20 votes

Topic deleted by author

57 comments

  1. [9]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    “Q”? What sort of bullshit is this? How am I supposed to identify with “Q”? What the fuck does “Q” even mean? The author says that the “the cisgender heterosexuals who make up the vast majority of...

    “Q”? What sort of bullshit is this? How am I supposed to identify with “Q”? What the fuck does “Q” even mean?

    The author says that the “the cisgender heterosexuals who make up the vast majority of the U.S. population” feel excluded from the groups that gender and sexual minorities have formed. That’s the whole fucking point! We are an alliance of various people who are not cisgender and who are not heterosexual, and who have been and still are being marginalised because of that. We have banded together for strength in numbers, on the basis that the enemy of my enemy is my friend; we have a common foe and we have goals which overlap.

    It’s also a bit much to ask us to feel sympathy for the dominant cis-straight majority who feel alienated because there are minority groups they aren’t part of. Poor little things. How hard it must feel for them to be excluded...

    So, his solution is to use “Q”: to talk about “the Q population” and “Q equality”. Supposedly, “Q is simple and inclusive, and carries minimal baggage”.

    The reason it has minimal baggage is because it has no meaning. Literally, it’s just a single letter with no meaning. Even if we load it with the context that it’s supposed “to encompass sexual minorities of all stripes”, that’s effectively meaningless. The only thing it means is “non-cisgender and/or non-heterosexual”. That’s such a rubbish vague category. It’s like defining insects as “non-mammal and/or non-bird”. How is that useful?

    It’s ironic that his solution to “the concatenation of initials [which] implicitly blots out individuals” is to use a label which even further obliterates individuality. No longer are we gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender. No, now we are all undifferentiated parts of the Q Continuum (which is all I can think of as a Star Trek fan!).

    And, the author keeps referring to “sexual minorities”, but is transgender even considered a sexual minority? I thought transgender people were gender diverse, not sexually diverse. How does “sexual minority” include a straight trans man or a straight trans woman?

    When he says that “Q equality” means that “discrimination against sexual minorities—or for that matter sexual majorities—is not the American way” [emphasis mine], I can’t help but be reminded of those people who decided they weren’t “feminist” but “humanist”, because they wanted equal rights for all humans, not just women. In some cases, it was just naivete and idealism, but in other cases, it was a deliberate attempt to devalue women’s rights and shift the focus back to men’s rights.

    I read this article and all I can think is that this man wants us to stop standing out, stop being different, and just shut up and blend in – and remember to include our enemies under our community umbrella. Fuck off. There ain’t no way I want homophobes to feel included in the LGBT community.

    If we do need an inclusive term, I’ve heard an Australian politician say she uses “rainbow community” for us (she herself is a straight woman). She says that way she can’t be accused of forgetting a letter in the acronym. I’ve also seen LGBT community activist groups use “rainbow families” to refer to the various permutations of family and parenting that exist within the LGBT community. I believe the use of “rainbow” is good in that it refers to the community’s rainbow pride flag, and it inherently implies there are a variety of different “colours” in the community. We’re not all blended into a single bland colour, like when you spin a colour wheel and it turns white. We each have our own colour, and we each shine that light separately – but together, we are a rainbow.

    I am a gay man. I am homosexual. I will not have my identity erased for anyone. I had to endure a lot of shit when I was younger for the sake of being gay, and I’m not going to let people get away with that any more. I’m not going to sugercoat my sexuality for the sake of some pissy homophobes who don’t want to know that I’m attracted to men. I will not be erased. I am not now, nor will I ever be, “Q” (or “queer”, for that matter!).

    I’m gay. I’ll stay. Get used to it.

    46 votes
    1. [2]
      Eva
      Link Parent
      Goddammit I have never agreed with anything you've said on this site as much as I do with this. Fuck yeah. Man, that made me feel pumped up for whatever reason. You write a good speech.

      Goddammit I have never agreed with anything you've said on this site as much as I do with this. Fuck yeah. Man, that made me feel pumped up for whatever reason. You write a good speech.

      15 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Thank you! I do like to get on my soapbox occasionally. It feels good to write an angry rant every now and then. :)

        Thank you! I do like to get on my soapbox occasionally. It feels good to write an angry rant every now and then. :)

        2 votes
    2. [3]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Your comment was my first encounter with the term "rainbow community," and I love it. I wrote at length about using "queer" as a catch-all, but I would be fine with changing that out for...

      Your comment was my first encounter with the term "rainbow community," and I love it. I wrote at length about using "queer" as a catch-all, but I would be fine with changing that out for "rainbow." It has all the positive effects that "queer" brings to the table but it is also free from associations to and use as a slur. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      14 votes
      1. [2]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I was going to suggest that maybe "rainbow community" is an Australian thing, but then I found examples of it from other countries: Rainbow Community Cares, a US-based religious church. Rainbow...

        Your comment was my first encounter with the term "rainbow community,"

        I was going to suggest that maybe "rainbow community" is an Australian thing, but then I found examples of it from other countries:

        And, of course, there's the /r/ainbow subreddit on Reddit.

        4 votes
        1. elcuello
          Link Parent
          The term rainbow child is fairly well known where I come from too.

          The term rainbow child is fairly well known where I come from too.

          2 votes
    3. noah
      Link Parent
      The people who are "triggered" by being anti-marginalized - which I would assume is a very small vocal minority of cis heteros (or whomever likes to stir the pot) either a) don't actually care...

      The people who are "triggered" by being anti-marginalized - which I would assume is a very small vocal minority of cis heteros (or whomever likes to stir the pot) either

      a) don't actually care about this issue, but like to cause issues for anyone who doesn't look/think/act like them, or

      b) think that an issue that they might be reminded of once a week is something they should be able to control for people whose lives revolve around (or at least are partially defined by) something such as their sexuality, or skin color, or religion, etc.

      It's a tale as old as time to try to further marginalize and discriminate against people who aren't part of the "majority" but now more than ever people who are a part of the "majority" want to fight alongside those who feel oppressed.

      There's examples of this everywhere. "#AllLivesMatter/#BlueLivesMatter" for #BlackLivesMatter, the discrimination of middle-eastern people, atheists in certain places (or even insert ____ religion that isn't Christianity or Islam in different parts of the world), etc.

      Even right now on Tildes' front page there's a post about Christians trying to remove meditation from US schools because it's "Buddhist". It's like they're afraid of losing people and losing power so they lash out anywhere they can.

