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Old 01-30-2009, 04:07 PM   #1
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Default To queer or not to queer?

Figured I'd get us started with a question:

How do you feel about the use of the word 'queer'? For yourself, for a community, for a movement? Here in this forum?

Please share you thoughts about this, and I look forward to reading the responses.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by butch View Post
Figured I'd get us started with a question:

How do you feel about the use of the word 'queer'? For yourself, for a community, for a movement? Here in this forum?

Please share you thoughts about this, and I look forward to reading the responses.
Woohoo! New forum! *high fives*

Butch, I'm with that group of people who came up post-Stonewall and pre-Ellen and who got really happy when we saw it was possible to re-appropriate a word and de-fang an insult. It's the same difference, but with a positive rather than negative spin--a queer then, a queer now. "Queer back then was an insult." What the appropriation did, the way I see it, was to erare the possibility of "queer" being an insult, of hate--it still meant "queer," only now "queer" was good. It was all about trying to change the world through language, to disarm the enemy by taking its words. How exciting.

So, yeah, I like it.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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Well, you know how Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick talks about 'queer' coming from an indo-european root that meant 'across' or 'through,' so I like that connotation very much.

Welcome to the new forum, Fascinita. Please grab a mint julep and stay awhile.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:32 PM   #4
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The thing I love the most about the word "queer" is how it was turned from being a derogatory term, to an empowering term. Its been reclaimed, and I love that. I think its a cute word.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:38 PM   #5
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The thing I love the most about the word "queer" is how it was turned from being a derogatory term, to an empowering term. Its been reclaimed, and I love that. I think its a cute word.
Me too! Plus, I think it sounds lovely. Thanks for voting thumbs up on queer, bexy!

There's an open bar over by Fascinita, bexy, please grab yourself a fruity beverage and sit a spell.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:43 PM   #6
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I am so excited that this forum is here now!

I'm with Bex, I think it has a feeling of empowerment to it.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:48 PM   #7
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I think queer or anything else is fine so long as people don't define you by that. Any name gets ugly when it dehumanizes someone, reduces them to a single characteristic or idea. I can use "beautiful" like a blunt instrument as soon as I refuse to see passed that. So saying that Julia is queer can be either vicious or kind, contingent on my awareness that she, as we all are, is many other things as well.

Really just wanted to get in on the first page and thread of the new Forum.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:50 PM   #8
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I am so excited that this forum is here now!

I'm with Bex, I think it has a feeling of empowerment to it.
Cool, glad to see people like queer as much as I do. Thanks for your excitement, Tooz, and join the party. We're currently discussing the merits of Liza's recent return to Boradway and the chances the final season of "The L Word" will be worth the viewing investment.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:52 PM   #9
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I think queer or anything else is fine so long as people don't define you by that. Any name gets ugly when it dehumanizes someone, reduces them to a single characteristic or idea. I can use "beautiful" like a blunt instrument as soon as I refuse to see passed that. So saying that Julia is queer can be either vicious or kind, contingent on my awareness that she is, as we all are, is many other things as well.

Really just wanted to get in on the first page and thread of the new Forum.
Glad you're here, Ernest, and enjoy your perch on the first page! I'll stop with my possibly tired bar/party allusions now, and just say how excited I am that we're all undertaking this new forum venture together.

Mingle people, mingle.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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How cool, to witness the birth of a new forum! Rather like Aphrodite riding up on the waves in the pearly morning light.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:09 PM   #11
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Congratulations and hello!

As far as the word "queer", I never do think of gay or lesbian, but rather as it is meant to mean - odd. And I am NOT saying that gay or lesbian is odd. I am here as a supporter.

Actually, about 30 yrs. ago as a young teen, my friends and I would use the word "queer" as a verb when someone was trying to get frisky with us, as in "he tried to get all queer with me".

The only time that I think of the word "queer" in the definition of GLBTQ is when someone says "I'm queer and I'm here". And even then I think, are they stating that they are gay? oh yeah, they must be.

But what I really want to state in this message is that I am very happy that this forum is here and that is was born via a relatively painless birth. We found out a new one was wanted, no problem getting preggars and then an easy delivery. Now let's raise this child well.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:10 PM   #12
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Woo hoo. It is great to see that your efforts in having a GLBTQ board suceeded. Thought i'd drop in and swap some howdies and maybe sneak in a bottle of Patron in hopes we might get some margaritas going.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:54 PM   #13
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I love the word queer - it feels very inclusive. Most importantly, I love queers! Congrats on the forum...
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:16 PM   #14
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I think any of those kinds of titles can be whatever you want them to be. Just like fat, bitch, n*****, etc. If you want to take them as an insult they will be an insult, if you want to make them into a compliment they can be one of those too.

Now *I* have a question. From personal experience (limited I admit) how does the "labled group" take non-members using those titles? For example, I know in my area it is very common for african-americans to call each other n***** (as in this is my n***** (friend) ), but if some white southern chick like me were to do that I'd probably get my ass whupped on.
On that note, sometimes my GF and I call each other bitch. "Hey bitch whatch'a doin'?" however is some stranger on the street said that to me I'd probably take it negatively.
I think Carlos Mencia touched on this once...and it was a really good "ask the public" segment he did as well.
It really is amazing the power that we give to words.

So, if someone outside the group uses the "slang" is it automatically percieved differently?
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Last edited by butch; 01-31-2009 at 09:16 PM. Reason: even though not used in a hateful way, n***** can still dredge up a lot of the ugly history of that word for many people
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:22 PM   #15
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I think its all to do with the tone and the context.

Being called "a dirty queer" is horrid. Being called "queer and fabulous" is cool!

