So, How Does Everyone Here Feel About The Q Word?


#1

So, I know that this has been a bit if a hot topic for awhile now ( like this article here: http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2016/2/11/problem-word-queer) but I was just curious what everyone here thought about this discussion.

I"m a trans woman (as my username suggests :sweat_smile:) and while I have used the word queer to even describe myself on occasion, mostly to cis folks, I very often don’t. I used to be called alot of horrible derogatory names in ms and hs and it still sometimes bothers me to hear things like that every now and then. While, I have no issue whatsoever with people use are trying to use it as a form of empowerment and I have in the past myself, I very much can understand why some people (especially older people) may feel differently then myself, or others.

Anyway, I was just wondering what you all thought about this topic of discussion? I tend to see alot of articles on waypoint that talk alot about LGBTQ+ representation in video games and often use the phrase queer, even by people who aren’t LGBTQ+.

Sorry if this came off as a bit of rambling, I’m a little tired. :sweat_smile: <3


#3

I don’t feel comfortable with cishet people using this word to describe us. I am 100% fine with people within the community using queer to describe themselves. Of course our community isn’t a monolith and people are going to have different opinions on this one and I feel the discussion on this has hardened and has led to intra-community fighting which is Bad.


#4

Yeah, I’ve noticed that to :frowning: it’s unfortunate that it leads to fighting. But heck just 30 - 40 years ago
lesbias and gay people were fighting each other all the time and didn’t even consider themselves part of the same community. You still even see things like that now :confused: you would think we could all band together for the same things, but sometimes it’s not that simple I guess. The main reason I made this topic is cause I see the phrase come up alot in lgbtq related pieces here, even once or twice by someone who’s cis. So I was just curious what people here thought about it (plus these forums seem really nice as opposed to others).


#5

I’m fine with the word queer, in fact I’m more than fine with it. I think it’s really Great :thumbsup:

Queer doesn’t ask ppl to identify in any specific way or work on being “gay enough” for the community. There is no gatekeeping inherent in the word queer. And as someone who feels they aren’t trans enough for the trans community a lot of the time and definitely not gay enough for the gay community queer fits me nicely.

Understandably ppl don’t have to use it if they don’t want to and I don’t enjoy cishet people presuming that I ID as queer either. But I’m like… really tired of having these arguments about this word, honestly? There’s no one experience around it. Don’t use it. Use it. It’s up to you. I’m just really tired of intracommunity fighting about shit like what we call ourselves. It doesn’t seem that productive.


#6

Good point :slight_smile: I very much felt the same way when Ru Paul used the T word. Although it did bother me a little bit with him being so flippant about it, I thought everyone could have used that energy they were expunging for better things. It pains me so much to see fighting within our own community :confused: there are definitely more people out there who veer into Milo Yiannopoulos train of thought and feel that way towards other people without really having any empathy. It both makes communication easier and also the growing pains our community has to go through much more visible in the age of the internet.


#7

I think stuff like going “the Q slur” (and insisting bi is transphobic) is really fucking ignorant of our history and this current revival of this ‘debate’ is tiresome.

You can not like it but I wish some younger folx would stop buying into TERF/SWERFy efforts to split us up exploiting the regretable desexualization and whitewashing of LGTQ+ history since the AIDS Crisis decimated us.


#8

For me, there are two different contexts that determine when I’ll use it.

The first is everyday life, where I’ll only call someone it if they self-identify (which isn’t really all that different from what I do with any identity label) or if I’m educating someone on various nonbinary identities.

The second is academic circles, where in literary critique it’s used to describe a lens to use to look at the works of various authors. Granted, this context hasn’t come up much ever since I graduated from college, but it’s worth mentioning.


#9

Are people insisting that the term bi is transphobic? I’ve never really thought of it that way, why is it considered as such in some circles?


#10

There are some people who interpret “bisexual” as meaning “only attracted to cis males and females” and believe that you must use “pansexual” if you want to include trans individuals.

I (and all the friends I know who are bi) do not agree with that interpretation, but it’s one that you’ll see occasionally.