      7 votes
    4. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        You've misunderstood my complaint regarding the word "humanism". (This becomes obvious given that you've linked to a humanist website.) Like you, I am a Secular Humanist: it's a non-religious...

        You've misunderstood my complaint regarding the word "humanism". (This becomes obvious given that you've linked to a humanist website.)

        Like you, I am a Secular Humanist: it's a non-religious atheistic worldview based on the premise that human happiness is worthwhile, and can be achieved only by humans (no supernatural beings). It adopted the happy human logo.

        I note that the logo of your feminist group incorporates the happy human logo: it's a group of Secular Humanists who focus on feminism.

        That's not the "humanism" I'm talking about.

        I'm talking about when people use the word "humanist" instead of "feminist" (not as well as):

        • Sarah Jessica Parker: On being a humanist and not a feminist... "As [playwright] Wendy Wasserstein would say, I'm a humanist. I'm enormously appreciative of the work that my mother's generation did. We are the beneficiaries of a lot of disappointment, heartache, discouragement, and misunderstanding. But I see a lot of people trying to sort out their roles. People of color, gays, lesbians, and transgenders who are carving out this space. I'm not spitting in the face or being lazy about what still needs to be done — but I don't think it's just women anymore. We would be so enormously powerful if it were a humanist movement."

        • Meryl Streep: Are you a feminist? "I am a humanist, I am for nice easy balance."

        • Susan Sarandon: Would you call yourself a feminist? "I think of myself as a humanist because I think it's less alienating to people who think of feminism as being a load of strident bitches and because you want everyone to have equal pay, equal rights, education and healthcare."

        Other people use the word "equalist".

        They're not using "humanist" to refer to the non-religious human-centric worldview of Humanism. They're using it to replace "feminism" (not complement it), to say that we shouldn't be fighting for rights for women, but for rights for all humans. They're misusing the word - and they're doing so in way that erases women's rights.

        Maybe these blogs & articles will help explain it better than I seem to have explained it:

        10 votes
    5. nephele
      Link Parent
      rainbow is a beautiful way to express it and it reminds me of old code we used to use to find one another, "are you a friend of dorothy's?" - , over the rainbow, the history of our community is...

      rainbow is a beautiful way to express it and it reminds me of old code we used to use to find one another, "are you a friend of dorothy's?" - , over the rainbow,

      the history of our community is very important maybe because it documents how we've made political gains and responded to crises and prepares for the future. it feels like community, so trying to make a totally ahistorical thing like calling us all q is feels like, cutting us off from those resources.

  2. [22]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    CW: slurs I am a big fan of the term "queer." I'm also an unlikely candidate for that, as I grew up in a time and place where it was wholly derogatory. I learned the word from my grandfather...

    CW: slurs

    I am a big fan of the term "queer."

    I'm also an unlikely candidate for that, as I grew up in a time and place where it was wholly derogatory. I learned the word from my grandfather telling me I'd turn into one if I kept riding the "girl" bike I'd borrowed from my cousin. I think I was probably 6 or 7 at the time. I didn't know what it (or it's f-word brother) meant at the time, but it was clear from his tone they were bad. Worse than bad. Abhorrent. Over the coming years, absent the internet and any sort of real life or media representation, I learned from teachers, friends, and family that "queer," "fag," and "gay" were all interchangeable and all meant "the lowest of the low." They were the words that vandalized my childhood.

    It wasn't until much later that I found out there was a rainbow world beyond my monotone upbringing. In this world, those words were something else entirely. "Gay" was good. "Queer" was radical. Assertive. "Fag" was a battlescar. Not something to be worn with pride, but not something to be hidden either. Something whose power could be harnessed and utilized--thrown back in the faces of those who used it for hate. Yes, I'm a fag. That's my word now. Not yours anymore, and I will hurt myself with it long before I'll let you use it to hurt me again.

    This shift in language and identity was revolutionary for me. I tried on the different labels and found that "gay" fit the best. "Queer," previously too derogatory, was now too academic. It had "theory." It felt like the kind of thing people debated in graduate courses but that never reached the real world. Too lofty. Pretentious. And "fag" still had too much punch. Too much hurt behind its empowerment. Making it mine felt not like lifting a weight from my shoulders but pretending I meant for it to be there in the first place. I could make it work for a moment as long as I lied to myself about how it was slowly suffocating me.

    So I threw my lot in with "gay" and proceeded to wear my "gay" coat around. For years. Inside out, so everyone could see the label. Gay gay gay gay gay. It felt so important, and in many ways it was. I spent my entire childhood having people implicitly affirm how significant it was. Their hate gave it so much power, so much strength. It had to be important, right? Because if it wasn't, they wouldn't care so much, right? It only made sense to make it the focal point of my person. What could be more important than the very thing I spent my entire life hiding? What could be more important than being the worst thing in the world? The lowest of the low? There wasn't any me beyond that, because "gay" was my terminal. My train stopped and stayed there, and I disembarked, thinking the home that everybody else had made for me was where I had to live.

    It wasn't until much later, when I'd moved far away from where I grew up, that I met people who preferred "queer" to "gay." And at first it felt foreign to me. Forced. Unnatural. Who identifies as "queer" anyway? It was so nonspecific as to be meaningless. It was an affront to my razor sharp "gay" identity, forged in the fires for years.

    I talked to someone about it. She grew up where I grew up and faced the same hate that I did. She had heard all the same words I'd had, in the same ways I had, but she had to jump through a lot more hoops to become who she was. I simply put on "gay" as a coat, but she had to climb the mountain of "trans." It exhausted me listening to her story. I grew up thinking that I had it rougher than anyone, that my story was the most difficult. She gave me a much needed sense of perspective. I would not wish my experiences on anyone, but I was lucky compared to her.

    And she explained to me why she identified as "queer" rather than "trans," and her response caused another dramatic shift in my nomenclature.

    "Queer" gave her privacy.

    I didn't understand, but she laid it out for me. As any queer individual knows, coming out is not a one-time thing. We have to do it again, over and over, as we meet new people. Get a new job? You have to decide when to drop the news and who to share it with. Meet someone at a bar? You have to decide whether to share your "information." It's not an academic exercise. There can be real-world consequences should you make the wrong decision. This I was well aware of: after coming out at my first job, someone attempted to get me fired.

