTM transgenders, MTF transgenders, genderqueers, those questioning their gender and/or sexual identity, and other gender or sexual “deviants” from the “norm” also bring us together as one. One extremely diversified entity, but one nonetheless.

 

Even within those smaller groups are sub-groups: bears and cubs, transvestites, leather daddies, lipstick lesbians, and on and on... Yet we all still share so much in common, not least being a deviation from the socially accepted gender and sexual norms and the consequences of that on living in the world.

 

“Queer” honors that intrinsic similarity in addition to all the disparities within us.

 

Why a category at all?

 

In a world that seems desperately aiming toward unity and inclusion, why even give such credence and power to another categorization, another thing that makes a group separate and different?

 

That's an excellent question, and one we expect will prompt much passionate discussion in the Qommunity blogs and comments, groups, chatrooms, and forums. We at Qommunity are all about inclusion too. Like we say, “Everyone is invited.”

 

Which brings us back to the question of “Why?”

 

Our answer is this: Just because one might not want to highlight or even discuss that there are people who still don't feel “normal” or like they fully belong or have been fully accepted by their larger communities (and the global “community-at-large”) that doesn't mean those people don't exist.

 

Marriage equality was a huge step toward that total unity and inclusivity we all yearn for. But like the end of Suffrage did not signal the end of women's struggles for equal treatment, like the struggles of racial groups for the same in spite of anti-discrimination laws, the struggle for the LGBTQ community—the struggle for queers—continues.

 

By Eva Rinaldi from Sydney Australia (Adam  Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsQueer is One Identifier of Many

 

I am a writer. I am a web admin. I am a son and a husband. I am a native New Yorker. I am non-religious but quite spiritual (though my family would say I am also Jewish.) I am a pet owner. I am queer.

 

How about you?...

 

For More on the Meaning of “Queer”

 

PFLAG article: A Definition of Queer: PFLAG has an excellent article on their website with a sensitive look at both the historical and contemporary context of the word, as well as several quotes from self-identified queers giving their personal perspective on the term.

 

The Guardian: I'm queer no matter who I'm with. I won't define myself differently for your comfort by Ashely C. Ford: On the Guardian Dating Blog, Ashley C. Ford tells of how she explained to a family member her decision to identify as “queer” despite being in a long-term relationship with a man.

 

 

Image attributions: 

1. By Elvert Barnes from Hyattsville MD, USA (02.RainbowUmbrella.45thSFF.WDC.4July2011) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

2. By nathanmac87 (Rainbow Umbrella Uploaded by Anastasiarasputin) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

3. By Eva Rinaldi from Sydney Australia (Adam Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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