Defining Queer

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Defining Queer

"Queer" is a complex and radical term that's been used disparagingly, and is an umbrella term used to describe gender minorities who aren't gender-binary, heterosexual, or heteronormative. The term Queer has generally and traditionally been used as a slander to homosexual men and lesbians, it's regarded as a synonym to "different", "unusual", "strange", and has been on par with spiteful rhetoric like "dyke", "faggot", "shemale", and "he/she".

A reclaimed term is a term that was previously used only as a slur but that's been semantically overturned by people of the maligned class, who use it as an expression of rebellious pride. Queer is an illustration of a word going through this process. For many years Queer was utilized only as a derogatory adjective for homosexuals, however in the 1980s the word began to be used by LGBT activists as an expression of self-identification. Ultimately, it came to be employed as an umbrella term which included lesbians and gays, bisexuals, and also transgendered people.

This expression is controversial since it was reappropriated just a few years ago based on its usage as an anti-gay epithet. Moreover, a lot of LGBT members don't approve of the term Queer as a catch-all for the reason that they think about it as derisive, offensive, or self-deprecating because of its constant use as a kind of hate speech. Some other LGBT members might avoid Queer since they relate it with radicalism, or because they view it as the faddish jargon of the present generation.

Nonetheless, a considerable percentage of individuals to whom this term may apply still maintain Queer to be a hateful slander, and its use by heterosexuals is usually regarded as offensive. Likewise, other reclaimed terms are generally unpleasant to the in-group if used by outsiders, so extreme care should be taken regarding their use when one isn't a person in the group.

Queer can also be a way for people to self-identify with their gender identity or sexual inclination. Individuals who are Queer might feel that sexuality isn't just black or white but comes in tones of gray. They don't box themselves into different types like lesbian, gay or straight but consider sexual inclination as lying on a continuum with diverse levels. Queer people today often express their sexual inclination to be "pansexual", and so are available to men, women, intersexual and transgender people.

Therefore, Queer as a sexual inclination differs from "bisexuality" which conveys an interest in men and women and works within the sexual binary system. Sexuality for most Queer identified people can be regarded as fluid and alters throughout their lifetime. Their passions, interests, and conducts transform with them as they grow up.

Many Queer people also don't box themselves in the sexuality binary system of man or woman. They think that they're gender-queer and possess manly and womanly aspects in their individuality, and tend to adopt their gender expression/identity in several ways.

The term Queer is often capitalized when making a reference to an identity or a community, instead of just a sexual fact.

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