#11

I do not nor have I ever found it hurtful in the past 5 or so years. The handful of troglodytes who use it as a synonym for everyone’s favourite homophobic insult (the thing with the f) do not affect me in any manner anymore. At least, far as online is concerned. Of course I don’t come from an anglophone country so I have to map the words to their counterparts and I do find that the words become more of a first salvo in order to prompt me to run before they break my neck. (I don’t mean to draw attention to myself but this is sadly not a rarity)

Couple of notes:

Bisexual, in my opinion is not inherently phobic as it is outdated. The gender binary as far as I am concerned needs serious reform. I personally think it is bullshit but i’d rather have it be looked at rationally than antagonistically.
To most people it sounds alien that the concept might be restricting to a number of people.

I personally self describe as pansexual but that carries its own ignorance in the eyes of observers. In casual conversation I just say bi because I am tired of having to explain the nuance that differentiates the two.
But weirdly, and this might be slightly inflammatory, I believe that besides bisexual as a term being outdated I also believe that a regrettable portion of the population does seem to think that if a straight person slept with a transgirl is a deviation from their heterosexuality.
On a personal note I have had people claim they might be bi because they slept with a transgirl. And this might be something only I had been upset by but that did not count to me. As far as I am concerned I am a woman and i don’t have to prove it regardless of how many hormone pills I have had to swallow. That is my decision, my place on the scale of gender identity.
Perhaps, these are the growing pains of a new standard on how we look at gender. But while we are in this discussion as a society, we do not take care enough about the wellbeing of the people central to the discussion.
And yes, the next person calling me a ‘trap’ will get punched in the throat. I’m finished tolerating it.


#12

i actually totally get your feelings on being trans and dating bi people and how that can make one feel insecure, but that’s not an issue that’s helped by the term “pansexual” anyways


#13

I’m good with queer! It’s easy shorthand, I can avoid saying LGBT and getting comments about how I’ve either left out part of the acronym or about “haha the acronym is sooo long now isn’t it?” It’s also an easy term to use if you’re still sorting out your sexuality and gender identity but haven’t settled on anything yet or are uncomfortable with more specific labels. It’s useful! In my experience most of the older gay folk I’ve talked to about its use have… had absolutely no problem with it and use it more often than me and the younger queer people I know. Obviously this is anecdotal, and I don’t doubt that a fair number of people are personally uncomfortable being called queer, but I’m not really sure where this perception that it’s widely perceived as an untouchable slur within ~the community~ came from?

I do sometimes bristle when people refer to me as “a queer woman” with the presumption that I date/am attracted to men in some capacity? I’m pretty open about being A Lesbian and I don’t love being included in conversations about like, “how do I feel connected to the queer community as a cis queer woman dating a cis straight man?” even if they’re well-meaning because… I would never pursue a relationship that looks like that and thus Cannot Relate

I guess the thing I like about queer as a word is that it’s a simple way to bind together a group of people with some shared experiences (homophobia, transphobia) without presuming anything else about the individuals within that group. On an individual level, I don’t love being referred to broadly as queer when my specific lesbian-ness is relevant, (i.e. “oh she’s queer and writing about queer history” no, I’m gay and writing about lesbian history, specifically, and I think that’s important, y’know?) BUT I think the community that queer implies by throwing us all in together is more important than my own weird little gripes!


#14

the terms are irrelevant. it is the attitude behind arbitrary lines being drawn as what counts as xyz sexuality or abc sexuality

edit: when i self identity as pansexual it is because it, to me, is the closest approximation of what attraction means to me within the current system. In truth It does not negatively impact my decision to be with a person what their biology or gender identity or anything of the like. I fall in love with people, not categories.


#15

i wasn’t at all trying to imply that you’re in the wrong for using a term that you like to describe yourself, but just that the argument i see often in favour of “pansexual” (almost always posited by cis people) that its better for trans people has never been positive for me, in my experience, speaking only for myself


#16

Don’t worry I wasn’t implying that i was implying that the implication was implying etc.
I see what you mean. However I am of the opinion right now that it seems, as a term, sufficient regardless of the intent, as you posit, by cis people. As I’ve said, i don’t like any of the terms wholly but I also have an aversion in repeating myself in explaining the nuance of how I perceive it to people who might be not in the loop of the implications. Every oversimplification will, in my mind, bear this same fate. I understand fully that umbrage can be taken by it on that level however.


#17

I honestly prefer to use queer as a term. For example, I find that LGBTQ+/LGBTQIA+ feel much less inclusive (that + is doing a lot of heavy lifting). It’s also much less dependent on concretely knowing where you fit in, and is a lot more helpful as a shorthand when you have multiple aspects of queerness (for example, being a pan enby).

