Not Everything Is Queer Abstract
by Nikolaos on May 7, 2016 - 6:42pm
Words are very important. They allow us, amongst many other things, to communicate our thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Some words, however, are more delicate than others, especially when they define someone’s identity or have a very heavy and dark past such as “faggot” or “nigger”.
Recently, there seems to be a trend revolving around the word “queer”. Although when the word was first introduced it meant unconventional, it was soon used against members of the LGBT community, men who acted in an effeminate way in particular, as an insult. The word, since then, seems to have started to be reclaimed by non-gay individuals. “Queer” is not a interchangeable with unconventional. Its history makes it very difficult for non-LGBT people to use the word well, and it can still be used in a derogatory manner, although LGBTQ+ now includes the term because of its inclusivity (and more).
Reclaiming a word or redefining a word is not something that anyone can do. Therefore, there has to be specific meanings when it comes to groups, identity, and humans. This said, this essay concentrates on the new ways the word is used or how it has become ordinary and normal to use queer whenever and however. Fixed meanings can therefore become necessary to protect the people the word can affect and has affected.
This essay also links to previous pieces where I talk about the misconceptions regarding the term feminism and gay rights. LGBT individuals are still being discriminated against all around the planet (such as in Indonesia and Russia), and using what used to be or still are insults in everyday vocabulary is not OK for a cisgender/straight person.
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