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Why be unkind?
Why use the "'Q-word" to self-identify? Has it not occurred to you that there are gay men who can not help but find this word devastating? Must we encounter it wherever in The Community we go? Does this seem fair?

To be sure, everyone has the right to self-identify, but I object to either the use of this specific term, or alternatively the way it is handled by The Community and the Media. I object to this term on the grounds it is unnecessarily hurtful. Another term could be coined that has the advantage of being more inclusive without being offensive because of prior use. If what is sought is just a means of self-identification that is inclusive of L,G,B,T,etc... without having to say a lot of words or letters, then find a word that isn't unavoidably hurtful and exclusive. I mean exclusive in the sense that I can't go to a GLBT community center without encountering the hurtful Q. So for my health and safety I must stay home. I can not watch t.v. for because of shows like "Queer Eye...," channels where the word is used constantly like Bravo, and even Rachel Maddow on the gay-friendlier news uses it. So I watch no t.v.. Not entirely a bad thing there, perhaps but beside the point. I can't listen to the radio, of course, because it is every other word on Pacifica (KPFB in Berkeley). And of course I have encountered it here, but I was expecting that and tolerating it for various reasons.

On the other hand, the purpose in the use of such language may be to "take it back," and if that is what The Community was doing by embracing the language, I would be all for it. But that is not what is accomplished here. Let me tell you; when I was a kid the "N" word was used a lot and that made me cringe also. Then blacks started using it in a militant way. When they said it, I heard "you use this word, Whitey, and I'll kill you!" Now few people use it and everybody is ashamed of it. That is taking back the language. What The Community is doing, instead is frivolously, thoughtlessly doing is making it cool for everyone to use it. It is unfair, and it is ageist, in the sense that everybody I know of who has voiced complaint has been older. Not all old people object, but I have met no young people who do.

So I'm pissing in the wind because The Community is heartbreakingly self-destructive and ageist. The youth always carry the field here, because the old just aren't beautiful enough, I suppose.
I never use the word in day to day use, however it would make much of my academic work quite difficult to stop using the word entirely, just because "non-normative sexual behavior" is just so much more clunky than queer.
Its 'owning' the word. Taking a bad word and turning it around and hopefully make it better.

The word Gay was a profanity, there was pretty good success in turning it around, until the mid to late 90's when anything negative was gay....

The idea of owning Queer, was to turn it around. It didn't catch on.
Bowyn Aerrow Wrote:Its 'owning' the word. Taking a bad word and turning it around and hopefully make it better.

The word Gay was a profanity, there was pretty good success in turning it around, until the mid to late 90's when anything negative was gay....

The idea of owning Queer, was to turn it around. It didn't catch on.

Yes, so the point is, why not stop it now? Hasn't there been enough of this? Who is being hurt other than members of The Community? How does this do anything but fracture us? It is impossible for somebody who has been deeply enough scarred to "get over it." Is it too much to ask for some consideration here? At least give people who have been hurt a chance to heal. Have some respect, please!
OrphanPip Wrote:I never use the word in day to day use, however it would make much of my academic work quite difficult to stop using the word entirely, just because "non-normative sexual behavior" is just so much more clunky than queer.

You make your academic work innaccesable to people who you offend when you use controversial language like that. It seems an unusually thoughtless thing for a scholar to do for convenience.
Each to their own as far as I am concern. If anyone wants to call themselves queer, fag, poof or whatever, it doesn't bother me the slightest how other people choose to identify themselves.
Actually, I don't like the n word even when used by blacks. I have a thick skin, however, and shrug it off when it's so used.

Speaking of which, my thick skin makes me far more endurable when it comes to people bashing me verbally. I've grown up having to endure slut rumors and satanist rumors and while annoying I found the funny side to it, too. Trolls on the net almost never get under my skin, though I usually hold them in contempt (exceptions for the ones who are actually funny). I personally hate the "that's so gay" description but can overlook it when it's used on South Park, and I don't avoid it for the sake of my health & safety. I've laughed and shrugged off death threats over the net when I knew there was no chance of violence. So given this it's impossible for me to understand how shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy threatens your health & safety. And I just can't help but think that surely you've survived far worse things in your life than this and so wonder why this even signifies.

That said, "queer" is like twink, dyke, and other words that I'm never sure is acceptable to use or not. (I never use "fag" but I realize some gays in other countries do and just shrug it off when they use it because they don't mean it in a bad way.) When I know it's ok to use it I will, otherwise I avoid it. However, I'm not offended by being called a queer or a dyke (if I am then it's the context and/or tone of voice, not the word itself)...and back when I was a teenage boi I think I'd have laughed if someone mistakenly called me a twink.

