This is part 3 of the 7 part series. If you missed the last few weeks , you can click the link here: https://www.liveequal.net/blog and it will take you to my website blog page and you can read the series from the beginning. If this is your first time reading: This blog series is taking the LGBTQIA and giving you the definitions, as I see them, for each letter in the series (going backwards).
As I have said in all of the blogs in this series, I think it is important that each letter get a focus. They are important and although I can not completely or fully help you understand the depth of each of the letters and the people they represent, it is my intent to highlight them because they represent a group of people and those people are wonderful.
So the next letter going backwards is "Q" is for Queer
Which by Wikipedia means:
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or not cisgender. Additionally, people who reject traditional gender identities and seek a broader and deliberately ambiguous alternative to the label LGBT may describe themselves as "queer".
Out of all the letters - this one has the most complicated and controversial discussions surrounding its definition. It has so many different interpretations and a long history of usage even before it was claimed as a letter in the LGBT community. For some, the self labeled term is a statement, a positive or neutral version of identity. Often someone that calls themselves Queer - will use another term to further clarify.
Such as: Queer - cis - Trans.
However, it was first used in the 16th century to describe "strange" or "odd" people and as a derogatory term to describe feminine men. It was often used to describe something weird or abnormal like a queer painting. When used this way, it was completely derogatory and characterizing.
It was reclaimed in the 1980's by many gay and lesbian people who wanted to be social activists and were strongly against traditional gender identities even if they claimed gay or lesbian identities. They saw themselves as oppressed by society and angry which made them more than just gay or lesbian. For example; In 1990 an anonymous flyer circulated at the New York Pride Parade that said:
Well, yes, "gay" is great. It has its place. But when a lot of lesbians and gay men wake up in the morning we feel angry and disgusted, not gay. So we've chosen to call ourselves queer. Using "queer" is a way of reminding us how we are perceived by the rest of the world.
Many LGBT people don't like the term "Queer" and refuse to use it. LGBT people resent the term as just another way to divide the LGBT community into sections and to divert the focus of equality.
Here is where my opinion weighs in: So many of the research and history of the LGBT movement is represented in that last paragraph above. It is DIVIDED!!!!!! So divided.
The history of the gay movement which includes the AIDS epidemic - has gotten lost due to the extreme stances on these letters as well as many other things and the division those things created has slowed down progress.
One site I recently visited insisted that each of these letters are exclusive if not all used when talking about the community. READY for it????
LGBTQQIP2SAA - and some add K
I mean no disrespect but I must be clear.....Who cares if a letter isn't mentioned? Are you not going to support the movement if you don't "fit" one of the letters exactly? I don't think just the letter "L" truly represents me or my wife anyway.
So: You are either part of the community or an ally of the community and you can either learn the letters or don't...I don't really care. What I care about...it that you are compassionate and open minded. And please know, labels don't always get it right.