May also be used by people to describe their sexuality in a way that excludes preconceived labels; such as those who feel their sexuality does not fit neatly into prescribed definitions such as gay, lesbian, bisexual+, asexual etc.
Queer was originally used as an insult towards LGBTQIA+ individuals; but has been reclaimed by Queer people – the adjective queer is distinct from Queer with a capital “Q”. It is used in academia to describe various disciplines that relate to Queer topics, such as Queer literature, Queer health, etc.
The term is still considered problematic by some LGBTQIA+ individuals who still see it as a pejorative term; particularly in the United States of America where the word “queer” was used in a particularly hateful manner, such as with Queer bashings.
However, in other countries, particularly in the United Kingdom and Australia, the word has been reclaimed rather successfully (in much the same way gay has), and continues to be used as shorthand/umbrella term for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Originally published: 17th July, 2020
Last modified: 17th July, 2020