I will begin this post by stating that this is an opinion piece. As identity is such a deeply personal topic to everyone there is no way my opinion of what is queer and what queer means can represent everyone within the queer community. It is also worth noting that many people that I would consider a part of the queer community would not consider themselves queer either and so with that said let explore some ideas about what it means to be queer.
Many people know that queer once used to mean odd or different, just as many know that not so long ago it was then appropriated and used as a slur against homosexual/gay men. These days however the word queer has been reclaimed and now it is used by many within the queer community to represent a more inclusive community. Reclaiming the original meaning of word and empowering it with the understanding that odd and different are things to be celebrated.
So, who are the queer community, generally speaking the queer community is made up of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transexual, Intersexed, Asexual and any-one that feels they don’t quite fit any of these terms but doesn’t fit with heterosexuals either like Pansexual. With the recent awakening of just how different and varied people are, the realisation that LGBTIAQ+ is not only a little bit confusing for some but can also be polarising and a little bit exclusory. In order to offer a more inclusive environment while not forcing people into an identity they may not feel is appropriate to them the word queer was reclaimed.
It is worth noting that many people who consider themselves queer do not consider themselves LGBTIA and many people who are LGBTIA may not be comfortable with the term queer due to the misappropriation of the word in the past or because they simply don’t identify with the word. So in summation queer people are just people who want to recognise and celebrate their own and each other’s differences.
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