But you want to talk about unfair and unkind? Then let's talk about trying to control people's behavior with guilt tripping and telling others they are terrible people who are no good if they don't do what you say. That's not only unkind but it also implies that you think you're better than the rest of us.

Want to talk about ageist? Then how about telling the younger gays and genderqueers (a liberating word for them as they don't want to be trapped in a "male/female" dichotomy) that they can't use it because it offends SOME in your generation? Expecting younger people to kowtow to you and that there's something wrong with them because they use words differently than you do sounds far more ageist to me because it paints them in a negative light (whereas their intent and meaning does not, no matter how offensive you personally find it) and paints them as self-destructive hooligans for having the temerity to do things differently from your generation.

And for that matter if it's ageist to offend your generation then I suppose I was ageist when I told my Granny that I was a lesbian because she was NOT happy (though she adjusted). Maybe she just wasn't beautiful enough for me to have upset her like that?

Thankfully, change in attitudes and how words are used isn't ageist, it's simply change. Because if we were bound to what our elders think then our community wouldn't even exist at all in the first place (at least not openly) because it would've been "ageist" for your generation to have offended your elders that way back then.

It's ok for you to not appreciate these words, and to ask that others try to refrain from using them around you, but quite another to try to guilt others into believing your way of interpreting the words are the only allowable interpretations and everyone else is wrong, cruel, ageist, harmful, and even imply they're traitors to the gay community. But tolerance isn't just something others owe to you, but is something you owe to others as well.
"I'm queer, I'm Here" is sort of a warrior's cry. It took the word that was thrown at us and is turned back on the throwers, thus becoming a weapon in the war of words.

You pointed out militant way. Yes, definitely yes.

In my day and the places I have lived I have seen gay men beaten with baseball bats. I have heard far worse screamed at us from gangs of 'straights' as they wait to isolate one lone gay man to teach him 'God's Love'.

Militant - yes - by all means yes, we should be.

You think a word stings... think of Matthew Shepperd who was beaten then hung on a fence to die.

Think about Phelps keeping a 'memorial' and track of the days since Matthew died, telling us that Matthew has been in Hell X number of days because 'God hates fags'.

Does that make you all warm and fuzzy inside, or does that enrage you?

Gay barman Stuart Walker killed and set on fire
A gay man killed in Cumnock, Ayrshire and then left at the side of the road with "horrific" injuries could have been the victim of a homophobic attack, it has emerged. This was long ago in the past..... 23 Oct 2011

Militant? Angry, pissed off.... Yes, definitely - most definitely. I'm surprised that our people haven't taken up arms and by opposing end those who hold such tyranny over us.

What is the gay man supposed to do, stand there, turn the other cheek while a gang of homophobes kick him to death, or set him on fire or the many other grisly things those people do? What are we in the LGBT community supposed to do, sit down play nicely?

Think of all of the lovely terms that those people call us, Poof, Fag, freak, fudge-packer, salad tosser... Oh I bet we could spend a rather long time listing all of those wonderful sweet nicknames that those people have for our kind.

What are our choices? Climb back into our closets and shiver and shake in fear, or do we step out, stand up and say 'I'm queer, I'm here'?

Own the damned words - make them ours, take the sting out of them, use them as our rally cry.

Scream it back at those people, embrace it, be militant - stand our ground and draw a line and tell them that if they cross it they get unholy wrath poured out on them.

THAT is what being queer is. The homophobe thinks its a bad thing... and for them it is.

If our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community can't wrap their head around the simple need to fight back - at the very least verbally, then they are lost.

If we do not stand our ground, then being called a queer by another gay man will be nothing compared to what those others would do to us.
hear hear Bowyn Bow
Apologies; but i've never heard the word queer used to insult someone. Not that i haven't heard other, usually older, people complaining about being called it as an insult. generation use "Gay" to insult people. But i don't feel it is an insult Per se, it depends how it is used.

I would say the same goes for queer. Neither hold insult outright.
Queer=unusual/not the usual.
Which i think is an appropriate way to describe someone who is gay, i mean, being gay isn't the norm, is it?

I just don't see it as an insult, and if the LGBT see it as such is only going to make bigots use them more and then it will solely be an insult.

It's the intent behind the use of the word, not the word that's the insult.

Even i admit, i hate it when people use the word fag, or faggot especially to identify themselves, but that's their decision.
And i hate being called gay when the sole purpose is to try and insult me.
I still wouldn't want the gay community to avoid using the word gay because of it.
Silly Sarcastic So-and-so

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