In theory I know there are some synonyms to queer that are… unfriendly, at best. But since it’s #ThesaurusDay I thought why not officially check a word I’ve been using for myself for years.
I know queer has been used as a slur – and still is used as a slur by some – so I understand people who don’t feel comfortable being refered to as queer. But I never had this feeling of wrongness. Instead it felt freeing to finally have a word that describes me without limiting myself. It adapts to my changes, if I change, so I don’t have to “relearn” how to think about myself regarding orientation and/or sexuality. Queer combines sexuality, orientation, gender in one word for me and it’s easier to use than for example LGBTQA+.
LGBTQIA+, LGBTQIA, LGBTQA+, LGBT, GLBT, …
Also speaking of that acronym. There are so many ways one could write it, in literature-“categories” it seems to be most often LGBT, sometimes GLBT, so I don’t find myself in it. Also the “who comes first, who is the most important?!” debate around it pisses me off because we are one community. There is no who is more important here, alright? FFS.
The debate alone around the “A” (seriously, so many people told me Allies have a place in the acronym whereas AroAce doesn’t belong which still leaves me speechless). People are being grouped under “+” which reads to me like they are an also-ran.
In theory I have to read someone who uses LGBT as someone who is for example aro-/acephobic. There is so much confusion and stress around it. And I don’t even feel correctly presented by it so why should I use it?
Queer is shocking
So I don’t and use queer instead. I do admit though, reading through the list Thesaurus.com provided me with was somewhat shocking.
If some queerphobic asshole calls me queer and means it like I’m crazy, alright. I mean, not alright but I can accept it in a never-gonna-deal-with-you-fucker way. But demented kinda shocked me. I’ve also never heard it being used in that way, neither the queer-queer nor the nonqueer-queer. (I made myself laugh, okay?)
Reading through the list again though made me see all the possible synonyms and therefore ways queer could be meant, whereas the first time I zeroed in to a few choice words. I can deal with being eccentric, atypical, or mysterious. There are some that confuse me, because unbalanced? In what way?
Queer Is Home
Enough of the synonyms are positive enough or just don’t feel that realistic for me so using queer for myself still feels comfortable. Feels right to be honest. So much so that I am actually using it in my first language even though most people go the LGBT-route and I will continue to do so.
In theory I can use any word in a harmful way and language is a living and evolving thing. So even if queer’s history isn’t the most queer-friendly it doesn’t mean its present and more important future have to be that way.