Like, people who identify as Queer know the word is used like a slur. Trust me, we know.
So when we say “queer is a slur” was started by terfs, maybe use some critical thinking and try to understand what we mean. That is, if you actually care about queer people and the damage terfs do, rather that just screaming “queer is a slur!” and ignoring the actual point.
Terfs did not like that queer was reclaimed. End of. This is a fact. Queer was too broad, too accepting, and embraced all the people they wanted gone. And I know y’all exclusionists feel the same but get pissed when we point it out so you deny it, but sit down and listen for a minute.
Queer was the preferred term for poc. For bisexuals. For trans people. For people with multiple identities. It neatly encapsulated everything, and was a friendly community to those who felt thrown under the bus by mainstream LGBT activism. It was a political and social statement, “you treated my like I was different and weird, and guess what? I am and that’s something to be proud of.”
So the response? “You can’t use that word. Its bad. Its a slur.”
And at the time, a lot of people rolled their eyes. Everyone knew why they didn’t like the word and brushed that off. It was fine.
So they started more subtly. “Just so you know this word is very harmful and is a slur so be careful how you use it :))) in case you didn’t know :)))) its a slur :))) friendly reminder :))) for the sake of other people of course :))))” type shit on every post involving the word, including and especially posts simply mentioning self identification.
Always worded in friendly, concerned ways, like the derailment was meant to be nice and considerate, and not about normalizing their rhetoric.
And what happened because of that was a younger generation of community kids growing up with these statements being thrown at them and absorbed on every. Single. Post. That. Mentionioned. Queer.
The result? That same generation of kids cutting it all short, removing the meant-to-be-palatable niceness, to just say “queer is a slur.”
Exactly how it was originally intended. “Queer is a slur.” People drop on posts where young queer people talk about it being a self identifier that actually fits them. “Its a slur,” they comment, with nothing else, on posts they clearly didn’t read past that word, written by people twice their age who had reclaimed it before they were even born.
Its nasty. Its disgusting. It’s plain old bigotry, whether the people saying know it or not. It is a terf tactic, plain and simple.
And no one wants to deny that it is indeed used as a slur (right along with all the rest of our identities.) No one wants to be insensitive and force it on people who haven’t reclaimed it.
But invading queer people’s posts to spit “queer is a slur” is flat out queerphobic. You do the dirty work of terfs, of cis straight oppressors, by saying in one simple sentence: “its a dirty word, there is no pride in it, you haven’t/can’t reclaim(ed) it.”
And regardless of your actual intentions, when you do this, that is EXACTLY what you are communicating and doing.
“Queer is a slur” is a terf movement. Stop fucking supporting terfs just because you want to pretend like it isn’t.
This is why I block people who say ‘Queer is a slur.’
You quack like a terf, I block you like a terf.
This thing was so weird to me when I first encountered it on tumblr, because like… in academia
is a thing. Queer Theory is a thing. If I search my Uni’s library for ‘queer’ I get 138,481 results. Here are some of them:
- Queer in Europe : contemporary case studies / edited by Lisa Downing and Robert Gillett.
- Queer Phenomenology, Sexual Orientation, and Health Care Spaces: Learning From the Narratives of Queer Women and Nurses in Primary Health Care, / Cressida Heyes, Megan Dean, Lisa Goldberg.
- Playing With Time: Gay Intergenerational Performance Work and the Productive Possibilities of Queer Temporalities / Stephen Farrier
- Postcolonial and queer theories : intersections and essays / edited by John C. Hawley.
- Queer Dickens : erotics, families, masculinities / Holly Furneaux.
- Showing Your Pride: A National Survey of Queer Student Centres in Canadian Colleges and Universities / John Ecker, Jennifer Rae, Amandeep Bassi
- Mad for Foucault : rethinking the foundations of queer theory / Lynne Huffer.
Do those look like queerphobic texts? And do you think that most of the writers writing about queer theory are straight? Lols. If you don’t want to be personally be called queer, that’s cool. You don’t get to stop other people using the word though. It’s ours now and we’re keeping it.
‘Queer’ was reclaimed as an umbrella term for people identifying as not-heterosexual and/or not-cisgender in the early 1980s, but being queer is more than just being non-straight/non-cis; it’s a political and ideological statement, a label asserting an identity distinct from gay and/or traditional gender identities.
People identifying as queer are typically not cis gays or cis lesbians, but bi, pan, ace, trans, nonbinary, intersex, etc.: we’re the silent/ced letters. We’re the marginalised majority within the LGBTQIA+ community, and
‘queer’ is our rallying cry.
And that’s equally pissing off and terrifying terfs and cis LGs.
There’s absolutely no historical or sociolinguistic reason why ‘queer’ should be a worse slur than ‘gay.’ Remember how we had all those campaigns to make people stop using ‘gay’ as a synonym for ‘bad’?
Yet nobody is suggesting we should abolish ‘gay’ as a label. We accept that even though ‘gay’ sometimes is and historically frequently was used in a derogatory manner, mlm individuals have the right to use that word. We have ad campaigns, twitter hashtags, and viral Facebook posts defending ‘gay’ as an identity label and asking people to stop using it as a slur.
Whereas ‘queer’ is treated exactly opposite: a small but vocal group of people within feminist and LGBTQIA+ circles insists that it’s a slur and demands that others to stop using it as a personal, self-chosen identity label.
Because “queer is a slur” was invented by terfs specifically to exclude trans, nonbinary, and
intersex people from feminist and non-heterosexual discourse, and was
subsequently adopted by cis gays and cis lesbians to exclude bi/pan and ace
It’s classic divide-and-conquer tactics: when our umbrella term is redefined as a slur and we’re harassed into silence for using it, we no longer have a word for what we are allowing us to organise for social/political/economic support; we are denied the opportunity to influence or shape the spaces we inhabit; we can’t challenge existing community power structures; we’re erased from our own history.
Pro tip: when you alter historical evidence to deny a marginalised group empowerment, you’re one of the bad guys.
“Queer is a slur” is used by terfs and cis gays/lesbians to silence the voices of trans/nonbinary/intersex/bi/pan/ace people in society and even within our own communities, to isolate us and shame us for existing.
“Queer is a slur” is saying “I am offended by people who do not conform to traditional gender or sexual identities because they are not sexually available to me or validate my personal identity.”
“Queer is a slur” is defending heteronormativity.
“Queer is a slur” is frankly embarrassing. It’s an admission of ignorance and prejudice. It’s an insidious discriminatory discourse parroted uncritically in support of a divisive us-vs-them mentality targeting the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQIA+ community for lack of courage to confront the white cis straight men who pose an actual danger to us as individuals and as a community.
I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m too old for this shit.
today I found out that the past tense of “help” used to be “holp”
[From The Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics: Where languages have inflectional classes one can expect these classes to influence one another. The direction of influence is more often from the dominant classes to others. The membership of the classes may be affected: it is common for lexemes to be attracted into the dominant classes (e.g. English past holp has been replaced by the regular helped) and for newly created lexemes to be assigned to these classes.]
would I lie to you