    For the woman that I spoke with, "queer" was her identity of choice because it linked her with a community she identified with but didn't reveal her trans status. It's not that she was ashamed of being trans--it's that she felt that wasn't the way she wanted to present herself to the world. She wanted people to see her as a woman, not as a woman who had a hell of a mountain she'd had to climb. Nevertheless, she didn't want to lose her connection to that part of her story either. She didn't want to shut out others who had similar paths.

    The moment she pointed this out, it was like the clouds parted for me. "Queer" allowed us to identify ourselves as part of a community without having to be specific about our place within that community. We were all colors in the same spectrum, but we didn't have to broadcast our individual color to everyone. Furthermore, "queer" helped protect the more fragile members of the community. I was confident wearing any label, even the hurtful ones, but that was a product of time. For those grappling with their identities or just starting to come out, "queer" gave them a safe space where they didn't have to commit to anything more. For those whose identities could beget significant hate or threats, "queer" allowed them safety.

    Like trying on the word "gay" for the first time, trying on "queer" after this conversation felt transformative too. But what if people think I'm bi or trans? I remember thinking. The correct response was simply so what if they do? I don't fear identifying as queer because I don't fear associations with those also attached to it. I stand by them. Proudly.

    In that particular community I met many different people who identified as "queer," and to this day I could not tell you which more specific label they would wear. Were they bi? Trans? Bi and trans? I genuinely don't know, nor do I care to. Why should, say, an intersex person have to reveal that part of themselves if they don't want to? There was safety and community in "queer." Many people would also choose a more specific identifier, as I myself did. I was "queer" initially but "gay" if I needed to get more specific (to, say, identify my compatibility with potential romantic partners). Nevertheless, "queer" was nice armor that made it so that people didn't have to reveal that if they didn't want to. It gave us our privacy back. It allowed us ambiguity. Mystery. Uncertainty.

    My like for it was further cemented by two other individuals. One was an individual who was thoroughly heterosexual but was strongly involved in the kink community. His story of self-discovery was similar to my own. Confusion. Isolation. The feeling that he was abnormal and broken. Long-term depression. Eventual coming out and self-acceptance. He identified as "queer" because of this, and who was I to deny him that label? His story was my own--not in terms of outcome but in terms of contour. For me to tell him he couldn't have that label because he was "straight" felt deeply wrong in light of his story. Another individual I talked to was also, strictly speaking, straight. However, he was also on the autism spectrum. His romantic awakening and self-awareness followed a very different trajectory. In many ways he was still figuring it out. In many ways, his self-discovery was more challenging than mine. Who am I to say that he cannot call that "queer?" Queer simply means "different," and we use it to refer to matters of gender, sexual, and romantic identity. His autism shaped his identity across all of those axes, and I would be hard pressed to call his experiences common.

    I see "queer" as the great leveler. It gives us privacy. It puts us all under one roof. It scales well to new identities. Most importantly, it allows for self-determination. Only you know your feelings and experiences, so only you should determine whether it defines you. People cannot challenge your queer identity, because it's yours alone. But, far from being alone, there are many others like you. I remember jokes when I was younger about how gays and lesbians shouldn't get along because they couldn't be more different: one group is men who like men and one is women who like women. If you draw a venn diagram of identities and interests, there is no overlap!

    This is how "LGBT" feels to me. We lump together separate identities because... why exactly? Well, because they're different from the norm. That's queer. And that's no longer a hate word for me. Far from it, actually. It's something that brings me great comfort. I spent my queer childhood feeling like I was all alone in the world, but I've spent my queer adulthood knowing that I am unequivocally not.

    18 votes
    1. [20]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      Where does that stop, though? You've included a straight kink person, and an autistic person. But, in one way or another, everyone is different. So, this inclusive "queer" ends up including......

      Queer simply means "different," and we use it to refer to matters of gender, sexual, and romantic identity.

      Where does that stop, though? You've included a straight kink person, and an autistic person. But, in one way or another, everyone is different. So, this inclusive "queer" ends up including... everyone.

      7 votes
      1. [15]
        kfwyre
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I know you see this as a negative, but for me it's uplifting. A parable, almost: anyone can be queer! Regarding the people I spoke about, it's not that I included them; it's that they included...

        So, this inclusive "queer" ends up including... everyone.

        I know you see this as a negative, but for me it's uplifting. A parable, almost: anyone can be queer!

        Regarding the people I spoke about, it's not that I included them; it's that they included themselves. That's a huge difference! In these waters, self-determination matters more than anything else. It's the journey we all have to go on, and a common queer experience is to have one's identity questioned or outright dismissed by others. Identifying as queer is simultaneously a way of affirming to oneself that one's journey is different from the expectation while also not putting the specifics of that journey up for external scrutiny.

        I also don't have an issue with straight people being under our umbrella. One of the first letters I ever saw appended to LGBT was A, for "ally." I've met plenty of straight people who have done more for queer advocacy in their lives than I ever have. If they decide to identify as queer on account of that, I'm fine with it. Queer mostly labels my identity, but for them they might consider it labeling their experiences. One of the fiercest queer advocates I've ever known was a straight woman who fought to make the world better and more accepting for her lesbian sister. If we had told her she wasn't one of us based on her sexuality, we would have clipped her wings and prevented her from having the impact that she did. Instead, we welcomed her with the same love that she showed to us.

        Being queer isn't about meeting some certain criteria. The insistence on a strict taxonomy is what's caused us the alphabet soup we're currently stuck with. We've had to keep adding letters to "LGBT" because people's identities weren't being reflected. If we left them out, it felt intentionally exclusionary. If we put them in, it got even more unwieldy. There's also been significant in-fighting over who should/shouldn't be included. I've heard arguments reaching back decades for why T should be separate from LGB, or why we can't include A for "ace," for example. Each time another identity gets defined, the process happens again. These conversations are needlessly divisive, in my opinion. The initialism has never been exclusively about sexuality. It has never been exclusively about gender. It has never been exclusively about biological sex. It has always been about identity and community, and not necessarily rigid ones at that. The kids who grow up today and identify as gay have vastly different experiences and networks from my own, but I would never want to draw a line and say their version of "gay" is less valid than mine. Even within specific labels we have to accommodate for wide variance and changes over time!