Same goes for fat. I love to be called fat, and I don't care if thats by another fat girl, George, a skinny friend or even a stranger!! But only in the right tone and context. You can tell when someone uses it as an insult, same goes for words like queer or nigger.
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:30 PM   #16
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One reason I like queer is because I think straight allies can use it for themselves, as a way of expressing the 'straight but not narrow' slogan lots of GLBTQ allies embrace. I think anyone who feels a bit left of center, in terms of their pleasures and/or their presentation to the world, could use queer as a self-descriptor. Just my personal opinion, though. I will say, though, that plenty of people who self-identify as gay or lesbian or bi or trans hate the word, and for some of those people, I really have met straight people that are more 'queer' than they are. No slur meant against GLBT people who don't embrace a more overt GLBTQ vibe, but to show that the community is as varied and diverse as 'straight' society.

viva la differance!
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:39 PM   #17
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Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!

I am so excited that I get to be around as this new "home" is created. Feel lucky that I am apart of a community that welcomes all and celebrates (& encourages) expression of individuality and difference - yet like a lovely family should - doesn't make anyone feel like a "lesser" for their uniqueness.



Q u e e r -yep I support the word

"We're queer, we're here...let's party!"
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:40 PM   #18
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I don't personally, only because of its synonymy with negativity among a lot of people not friendly to the gay community. I used to say it to mean "Weird," because I had a professor in college always talk about queer word spacing, but it sort of wore off when I learned to give respect to the community. Not that it's bad to say, but I'm surrounded by people that tend to use it negatively. I don't want them to assume I'm agreeing.

I don't know. I just say G/L/B.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:01 PM   #19
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I think the word Queer is interesting, because I think it's one of the few words that has been fully reclaimed, at least perhaps among my generation and those younger. I can honestly say I have never heard the word queer used as a perjorative. I hope this is something a lot of younger folk can now say.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:17 PM   #20
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The Q word may have been reclaimed, but the N word IMHO hasn't. When it becomes a common term used in Presidential press conferences without offense I might change my mind. Until then its still offensive.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:42 AM   #21
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I love it and use it often. I like how inclusive the word is, but it has become so much of a catch-all that people ask me to elaborate anyway.

Butch, I do understand what you mean by straight allies identifying with the word queer and using it for themselves, but I would be rather confused if a girl who identifies as 100% straight goes around proclaiming to be queer. In my opinion, the word best suits someone who is not completely heterosexual or cisgendered.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:08 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by No-No-Badkitty View Post
I think any of those kinds of titles can be whatever you want them to be. Just like fat, bitch, nigger, etc. If you want to take them as an insult they will be an insult, if you want to make them into a compliment they can be one of those too.

Now *I* have a question. From personal experience (limited I admit) how does the "labled group" take non-members using those titles? For example, I know in my area it is very common for african-americans to call each other nigger (as in this is my nigger (friend) ), but if some white southern chick like me were to do that I'd probably get my ass whupped on.
On that note, sometimes my GF and I call each other bitch. "Hey bitch whatch'a doin'?" however is some stranger on the street said that to me I'd probably take it negatively.
I think Carlos Mencia touched on this once...and it was a really good "ask the public" segment he did as well.
It really is amazing the power that we give to words.

So, if someone outside the group uses the "slang" is it automatically percieved differently?
I think you answered Your own question. If someone uses the word "queer" to describe me, and it is ment with good intention then that is the way i shall take it. Whether they are queer or not. I dont feel the same about the word "nigger". I just feel that is a word which cannot be "recaimed". I have a black friend who uses the word and i tell him not to because i think its tooo ugly and steeped in too much hate and history to be reclaimed. AAnyway..i dont think this applies to queer, which was a pretty newish derogitory term which can and has been reclaimed in a positive way. Though, more so in America than in the Uk. I much prefer Queer to "fag","Dyke", "Poofter" etc.. the Male words all seem so faffy and weak and the words for gay women seem so ugly somehow.. Anyway, i love the word queer because it seem to encompass gay male and female/bisexual/bi-curious/trangender/transexual and basically anyone who isnt 100% hetrosexual.. It kinna makes us in the majority! lmao.. An army of QUEERS!!
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:00 AM   #23
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I also love re-claiming words. If you know me in chat, you've probably seen me refer to myself as a "queer-bag" a few times. It just doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me.

I also refer to myself as queer, because I really haven't found another word that I feel fits me (just like a button-up top... but that's another forum).

People tell me "Oh, so you're bi?" but... for some reason, I just really don't like the term "bi"... Bisexual's ok, but I don't know...
It's hard to explain. haha.
I just stick with queer. I like it.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:05 AM   #24
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One reason I like queer is because I think straight allies can use it for themselves, as a way of expressing the 'straight but not narrow' slogan lots of GLBTQ allies embrace. I think anyone who feels a bit left of center, in terms of their pleasures and/or their presentation to the world, could use queer as a self-descriptor.
I agree and it's one of the things I have always liked about that particular word. I always think of it in terms of gay first but as a second definition I think of odd, but in an off beat, original, unique type of way.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:07 AM   #25
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Cors, I know how you feel, and I can agree, but the utopian in me (and the one who thinks cultural study theory can change the world) thinks that the more we embrace delinking identity from the materiality of the body and its desires/processes, the less oppressive society we'll all live in. I would also encourage any thin allies to claim a fat identity if they felt that it accurately reflected the way they approach the world in their bodies.

I guess in the here and now, it might dilute the activist activities for GLBTQ people, and fat people, my utopian views about identity, but in the long run, I think it would be very awesome.
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