What It’s Like: To Be Queer

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Australian TV station ABC asked a couple of young people what it’s like to be queer. This is what they had to say. Submitted by Joshee.

Comments 6

  1. ~They all seem to identify with the word queer.
    Call me old but I’m still hearing a negative connotation with that word even though it seems to be coming into a more acceptable usage in certain circles.
    I understand that gay doesn’t fit the entire spectrum, large as its gotten of late but it seems a softer less offenisve word for at least two of this group’s members.

    I wish them all the best but the reality is saying what you are or believe to be in front of the wrong people can be risky.
    I’d think them safer in general if they remain cautiously optimistic that over time all people will accept such differences with an open mind rather than a closed ✊…

  2. The word Queer has been in use since the 19th century. Like many other words used to denote those who did not follow societies limited heterosexual norms it was a derogatory word. And like many of those words, it was immediately “reclaimed” — in the case of Queer one example is in the writings of Gertrude Stein.

    Here’s from the Oxford dictionary:

    The word queer was first used to mean ‘homosexual’ in the late 19th century; when used by heterosexual people, it was originally an aggressively derogatory term. By the late 1980s, however, some gay people began to deliberately use the word queer in place of gay or homosexual, in an attempt, by using the word positively, to deprive it of its negative power. Queer also came to have broader connotations, relating not only to homosexuality but to any sexual orientation or gender identity not corresponding to heterosexual norms. The neutral use of queer is now well established and widely used, especially as an adjective or noun modifier, and exists alongside the derogatory usage

    Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/queer

    And a longer discussion:


    I can certainly understand if people feel discomfort. I’m not too thrilled about being called a Faggot — even though I understand that the word has some really ancient history. But that’s intellectual knowledge, not the gut feeling that someone wants me to know that they hate me.

    On the other hand, Gay seems to have a very narrow meaning to some homosexuals. Narrow enough that I’ve been told many times that I am not Gay, as in Gay enough? Gay the way they think it should be? Queer suits better when we don’t want rigid rules surrounding our lives — and I think that’s why a lot of younger folks are using the word today.

  3. Am I looking at things the wrong way? These young people would only be happy with others “out there.” Someone who may be interested would not approach if he did not want to be out.

  4. @Gary
    😊My comment is mainly regarding concern over the usage of the word queer to encompass the entire LGBT etc. spectrum.
    Of course when they’re with like minded individuals they’ll be accepted but life doesn’t always allow for that.
    ~Being in the closet was mainly used by most because ‘duck & cover’ proved totally useless and still is!
    I just worry about this new generation like the ones shown that may feel such words offer a protection of sorts… It doesn’t.

  5. Good for Australia, to have such productions. Bring differences out into light. Yes, there can be negatives attacks so the youth should not be naive and innocent. I found that while coming out elicited bullying and ridicule, it also caused like minded persons to come out to me. There is no easy road so a person should not live in darkness and deny themselves their own reality and happiness.

  6. LGBT is the short version of LGBTQI. It is a political / money version of queer. WILLIAM WAY GAY CENTER in Philadelphia, PA, USA. NOTE: the writing use of ‘gay’ over ‘queer’ in writing. NOTE: GAY LIBERATION versus SEX LIBERATION differntia.

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