        With all this said, I should qualify here that a lot of what I'm talking about is actually what put me off from "queer" in the first place: what I'm saying feels stuffy, pretentious, and academic. Disconnected from the real world. I should also acknowledge that my experience was significantly impacted by regional/community language. For the community I used to live in, the word worked, and it had the kind of nuanced richness that I've attempted to capture in writing all of this. I don't feel like I've done a great job in nailing down just how it worked so well, but I will say that the people I met there used it earnestly and to significant positive effect. It completely changed my outlook on a word that terrorized my childhood. However, where I currently live, I would not identify as "queer" to coworkers/neighbors because that word isn't in common parlance. Using it publicly where I live now would only invite confusion because it does not have the hold here like it did in my former location. If I returned to where I grew up, I also wouldn't use it, but for different reasons: it's still too connected to the slur there.

        As such, I don't think the purview of "queer" is universal, and I would never prescribe its use. I do like it for online conversations though, because I think it's an elegant solution to a complex problem. The initialism is awkward. It's either too precise (LGBTQQIAAP...), or it's precise for some and relegates others to a catch-all (LGBTQ). That can come across as implicitly demeaning to anyone who doesn't identify with one of the "big four" who get their own letter, all to themselves. I like the idea of simply taking the catch-all term and having it do its job as a catch-all. The article says we should use "Q," and, while I get where he's coming from, I also agree with the point you made in your comment that "Q" is relatively meaningless. "Queer" has history, significance, and pre-existing traction. "Q" does not.

        12 votes
        1. [2]
          calcifer
          Link Parent
          I have to agree with Algernon_Asimov here. If literally anyone can be "queer", why not just use "person" instead? By your definition, that also covers the same group, no?

          I have to agree with Algernon_Asimov here. If literally anyone can be "queer", why not just use "person" instead? By your definition, that also covers the same group, no?

          7 votes
          1. kfwyre
            Link Parent
            People have to arrive at "queer" based on their experiences, whereas "person" is something available by default. Even though some straight people can identify as queer doesn't mean all do or will....

            People have to arrive at "queer" based on their experiences, whereas "person" is something available by default. Even though some straight people can identify as queer doesn't mean all do or will. The majority won't.

            Also, amidst my very murky explanations of all this I feel like I haven't been clear about the idea that I am not advocating that "queer" replace any specific identity. I still think those are incredibly important, and I still identify as gay as well. I just prefer the term "queer" to the initialism and think there's value in making it a broad umbrella.

            9 votes
        2. [12]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          Of course it is! Just like every word, it has to have some commonly shared and understood definition in order to mean anything. You can't opt in to a definition just because you feel like it. I...

          Being queer isn't about meeting some certain criteria.

          Of course it is! Just like every word, it has to have some commonly shared and understood definition in order to mean anything. You can't opt in to a definition just because you feel like it. I can't opt in to "Aboriginal" just because I feel like it; there is some understanding of what "Aboriginal" means - and I don't meet that definition in any way. (And I know this argument is similar to an argument that people use to say trans people aren't their real gender. We live in a tricky, nuanced, shades-of-grey world.)

          You say that "queer" has "history, significance, and pre-existing traction". Yes, it does - as an insult for people with non-straight sexual orientations. It was used to insult gay people, not people who like leather or people who are autistic. They were never "queer". It's not their word to reclaim.

          As such, I don't think the purview of "queer" is universal

          Good! Because I'm not included in your catch-all word. I don't relate to "queer" at all. I don't feel queer, I don't act queer, I don't even want to be queer. Your all-inclusive word doesn't include me: I'm not queer, and never will be.

          2 votes
          1. [9]
            kfwyre
            Link Parent
            "Queer" falls, by design, into that gray area you mentioned--much like the "rainbow" terminology you mentioned in your comment. We don't and can't insist on a rigid level of scrutiny for...

            "Queer" falls, by design, into that gray area you mentioned--much like the "rainbow" terminology you mentioned in your comment. We don't and can't insist on a rigid level of scrutiny for self-defined identities. I can call myself a "bookworm" without having to prove to anyone that I like reading, and I do not have to meet others' standards in order to call myself that. Sure, other people don't have to accept me as one, but I don't have to accept their rejections of me either. You used "aboriginal" as an example, but that's something that's externally verifiable through lineage. And even that is going to have gray areas!

            I also think that's a red herring, because ultimately it doesn't matter how verifiable "aboriginal" is or isn't: what matters is how you relate to it. People don't just identify as things on a whim, and when they do it's usually to make a cheap rhetorical point (e.g. the "attack helicopter" meme). We identify the way we do because it helps us make sense of ourselves, it aligns with our experiences, and it connects us with a community. You wouldn't identify with "aboriginal" because it does none of those things for you! If someone chose to anyway, that makes them a charlatan, but it doesn't undermine the efficacy or validity of the label.

            It was used to insult gay people, not people who like leather or people who are autistic. They were never "queer". It's not their word to reclaim.

            Queer slurs have been used to denigrate people of all orientations and identities. I definitely agree that the damage done is greater to queer-identified individuals (because the insult does direct rather than associative damage), but I know plenty of straight people who faced the same hate I did growing up, and they didn't just shrug it off because they knew it wasn't true. They were terrorized by insults just like I was for their failure to live up to gender expectations. For some of them, the queer-centric bullying they experienced growing up was what fueled their desire to be allies as adults.

            Also, please do not write off the two men I mentioned as caricatures. Neither of them identified as queer lightheartedly or on a whim, and their actions were consistent with their commitment. They were involved with our local community group and threw themselves into advocacy work wholeheartedly. Not that this should be the standard we hold anyone to, but I will also mention that both of them had engaged in sexual activities with members of the same sex as part of uncovering their sexual identities, and the first was continuing to do so as part of his kink practices. Both of them stated that they were attracted only to women (though neither used the word "straight" to define themselves), but that definition was not certain for either of them until later in life. Liking only women was not a default that they took for granted but a conclusion they had to arrive at after significant self-discovery.

            While I've certainly spent a lot of time saying why I like the word and feel that it's useful, I also respect the opinions of those who disagree or reject it. I would never tell you that you had to identify as queer, and I will respect your decision to identify yourself in the way that you wish. I simply ask that you offer the same courtesy to them and to me.

            6 votes
            1. [8]
              Algernon_Asimov
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I'm not writing them off as caricatures. They are real, flesh and blood people. I'm writing them off as wrong. That's entirely different. But those straight weren't being insulted by the word...

              Also, please do not write off the two men I mentioned as caricatures.