That said, this is very much an American-born-in-the-90s perspective. When I was growing up, queer was very much being reclaimed, and I don’t think I ever heard anyone use it as a slur anyway (they preferred “gay” and the f-word). But for older people, and people in countries where it hasn’t necessarily gone through the process of being reclaimed, it will have a much different connotation than it has for me.


#18

“You can’t use the Q slur” (a recent invented framing that is ahistoric) is an attack disproportionately used against queer people, especially trans people, and fully embraced by TWEFs (part of a pattern of hard-Right hate groups adopting the language of social justice but using it in an ahistoric way to attempt to broaden the power of their hate campaigns, letting it spread beyond the hate group). It’s important to understand this stuff in the context of how our language and public existence has been heavily policed (and continues to be suppressed by the law and society to different degrees depending on location) and not just recreate oppression via intra-community harassment (as a new bubble of desexualised conservatism within the queer community).


#19

I think it serves a very important purpose, to the point where even if it’s considered in some way “wrong”(vaguely) in various circles I’d think it would be in everyone’s interests to fight against that for it’s use. It’s supposed the use of “LGBTQ” as an adjective for someone on the “spectrum”(the language around that needs discussion too, but for clarity’s sake I’ll brush past it for now) that doesn’t specifically mention a part of their identity which they, for whatever reason, should not, cannot, or just don’t want to disclose. It completely bypasses having to worry about adding more initials to the moniker, which was a kinda ridiculous subject to have to discuss for what should be a simple adjective, and it’s a fundamentally pleasing word as pretty much everyone that actively uses it seems to agree.

Though honestly it seems like the discussion around it is more… academic(?) than anything else, since the decision about weather it should or should not be used has already been made: people are using it. Like, I don’t know anyone I follow on twitter or talk to in real life that doesn’t use it without thinking. A lot of those people would get confused if you questioned their usage of it, then just go back to using it. Language change is a thing that happens naturally, and rarely rarely do attempts to influence it on as grand a scale as the complete removal of a word from general use aren’t usually successful.

A lot of objections to it come from people who have had bad personal experience with it, which is fair in so far as it’s a perfectly reasonable natural reaction, but people have also had bad experiences with “gay”, “lesbian”, or outside of just queer stuff, “autistic” is one I can talk about personally. I’m pretty used to it’s flippant use as a synonym for “stupid”, probably because it’s more fun to say, and it’s use like that isn’t exactly brilliant, to say the least, but I’m not going to stop using it because of my experiences of it being used against me. Getting worked up about it and desperately trying to get people to use some other term when talking about it, because 1: that’s not going to work, and 2: making the technical term for something into a social faux-pas is making the thing itself into a social faux-pas, which isn’t something you can allow with autism.

But also, yeah, what @Shivoa said. One of the favourite pass-times of right-wing internet basement dwellers to is try to make people believe that something innocuous is Bad™ for fun.


#20

I like the term, but I understand why some people don’t. For me as a nonbinary person, queer is a useful term because we just don’t have a lot of good language to talk about being NB and how that effects one’s orientation. Sometimes I use “questioning”, but that carries the implication that I might be straight which is not true, or that it’s something that I have to nail down and “figure out” eventually, which, eh, do I? Maybe? Using “gay” to describe myself has it’s own problems, because while it definitely make sit clear that I’m not straight, it has it’s own specific definition that I know I probably don’t fit. So queer is nice because it imparts that I’m definitely not straight without having to take on any more labels that I’m really not comfortable with using for myself.

The recent push-back against the term has made a little reluctant to use it, which is a bit frustrating. It’s also a bit confusing, because I feel like it ignores how terms like “genderqueer” and “queerbaiting” have been in use for awhile now? That being said, if someone is uncomfortable with the term for whatever personal reasons, there’s nothing I can do to stop them. Plus, seeing straight people talk about how they’re “queering their heterosexual relationship” or something like that is super annoying (and probably a partial source of the recent pushback?), like… stop… you and your boyfriend aren’t queering anything please ok.


#21

try telling gay people over the age of 25, especially in the uk, that the word queer being harmful is a “recent invented framing” by right-wingers. a bit hard to parse what point this comment is trying to make when it cites people who claim the word f----- is not offensive as evidence of successful reclamation.