The Reclamation Of 'Queer' Has Been Great For LGBTQ People, Even Though Its Not For Me
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The Reclamation Of 'Queer' Has Been Great For LGBTQ People, Even Though Its Not For Me

The word "queer" is used more than ever nowadays, and it's great, but it's not for me.

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The Reclamation Of 'Queer' Has Been Great For LGBTQ People, Even Though Its Not For Me
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As a writer, I understand that words have meanings. Sometimes these meanings can change. Sometimes these meanings can remain intact. It truly depends on the word and its history. Some words are reclaimed and redefined by marginalized groups to make progress. Some words get overused to the point of losing their meaning. That can be quite harmful to certain communities.

A word like "Nazi" has become overused by both sides of the political spectrum. It's a word that is now thrown around to insult people who don't fit the definition. It goes into the territory of Holocaust denial and slaps historical education (including the Jewish community) in the face. You would think "neo-Nazi," the more appropriate and correct use of the word, would've become commonplace. But sadly, that didn't happen.

For the word "queer," the redefining of the word has done great things for the community its associated with. Its usage and history play a huge role in how its used today. That includes a process of reclamation before reaching the common usage we hear today.

In today's time, the word "queer" is often used as an umbrella term to describe those within the LGBTQ+ community. It's often said that the Q at the end of the acronym is meant for queer people. Although, some people say it's actually for questioning people. Sometimes, the words "queer" and "questioning" are used interchangeably. This leads to much confusion and debate.

Why would a word be part of an acronym if it refers to those who identify as the other letters? If we already have the word "questioning," then what's the use of having "queer?" I've always said that there never should've been an acronym. Our community should've always been called, "gender and sexual minorities." I think that would've worked much better. We would've been able to skip the confusion and drama.

Back in the day, "queer" was used as an insult to the LGBTQ+ community. The original definition of the word is something strange or odd. Therefore, it was often hurled at gays and lesbians by homophobic people. It sometimes still is to this day. Most of us who experienced bullying as a child would hear the word used in this way. It happened on an almost daily basis for many of us.

The difference now, is that enough people within the community have reclaimed the word. It no longer shows up in media as a way to name-call in a childish manner. Now it usually shows up in media to refer to what a celebrity just came out as. That process of reclamation is important, because it gives oppressed groups the chance to take back ownership of the narrative. This is an important part of moving past bigotry and making progress.

I personally believe it's an individual choice for everyone as to whether or not they use the word to identify themselves. I don't appreciate when people use this word to describe people before that person clarified they identified that way. When Joshua Bassett recently came out as "part of the LGBTQ community," everyone was quick to say he came out as queer.

However, if you read his quote from the article in question, he made it clear that labels were not for him. That includes queer. Queer is still a label in its own way. People clearly missed his point entirely. Unless someone calls themselves queer, I think people should probably refrain from referring to them as such.

I don't feel the need to refer to myself as queer. I'm a gay man and I feel that's more than enough. I don't need any other label to define who I am. I like to be clear on who I am and if I used the word "queer," I feel it might confuse people. I am into men and that's it. Therefore, gay is the only identity I will wear. It's nothing against those who choose to identify as queer. It's just not for me.

And that's more than okay. There's nothing wrong with people identifying themselves as queer, non-binary, questioning, or anything else. It's okay to be sure of yourself. It's also okay to not be completely sure of yourself. That's part of the beauty of this community. It's also part of the beauty of words. Words can be reclaimed and redefined if used the right way.

When it comes to the word "queer" today, it has offered more people a seat at the LGBTQ+ table. It's offered people who would've otherwise been confused, a spot where they felt comfortable. And that, to me, is making progress.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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