              I'm not writing them off as caricatures. They are real, flesh and blood people. I'm writing them off as wrong. That's entirely different.

              Queer slurs have been used to denigrate people of all orientations and identities. I definitely agree that the damage done is greater to queer-identified individuals (because the insult does direct rather than associative damage), but I know plenty of straight people who faced the same hate I did growing up, and they didn't just shrug it off because they knew it wasn't true.

              But those straight weren't being insulted by the word "queer". Noone ever called an autistic person "queer", or even a straight person who liked kink. That particular insult was reserved for gay people. Its history is as a descriptor of homosexuals, not straight people who like kink or autistic people. "Queer" is not an all-inclusive word. Noone used it to put down black people, or disabled people, or neuro-atypical people. It had a particular meaning.

              I would never tell you that you had to identify as queer, and I will respect your decision to identify yourself in the way that you wish. I simply ask that you offer the same courtesy to them and to me.

              Fine. You're queer, they're queer, and anyone who wants to be queer is queer. Donald Trump can be queer if he wants, as can Pope Francis or Queen Elizabeth. Even Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church (of "God Hates Fags" fame) could have been queer. It's for everybody! As long as someone has some personal definition of "queer" which allows them to self-identify as queer, that's all that's needed. Whenever someone uses this word, it means just what they choose it to mean - neither more nor less. Everyone is queer!

              Which, of course, means that "queer" is ultimately meaningless. If anyone can call themself "queer" without having to meet any actual criteria for that self-definition, then "queer" has no actual meaning.

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                kfwyre
                Link Parent
                I have attempted to earnestly explain my position and address your points kindly. Receiving sarcasm in return is my cue to exit the discussion. Regardless of our disagreement, thank you for taking...

                I have attempted to earnestly explain my position and address your points kindly. Receiving sarcasm in return is my cue to exit the discussion.

                Regardless of our disagreement, thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my comments, as well as provide your own point of view, in this thread and elsewhere.

                8 votes
                1. Algernon_Asimov
                  Link Parent
                  It's more "reductio ad absurdum" than sarcasm (although I won't deny there is some sarcasm present) but, either way, it's always your prerogative to stop discussing something.

                  Receiving sarcasm in return

                  It's more "reductio ad absurdum" than sarcasm (although I won't deny there is some sarcasm present) but, either way, it's always your prerogative to stop discussing something.

              2. [5]
                Gaywallet
                Link Parent
                I find it interesting that elsewhere in this post you talk about being humanist and therefore inclusive. I wonder, if everyone was truly humanist would a word to describe your background even be...

                I find it interesting that elsewhere in this post you talk about being humanist and therefore inclusive.

                I wonder, if everyone was truly humanist would a word to describe your background even be needed? If so, where do you draw the line at - that is to say, how specific is enough but not too much? You're clearly not okay with gay -> queer, but what about bear -> gay or some other higher specificity term? At what point is your individuality "lost" in the broadness of the term?

                1 vote
                1. [4]
                  Algernon_Asimov
                  Link Parent
                  Just to clarify: that's other people, not me. Of course! We are not all merely "human". Each of us has numerous individual characteristics that describe and define us: man, woman, adult, child,...

                  I find it interesting that elsewhere in this post you talk about being humanist and therefore inclusive.

                  Just to clarify: that's other people, not me.

                  if everyone was truly humanist would a word to describe your background even be needed?

                  Of course! We are not all merely "human". Each of us has numerous individual characteristics that describe and define us: man, woman, adult, child, tall, short, old, young, white, brown, shy, outgoing, talkative, taciturn, generous, stingy, creative, logical, and so on. Straight and gay are merely two more characteristics that people have. We are all members of different subsets of humans. Without these individual traits, we would be bland copies of each other.

                  You're clearly not okay with gay -> queer, but what about bear -> gay or some other higher specificity term?

                  While I don't personally identify as a bear or a twink or an otter or a twunk or any of the sundry labels that gay men seem to continually create to describe body types, I have no problem with other people identifying as those. Also, those labels describe something different than their sexuality. For example, I've seen Alec Baldwin described as a bear, without any insinuation that he's also gay. "Bear" overlaps with "gay", but neither is a subset of the other. They're just more labels to add to our collection.

                  1 vote
                  1. [3]
                    Gaywallet
                    Link Parent
                    Other people started the conversation, but you did identify as a humanist, did you not? For the purpose of this hypothetical, let's assume that Bear is a subset of gay (or use whatever other...

                    Just to clarify: that's other people, not me.

                    Other people started the conversation, but you did identify as a humanist, did you not?

                    For example, I've seen Alec Baldwin described as a bear, without any insinuation that he's also gay. "Bear" overlaps with "gay", but neither is a subset of the other. They're just more labels to add to our collection.

                    For the purpose of this hypothetical, let's assume that Bear is a subset of gay (or use whatever other example term you would like) - in that case when is it too specific and when is it not specific enough?

                    1 vote
                    1. [2]
                      Algernon_Asimov
                      Link Parent
                      You need to re-read this comment, where I explained the difference between "humanist" as a replacement for "feminist" and "humanist" as a non-religious worldview. "Gay" is more relevant than...

                      but you did identify as a humanist, did you not?

                      You need to re-read this comment, where I explained the difference between "humanist" as a replacement for "feminist" and "humanist" as a non-religious worldview.

                      let's assume that Bear is a subset of gay (or use whatever other example term you would like) - in that case when is it too specific and when is it not specific enough?

                      "Gay" is more relevant than "bear" because the commonalities of all people who share the quality of gayness are more important than the differences between the types of gay people. Gay men share experiences that matter, that don't change much for being a bear or a twink. When we're trying to describe someone, we learn enough about them from calling them "gay", and we don't really gain much more information by calling them "bear" or "twink": they're still a man and they're still homosexual, and their body type isn't really relevant to most discussions about gay men and their experiences.

                      On the other hand, "queer" is too general. The experiences of all the various types of people under that label are different: a transgender woman experiences life differently to a gay man, and they both experience life differently to a bisexual woman. These differences matter.

                      "Gay" is the level where the commonality of all people in that group are most relevant.

                      1 vote
                      1. Gaywallet
                        Link Parent
                        I'm pretty sure I understood it. Are you implying it is not moral or reasonable to treat all humans equally (barring them committing malicious actions)? So in your mind it's the background and...

