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|Readers debate whether ‘queer’ helps or hurts our community|
|Written by The GA Voice readers|
|Friday, 07 January 2011 00:00|
Re: “Why our ‘Queer of the Year’ is now our ‘Person of the Year’” (www.thegavoice.com, Dec. 28, and discussion at www.facebook.com/thegavoice)
"I think I’d rather be called queer than gay. I’m not really sure why; I’ve just always liked the word better."
"The definition states strange, unusual, etc. There is nothing strange about me. There is nothing strange about us as a group."
"I embrace being queer."
"I don’t refer to myself as queer. To me, that word means something that is weird or odd."
"I embrace “queer” all the time because by using it we take the power of it back. I never get the memos when a new letter is added to LGBTQQS and I love all my people and wouldn’t want to leave anyone out."
"I believe the word “gay” is far less offensive and much more of a blanket term than “queer” could ever be. … The concept of embracing “queer” is not something gays do in the real world, it’s more an academic thing. For example, a simple working class woman knows she wants to be treated equally, she doesn’t care if she’s post-modern, liberal or Marxist feminist. All she knows is that she wants to be treated like a human being and not a “dumb broad.” Likewise, the kid about to kill himself in Alabama doesn’t want to engage in auto-alienation by embracing “queer” identity politics; he’s usually a gay kid who tries to convince others that he’s not some stereotype and that he’s a person. The “queer” identity is a wholesale embrace of “weirdness” and “freakishness” which is very contrived, much akin to all the emo and goth kids who want to be so unique they all dress like each other."
"I find the “Q” word to be quite offensive."
"I have no problem with being queer. It kind of describes me perfectly even if a gay sexual orientation weren’t part of its implications. I am eccentric and peculiar. As for assimilation, I do that very well too. I support gay marriage and gays in the military. In 30 years of working in my chosen field I have known exactly one other openly gay person to do what I do for a living. (It doesn’t mean no one does, they just aren’t as visible as I am.) Labels are tricky. As we can see from the other posts, there is no one label that everyone agrees on. I have long embraced queer, but then I only have to label myself."
"I identify actively as queer, as do most of my friends. My community calls itself the “queer community” not the “gay community.” I understand the historical implications of it, but it is the term that best fits me, and thus I use it freely. I understand people who don’t want to be called queer, but that shouldn’t stop me from identifying as queer."
"I like “Queer of the Year.” It rhymes."
"I sort of like “human beings” myself."
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