Better understand the word Queer
To better understand the word Queer let’s talk about the word “queer”. Maybe you used it to describe yourself or maybe you heard a friend use it and secretly tell you, “Wait. WTF, does that meanb ?” To decode this 5-letter word, we asked 5 LGBTQ + youth and GLAAD Campus Ambassadors to tell us what the word * queer * means to them.
Labels can be tricky…and that’s where “Queer” comes in
For starters, finding the right label can sometimes be tricky. In high school, it’s all about figuring out who you are and what you like, and forcing yourself to find the right etiquette the first time around is a lot to ask. “I think the hardest thing for me coming out of high school was not knowing what label to use,” said activist theater actor Rowan Hepps Keeney.
For activist and performer Leah Juliett , a big part of being queer is not having a precise definition. “I can exist in gray areas,” they said. “I can be indefinite, and that’s fine.”
So what does “queer” really mean ?
According to media advocacy organization LGBTQ +, ‘ queer ‘ is “an adjective used by some people whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual”. Also: “Generally, for those who identify as homosexual, the terms lesbian, gay and bisexual are perceived as too restrictive and/or loaded with cultural connotations that they feel do not apply to them.”
read also : What is a queer relationship ?
Another difference between these movements and the LGBT movement is that it had no precedent in the 19th century . It was therefore necessary for gay and lesbian activists to choose a model for their new movement, and the recent success of black activists was instrumental.
*Queer* is a beautiful catch-all for LGBTQ+ people
If you’re unsure of a label, that’s where a generic term like queer can come in handy. “We all had this experience in high school, when we desperately wanted a community to identify with, and a lot of it was finding a label that fit perfectly,” Rowan said. “But the more we realized that gender and sexuality was pretty much made up and a lie, the more we thought, ‘None of these words really fit, so we’ll just fall under the umbrella of queer.'”
Queer can be used to describe both sexual identity and gender identity, as Marriage and Family Therapist Nicole Scrivano explained in a blog post. “As queer women , we come in a variety of forms, identities and belief systems,” she said. “Some of these identities are part of the sexual identities of bisexuals, lesbians, gays, pansexuals, etc. Some of these identities are part of gender: transgender, cisgender, non-binary, female, gender flexible, etc.”
Queer = Community = <3
One great thing about being queer is the incredible community that comes with it. “Knowing that ultimately being part of the queer community means more than any other label, that would have really helped me a lot in high school,” Rowan said.
In the end, know that a label does not define you
If you decide on a label that works for you, also know that you define that label on your own terms. GLAAD Rising Stars Grant recipient C. Mandler said: “There are a lot of connotations around what it means to be trans. Do you need hormone replacement therapy? Do you need to undergo surgery? Do you need to change your name? There is no right or wrong way to be trans.”
Leah agreed, saying you’ve set the rules for your identity. “You can embrace the ambiguity and fluidity of sexuality. You don’t need to know exactly who or what you are, and that’s okay.
Better understand the word Queer
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