                        You need to re-read this comment, where I explained the difference between "humanist" as a replacement for "feminist" and "humanist" as a non-religious worldview.

                        I'm pretty sure I understood it. Are you implying it is not moral or reasonable to treat all humans equally (barring them committing malicious actions)?

                        On the other hand, "queer" is too general. The experiences of all the various types of people under that label are different: a transgender woman experiences life differently to a gay man, and they both experience life differently to a bisexual woman. These differences matter.

                        So in your mind it's the background and experience that determine whether a level of specificity is too general or too specific? Is that not an ephemeral concept without any true boundaries?

                        You could easily say that a bisexual woman and a lesbian both share quite similar backgrounds in terms of ostracization and oppression based on being female and enjoying the sexual companionship of another female. But why is the difference between one also liking men any different than say drawing the distinction between a lesbian and a lesbian who is also romantically attracted to men but not sexually (there's a term for this it just escapes me)? And if that warrants a justification, why does not a butch vs. a femme lesbian, as they experience different levels of integration in society and arguably may have a more drastic difference in background than the previous example?

                        1 vote
          2. [2]
            neon
            Link Parent
            Aren't you opting out of queer because you don't feel like it? I think that's a perfectly fine justification, but it doesn't seem fair in combination with a rigid definition. Maybe it's better to...

            You can't opt in to a definition just because you feel like it.

            Aren't you opting out of queer because you don't feel like it? I think that's a perfectly fine justification, but it doesn't seem fair in combination with a rigid definition. Maybe it's better to think of it as a community: membership is just a handshake between current members and prospective members.

            3 votes
            1. Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              To opt out of something, one must be in it first. I'm not in "queer". I can't opt out of something I'm not in.

              Aren't you opting out of queer because you don't feel like it?

              To opt out of something, one must be in it first. I'm not in "queer". I can't opt out of something I'm not in.

              1 vote
      2. [3]
        oryx
        Link Parent
        Isn't that the end goal though? To dismantle artificial boundaries. To change the way we perceive others. If everyone is different, everyone is the same. We can start to see difference as human,...

        Isn't that the end goal though? To dismantle artificial boundaries. To change the way we perceive others. If everyone is different, everyone is the same. We can start to see difference as human, not weird.

        3 votes
        1. Eva
          Link Parent
          That defeats the entire point of it all. LGBT is a word for a coalition of people with shared experiences—of isolation, of persecution, of difference. If you take that away, any single bit of...

          That defeats the entire point of it all. LGBT is a word for a coalition of people with shared experiences—of isolation, of persecution, of difference. If you take that away, any single bit of political power we have is gone. Evaporated. Progress doesn't exist without coalitions.

          7 votes
        2. alexandria
          Link Parent
          This is the same bullshit that makes people say things like "if we didn't use the word trans, trans people wouldn't get beaten up". Trans people (and LGBTQ people as a whole) don't get beaten up...

          This is the same bullshit that makes people say things like "if we didn't use the word trans, trans people wouldn't get beaten up". Trans people (and LGBTQ people as a whole) don't get beaten up because they call themselves trans, it is because of what they are, regardless of terms.

          Not using terms in regards to LGBT people does not erase their percieved difference -- which is the reason for our persecution. What it does erase, is our ability to find other people like ourselves, and our ability to help each other and protect each other against a society that has been hostile to us for over a century. It means that you cannot catalogue the abuse that happens, which means that statistics and our ability to figure out the rate of abuse, and how many people it affects is severely lacking. Which in turn makes it difficult to get people to care about it and enact laws to protect us (Because it happens to a '''vanishingly small''' amount of people).

          Sadly, one line of opposition to trans people's existence at the moment, is that they are a "relatively new thing", etc. There is a line of historical revisionism I saw the other day by TERFs that claim that trans people were not affected by the holocaust -- this could not be further from the truth -- indeed, the only German treatment center for gender dysphoria (Hirschfield's institude) was the first place burned by the Nazis. The problem is, they were grouped along with all other LGB people, and so have effectively been erased from history through the conflation of sex-gender and the """"""""divergent"""""""" identities along those lines).

          The point of stating the above to demonstrate the fact that, simply because there was no proper common term for trans people, allows people, seventy eight years later, to revise history and erase historical figures in the manner that the Nazis intended.

          Terms and labels don't hurt people, they simply allow people to group together in ways that subvert that hurt.

          6 votes
      3. Eva
        Link Parent
        It's so bizarre how "queer" out of all words is being appropriated by straights. I can't help but laugh at this here, as insensitive as that feels.

        It's so bizarre how "queer" out of all words is being appropriated by straights. I can't help but laugh at this here, as insensitive as that feels.

        1 vote
    2. rain1
      Link Parent
      I loved your writing here, thank you

      I loved your writing here, thank you

  3. Whom
    (edited )
    Link
    I loathe the acronym and I'm wary of the idea that we're all a community anyway. I like to use "queer" because I feel like it covers a lot of ground (meaning something about the same as "GSM,"...

    I loathe the acronym and I'm wary of the idea that we're all a community anyway. I like to use "queer" because I feel like it covers a lot of ground (meaning something about the same as "GSM," which I'm also cool with even though it sounds weird) without the implication of some kind of coalition or community, which is bullshit in my experience.

    Call me queer or call me trans / lesbian if you want to talk about something specifically. If you start saying things like LGBTQ, I won't be hurt or offended or anything, but there's a good chance I'll roll my eyes a bit. I do think it's a matter of what feels right for people, and we'll just have to see how that develops over time. I feel semi-strongly about it for myself, but I'm not going to participate in that fight beyond throwing in my 2 cents every now and then.

    11 votes
  4. [15]
    domothy
    Link
    Why did GSM (Gender & Sexual Minorities) never catch on? It solves the alphabet soup problem of encompassing everyone under a single acronym (actually initialism but who cares) without being a...

    Why did GSM (Gender & Sexual Minorities) never catch on? It solves the alphabet soup problem of encompassing everyone under a single acronym (actually initialism but who cares) without being a silly single letter...

    9 votes
    1. clerical_terrors
      Link Parent
      The fact that GSM already has/had a widespread use probably doesn't do the suggestion any favors.

      The fact that GSM already has/had a widespread use probably doesn't do the suggestion any favors.

      10 votes
    2. [2]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      Because it sounds a bit clinical. The main context in which I've seen this term used is in academic papers and studies. It's how scientists refer to us. Which is good. But it's like the difference...

