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A queer subject...


Chris James

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Do you mind if someone calls you queer? Do your friends tell others that they have a queer friend? Would you like your mother to introduce you to others as her queer son?

The word is fraught with meaning, and not all of it good. Within the gay community, and in some countries more than others, queer is acceptable, but usually if the word is used by a gay person to describe themselves.

In years past I have been called a queer and even a faggot by those who hate, but those were rare instances. I am big enough, and perhaps ugly enough (LOL) to intimidate those who would use such hate speech in my direction. But I also have the attitude that they are but ignorant folks who probably have a greater secret to keep and so I tend to laugh it off.

But some people really don't want the label of queer applied to them for assorted reasons, and thus I find this article disturbing. Life is no longer private and so I guess we had all better quickly decide how we are going to deal with being branded.

I am not involved in the social networking sites. The people I know and care about have my phone number and I consider a private conversation much more to my liking. This should make you think twice:

http://finance.yahoo...n-facebook.html

EDIT: It seems this same story has appeared on a gay news site, but without the word queer in the script. I wonder if that is a deliberate attempt to clean up the image or if the folks at Yahoo have their own agenda? What the hell IS the name of that chorus? Is it the Queer Chorus or the LBGT Choir? I think there is a big difference. See below:

http://www.lgbtqnati...uts-lgbt-users/

EDIT #2: The University of Texas does have a group named the Queer Chorus, you can Google that much. Unfortunately the website for the School of Music makes no mention of this group although it does list all the other singing groups. Perhaps the name of the chorus was just too much for those stuffed shirts in the administration to handle. Maybe they can spell discrimination, but I doubt it.

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There has been a move for some years for Gay organizations to reclaim the word "queer" and celebrate it. Me personally, I refuse to be defined by a label, and would prefer to just being considered as a person -- not necessarily a gay person. Being gay is part of who I am, but it's not everything I am.

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... Me personally, I refuse to be defined by a label, and would prefer to just being considered as a person -- not necessarily a gay person. Being gay is part of who I am, but it's not everything I am.

What he said. I do think 'gay' is more inclusive. I have never liked labels like 'queer' or 'bent' that suggest deviance away from some norm. However if I were to write a story set in an earlier era I would use the labels historically appropriate.

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Well, I think the idea for gay people to reclaim the word "queer" is not unlike black people going for the "N" word. As has been observed before, it's alright for one black man to call another that word -- casually, or in jest -- but not anybody of another race.

The F word is right out. That one really, really offends me on many levels.

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Australia seems to be stuck in using Queer pejoratively and at the same time celebrating queerness. It depends where you are.

When the first attempts to claim the word were made by LGBTQ people, I was shocked, but after a short time I decided that I wasn't going to let the word become my nemesis anymore, so I began using it sarcastically in conversation when others were using it to degrade gays. e.g. Queer...queer? Am I queer? Of course I'm queer...isn't everyone? Oh I'm sorry, are you still in your straight phase?

This seemed to stop people wanting to talk to me.

As for the F word, I only use it in the English sense of a cigarette.

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As for the F word, I only use it in the English sense of a cigarette.

'Ere now! Ya got a fag on ya, guvnor? I need to shove one in me mouth!

No, the "F" word is verboten, at least in Southern California. I'll smack anybody who says that around me. "Queer" doesn't bother me that much.

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I think it is all out of context. If you were Flannery O'Conner or Mark Twain, Nigger is perfectly acceptable, neither writer is an African-American. If you are speaking of a cigarrette, or an eccentric personality you might use the terms Fag or Queer. It is sort of like a poster I once saw giving about a gazillion ways to use the Anglo-Saxon word Fuck.

Maybe it boils down to how hard did that asshole have to think, to come up with a derogatory term to describe me? No, I do not like being called a Pussy, or Faggot... light in the loafers, or any number of other snide, insulting labels. But, I always consider the source, before planning my future "Beating with the cane" move.

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I can remember less than ten years ago when a bunch of politically-correct people announced plans to remove Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn from school library shelves because Sam Clemons had used the "N" word freely throughout the novels. To me, this is 100% the way people talked in this era -- hell, it was in constant use in my parents' house in the 1960s! -- and altering the novels is historical revisionism of the worst kind.

But I draw the line at using hateful words like that in modern conversation. I concede that words like this are sometimes necessary in fiction, motion pictures, and TV shows, simply because it represents the reality of the streets.

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Fifty years ago it was dangerous not to laugh at the pooftah jokes in the workplace. As much as we might have disliked it, we either laughed or told one ourselves. This must be very difficult to understand today, but remember that to be discovered as a homosexual in those days meant loss of employment, being ostracised by family and friends, or even a visit from the police. There were few places and occupations where it was considered safe to be oneself, not because we were accepted but because people were more interested in doing their work than worrying about their co-workers' sexual 'activities'.

We were called queer in 'polite' society, and 'fag' was a term of accusative disgust. It therefore took many older folk who grew up under these conditions, some time to accommodate 'queer' as an adopted label, but the directly demeaning implications of 'fag' remained to be condemned as an unacceptable name to call another human being. Yet, Paul is correct when he suggests the source should be considered, otherwise we risk falling prone to the humourless world of the absurdly 'politically correct', devoid of an ability to laugh at ourselves.

But that humour must be deliberate self-deprecating humour that is not being demanded from us by those who think it is okay to ridicule us in fun. The invitation must come from us...to laugh with us, otherwise we are being laughed at, belittled, and bullied. That is never acceptable.

The current anti-gay, anti-LGBTQ attitudes are an attack on our very right to be accepted equally as human, as anyone else. That such attitudes are fostered by religions which claim to be loving and peaceful is the real abomination in any sane person's mind.

Worse perhaps, are the formidable cultural taboos which inhibit us from recognising that consensual expression of affection is not something to be feared, but is the beginning of our compassion and love for each other.

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I dislike the way GLBT people have "adopted" the word "queer." I think sometimes it is used in an "in your face" way. "Queer Studies" courses in universities are an example. It's as if we are trying to create our own artificial ethnicity with our own forms of correct behavior, etc. Gay people are a diverse lot and being "gay" or "homosexual" is only one factor in defining who I am. I've never felt the need to walk up to complete strangers, slap them in the face, and scream, "I'm a faggot!" However, I won't hide or deny who I am either. Calling myself "queer" in any but a humorous fashion seems a bit "in your face," to me. And, it brings back horrible memories of being ridiculed and insulted by my stepfather and others in my family, as well as by the bigots at school.

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