The Q


DIS Veteran
Nov 26, 2018
WOW. That is completely not at all what I am saying. I am the last person who dislikes anyone based on that, as I said. But there is a difference between being who you are, and making every single conversation about being gay. If a hetero person was to constantly put into the conversation that they were straight, it would be very strange and get old too. Because that is not a something that is normally in every day conversation. Just like the joke about vegans, "how do you know if someone is a vegan, don't worry they will tell you". You don't need to bring up being gay as a general course of conversation because it has no relevance. People like you intentionally misunderstand to stand on your indignant righteousness to make it seem that everyone is against gay people. It actually makes it worse for everyone.
Hmmm... I will say I didn’t personally attack you (or make a presumption, falsely I might add, on your thoughts/opinions). I simply stated that to put yourself in their shoes to try and understand their viewpoint. From only there could you truly handle that relationship with the individual or as I stated if you really don’t like the person (or their conversation) don’t interact with them (why try to project your views on them it’s stressful for no reason). There really wasn’t a misunderstanding as I clearly understood where you stand and didn’t 100% disagree with it. It’s just perhaps to that person being gay has relevance. I mean personally as a gay individual most people at my office were surprised that I have a husband when we go to work events but that’s just my choice on how I live my life. Not everyone is me and I respect that.
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Jan 13, 2020
To answer the OP's question, different people will have different feelings about the word depending on their personal history with it. I certainly wouldn't describe someone as queer until they've made it clear to me that they identify with that.

That being said, I don't think using queer as an umbrella term is harmful as it describes something that we didn't previously have vocabulary for in english. For example, Judy Garland is widely considered a gay icon, despite having been cisgender and heterosexual. How would we describe the way that her work expressed feelings that many people in the LGBT community identify with? As a musicologist, my instinct would be to use the word "queerness" as a way to invoke behaviors and performance methods that challenge or deconstruct notions of heteronormativity.

In my opinion, there's no word in the English language (or others, as in German queer is just borrowed from English) that invokes a similar abstractness that one can use to talk about issues of gender identity, expression, and sexuality. It does come with the loaded concept that we shouldn't use a word to overwrite the identities of those who used to exist in a different time, but I try to make a clear distinction between queerness and then labeling historical figures as queer when the latter isn't as appropriate.

As you can see, though, my nuanced argument for this is definitely on the academic side. On a personal, more casual level, I think people should be able to reclaim whichever words they want. I know people of all ages who don't feel comfortable with using queer and that's OK, but I also have many reasons to use it for myself.
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