      Why did GSM (Gender & Sexual Minorities) never catch on?

      Because it sounds a bit clinical. The main context in which I've seen this term used is in academic papers and studies. It's how scientists refer to us. Which is good. But it's like the difference between "frozen confection" and "ice cream" - which one would you prefer in your bowl? ;)

      7 votes
    3. [9]
      BuckeyeSundae
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The idea of an “alphabet soup” really took off with all the three-letter acronym government programs created by FDR in response to the Great Depression. Saying it applies to LGBTQ+ and not GSM (or...

      The idea of an “alphabet soup” really took off with all the three-letter acronym government programs created by FDR in response to the Great Depression. Saying it applies to LGBTQ+ and not GSM (or more confusingly, Q) seems to miss that history of the phrase.

      Edit: I felt bad for not even trying to source the claim I made.

      1 vote
      1. [8]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        The application of the phrase "alphabet soup" to the initialism "LGBTIQA" has nothing to do with an American President from 80 years ago. It's merely an acknowledgement that there are an awful lot...

        The application of the phrase "alphabet soup" to the initialism "LGBTIQA" has nothing to do with an American President from 80 years ago. It's merely an acknowledgement that there are an awful lot of letters in "LGBTIQA" and variations like "LGBTQQIAAP" and "QUILTBAG" and even "LGBTIQCAPGNGFNBA".

        This has nothing to do with FDR's welfare agencies, and everything to do with the unwieldiness and impracticality of these ever-increasing initialisms.

        On the other hand, "GSM" is not lengthy or complicated. It is not a soup of letters. It's a simple TLA.

        3 votes
        1. [7]
          BuckeyeSundae
          Link Parent
          I believe you wrote a lengthy bit earlier about the history of words and that being important. Whether the application of the phrase in this case is intended to relate to the policies of an...

          I believe you wrote a lengthy bit earlier about the history of words and that being important. Whether the application of the phrase in this case is intended to relate to the policies of an American president in the 1930s, the fact is that phrase got much of its popularity from all those TLAs that became a core part of his economic package made in response to dealing with the Great Depression.

          It may not be lengthy or complicated, but it is still an acronym instead of an idea or community. No "alphabet soup" problem is fixed by moving to GSM. It would only be slightly mitigated, trading the popularly used keyboard smash for what might as well understood as GMOs.

          1 vote
          1. [6]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            Sure. And "break the ice" got much of its popularity from being created and used in Shakespeare's 'The Taming of the Shrew' - but that doesn't mean that everyone who talks about breaking the ice...

            Whether the application of the phrase in this case is intended to relate to the policies of an American president in the 1930s, the fact is that phrase got much of its popularity from all those TLAs that became a core part of his economic package made in response to dealing with the Great Depression.

            Sure. And "break the ice" got much of its popularity from being created and used in Shakespeare's 'The Taming of the Shrew' - but that doesn't mean that everyone who talks about breaking the ice at a party is invoking Shakespeare or even a shrewish woman.

            No "alphabet soup" problem is fixed by moving to GSM.

            If you consider a three-letter acronym/initialism to be "alphabet soup", then maybe not. But most people don't consider "PTO" or "LOL" or "SOS" to be examples of alphabet soup. "Alphabet soup" implies a lot of letters, not just three. Maybe a lot of three-letter acronyms together would be alphabet soup (as per your reference to FDR's departments), but a single three-letter acronym isn't soup-like at all.

            That said, I do understand the point you're trying ever-so-clumsily to make: "GSM" is just three letters, and most people don't relate to those three letters. There's no connection to that initialism. However, I would counter that people do relate to the four-letter initialism "LGBT", even if only through familiarity and over-use. We've been called "the LGBT community" much more over the years than we've been called "the queer community", and it has kind of stuck. If "GSM" was more widely used, maybe people would become familiar with it and even start to relate to it.

            There's also another three-letter initialism that a lot of people do seem to have a great attachment to. It gets chanted at sports events and rallies. To some people, it has almost a religious significance. It's this: "U.S.A." Sometimes people can relate to an initialism.

            1 vote
            1. [5]
              BuckeyeSundae
              Link Parent
              You're wrong on this one, bud. Alphabet soup is about (1) organizations or groups of people (2) using an acronym to name themselves. It isn't about random spoken phrases that get abbreviated, but...

              "Alphabet soup" implies a lot of letters, not just three.

              You're wrong on this one, bud. Alphabet soup is about (1) organizations or groups of people (2) using an acronym to name themselves. It isn't about random spoken phrases that get abbreviated, but about the recipient's lack of familiarity with what the organization's acronym means. Sure, it doesn't specifically have to be three letters to be alphabet soup (and the term is even more likely to be used the longer the acronym). But the point is the criticism doesn't just disappear because it's three letters as opposed to 47. The action that make it potentially alphabet soup is exactly the same. That is, the organization or group of people using an acronym to name themselves. And changing the accepted abbreviation makes the criticism even more likely to be uttered, because it increases the number of people who don't have any clue what you're talking about.

              1 vote
              1. [4]
                Algernon_Asimov
                Link Parent
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabet_soup_(linguistics) Alphabet soup contains lots of letters.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabet_soup_(linguistics)

                Alphabet soup is a metaphor for an abundance of abbreviations or acronyms, named for a common dish made from alphabet pasta.

                The many different distinctions between types of pneumonia have also been described as an alphabet soup, requiring a scholarly article detailing the differences between the many acronyms.

                Alphabet soup is also used to describe historical language scripts that appear as long sequences of symbols that do not have clear demarcations of words.

                Alphabet soup contains lots of letters.

                1 vote
                1. [3]
                  BuckeyeSundae
                  Link Parent
                  I think your link and quote gives enough to say we’re both right and being wrong headed

                  I think your link and quote gives enough to say we’re both right and being wrong headed

                  1. [2]
                    BuckeyeSundae
                    Link Parent
                    Now that I'm not on the phone, let me expand on this. The big thing all of these quotes are talking about when it comes to the use of this phrase is abbreviation fatigue. When there are too many...

                    Now that I'm not on the phone, let me expand on this.

                    Alphabet soup is a metaphor for an abundance of abbreviations or acronyms, named for a common dish made from alphabet pasta.

                    The many different distinctions between types of pneumonia have also been described as an alphabet soup, requiring a scholarly article detailing the differences between the many acronyms.

