(Previous written article)
I was asked to write an article on the subject of queer. There were no specifications on topic or discussion so I used the opportunity to free form. Before jumping feet first into a barrel of my own opinions I found myself curious (whilst sat in the middle of a multi cultural contact centre) to what people outside of the queer community actually thought of the word, its connotation and us.
Me being me, I had to ask. So I wandered around the office and asked agents, work friends and managers for their opinion on the word queer. What did queer mean to them? Sexual orientation? (See photo to the left)
What I discovered whilst undertaking this spontaneous survey is that ‘queer’ conversation is an uncomfortable subject to broach with the public. Whether there is real concern for offense, or fear to share raw, honest opinions I found people were genuinely challenged when pushed for how they felt regarding their understanding.
Each person that I spoke to, regardless of culture, background and age, had a different viewpoint on who and what queer people were and more importantly what queer actually represented today.
A stigma remains attached to the word and the people associated with it. Perhaps this is due to a lack of education on times as they evolve or a simple lack of exposure.
These days the term queer has a mass of connotations associated with it and if there is anything that I have learnt it is that each one of those associations are personal and individual to the recipient. It has taken years to adjust the way our society looks upon us queer folks and a lot of pushing to make a change. It has been quiet up until now where communities are beginning to stand up and speak out. Equality for all is going a little crazy these days.
Going from using queer to describe a peculiar or odd situation in the 16th Century… to a negative and derogatory term flung toward homosexuals or anyone with a differing sexual orientation or gender in the 19th…and now in modern times to become a word that has gained power and recognition. Queer really has been on its own long turbulent journey to bring it to where we are today.
“Take back the power, use it for ourselves. Welcome ‘Queer Nation’”
On the plus side, we know, regardless of others perceptions, how beautiful and unique being queer can be. I identify as queer myself for several reasons: Firstly, for my uncanny ability to fluidly move between both genders with ease. Pushing at the gender binary that I am supposed to fit into. At times, to even feel completely genderless. My queer sexuality is defined for me by the exploration of my gender and my preference for anything gender queer, different, outside the box. I have a proud acceptance for any gender twisting personality and for almost anything that represents the pushing of binary gender structures.
My own gender bending experience, as I like to put it, does not have anything to do with the clothes I wear, the way I walk or my educational background. Purely for me, queer surrounds gender, my gender and the queer style in which I live my life.
There is of course a point to this, which is my testament and promise to promote, love and educate people (whomever I meet) on the queer revolution. I aim to change the way that we perceive queer relationships, queer sexualities and genders. I do think it is important to understand the history and beginnings of any culture before we can truly begin to support it and for me, I find it a worthy cause of my attention.
My pledge, to myself and to my queer brethren, is to lavishly promote my queer self into every category I can squeeze into and to continue the fight to re-condition ages of history to what we all want to achieve today. Being queer is not just a name for me and I would guess for many others too it is a way of life. You could even class it as a new gender entirely and for many they may connect with queer in entirely different ways than outlined in this article. That’s the point though right? Individuality makes the world go round, despite the best efforts of some.
What are your views on being queer?
Love and light.