                    The big thing all of these quotes are talking about when it comes to the use of this phrase is abbreviation fatigue. When there are too many different types of abbreviations or when the length of the acronym becomes too long to be easily played in scrabble, it can overwhelm people.

                    In other words, "alphabet soup" is much more about the feeling of being overwhelmed than it is about whether there are three letters in an acronym (my version) or 14 different variants of the acronym (the other version referenced in your quotes). In that sense, we're each right about some of this semantic bickering, and wrong-headed by insisting on our particular respective, predictably too-precise understanding.

                    To back track to the original point we were talking about, say many more people do want to change from LGBT (which I know from experience people see as alphabet soup just as the four letter version, we even get into the longest forms out there) to GSM. And for the moment, let's ignore the clinical, academic feel about GSM that I think you rightly pointed out in another comment thread. The people who didn't understand what all LGBT+ meant will probably be just about as lost being asked to switch to GSM, and the few that were just starting to get on board with what all LGBT meant will potentially even resent being asked to change acronyms. Those people will see it as more alphabet soup either way, because it's an acronym they don't understand instead of something they do understand (and it should be noted that this is a criticism that "rainbow coalition" or "rainbow community" would not be vulnerable to).

                    Now there are people whose concerns about this debate would be addressed by switching from QUILTBAG+, LGBTQ+, and all the longer variants to GSM. But that's largely people who are already fairly familiar with most of what people are trying to describe through the original monster of a term. LGBTQIA+ and all its variants are good instructional tools for people to share what they know about the various minority identities that are intended to be included, a topic that people who are already somewhat aware tend to be more open to than outsiders. So despite looking like somebody wanted to make sure someone else lost at a game of hangman, there is some pragmatic function to the longer list of specific identities.

                    6 votes
                    1. Algernon_Asimov
                      Link Parent
                      Thank you for finally explaining your point. It all makes sense now. I even agree with a lot of what you're saying.

                      Thank you for finally explaining your point. It all makes sense now. I even agree with a lot of what you're saying.

                      2 votes
    4. [2]
      musicotic
      Link Parent
      It was coined by a pedophile who wanted to include pedos in the acronym

      It was coined by a pedophile who wanted to include pedos in the acronym

      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I think you're going to need to provide a source for that little gem of wisdom.

        It was coined by a pedophile

        I think you're going to need to provide a source for that little gem of wisdom.

        1 vote
  5. BuckeyeSundae
    Link
    I don't really care what term gets used to describe the whole of us non-conformists. I just care that everyone knows that we're all in this together, that none of us are monoliths, and that while...

    I don't really care what term gets used to describe the whole of us non-conformists. I just care that everyone knows that we're all in this together, that none of us are monoliths, and that while our struggles might be different our empathy for one another is there just the same.

    So use whatever term you want (with the understanding that other people will too). Most of the living beings who have been closest to me have multiple names anyway, depending on the speaker and context. I see no pressing reason why we have to all call ourselves the same thing.

    Some people use the word that becomes their identity to explain themselves. I see no reason to tell those people they shouldn't do that. They know they're not like other people already. That's probably not really they need to hear. Most people need to know that they're not so different from the rest of humanity that they can't fit in just the way they are.

    Some people want to present the whole community to people who aren't in that community. That's fine. Not generally my style, but there's little harm in being an activist for your community. Use whatever means you think most effective. You'll get feedback either way (both positive and negative, by the looks of things).

    5 votes
  6. [8]
    Eva
    Link
    How about we just drop the +? Or alternatively the Q+? Maybe the L (since it's literally just a synonym for the G)?

    How about we just drop the +? Or alternatively the Q+? Maybe the L (since it's literally just a synonym for the G)?

    4 votes
    1. BuckeyeSundae
      Link Parent
      Q+ sounds like a programming language. Not that I'm against that, but ...

      Q+ sounds like a programming language. Not that I'm against that, but ...

      6 votes
    2. [6]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      That you think that lesbian and gay are synonymous indicates your lack of understanding of the communities represented by those labels.

      That you think that lesbian and gay are synonymous indicates your lack of understanding of the communities represented by those labels.

      1 vote
      1. [5]
        Eva
        Link Parent
        I fall into the former but, more importantly, I was making fun of what the author said in the article, about using more nonsensical catch-alls. (I'm not saying "Queer" is a nonsensical catch-all,...

        I fall into the former but, more importantly, I was making fun of what the author said in the article, about using more nonsensical catch-alls. (I'm not saying "Queer" is a nonsensical catch-all, FYI, I'm just saying that "Q" is. His argument against using "Queer" was effectively "As a straight man, it doesn't include me!" as you can see by the way he ends his article.)

        5 votes
        1. [4]
          MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          Ah, ok. Sorry, I didn't catch the snark. I'm really not sure how to interpret the piece. The author of the piece is actually gay, which muddles the perspective further. It feels almost like...

          Ah, ok. Sorry, I didn't catch the snark.

          I'm really not sure how to interpret the piece. The author of the piece is actually gay, which muddles the perspective further. It feels almost like concern trolling, but it's hard to say.

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            Eva
            Link Parent
            Wait, what? He's actually gay? But he says... In that respect, although I am not LGBTQ, I am certainly Q. I think Frank Kameny might have been, too. I'm so confused.

            Wait, what? He's actually gay? But he says...

            In that respect, although I am not LGBTQ, I am certainly Q. I think Frank Kameny might have been, too.
            

            I'm so confused.

            1 vote
            1. Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              Put it this way: I, Algernon, am gay, but I'm not queer. Does that help? It means that I relate to the "gay" label, but I don't relate to the "queer" label". Similarly, the author is saying that,...

              Put it this way: I, Algernon, am gay, but I'm not queer. Does that help? It means that I relate to the "gay" label, but I don't relate to the "queer" label". Similarly, the author is saying that, despite being a gay man, he doesn't relate to the "LGBTQ" label - but he can relate to "Q". (How, I don't know! That's a whole different issue...)

              2 votes
  7. sunlight
    Link
    I too like the label "queer" for myself. But I don't think we've fully reclaimed it. To many people, "queer" is what they were called while people were beating them up, and they don't want that....

    I too like the label "queer" for myself. But I don't think we've fully reclaimed it. To many people, "queer" is what they were called while people were beating them up, and they don't want that. And I'm not going to tell them they have to use it.

    1 vote