What does Queer mean?
Queer is a term that describes sexual and gender identities that fall outside of heterosexual and cisgender. It is an umbrella term that is both an orientation and a community for those who are LGBTQIA+. It is also sometimes used to describe a sexuality and/or gender identity that is complex, changes over time or doesn’t fit neatly into binary identities like man or woman, and straight or gay.
Put simply, it is a term that describes someone who is ‘not straight’. For those who identify as queer, it is an identity or orientation that does not align with the heteronormative expectation. You may have heard of this term used an insult. Queer was a term in history that was derogatory in nature and used to be used to disrespect the LGBTQIA+ community.
More recently, it was reclaimed by this community to have more positive connotations. For many who use the term, it is specifically about embracing the idea of falling outside of mainstream ideas or norms and embracing an authentic sense of self. It is now used with pride; however, you should not call someone ‘queer’ unless you know they identify this way.
What is queer theory in society?
Queer theory is used in a variety of disciplines such as philosophy, politics and cultural studies. It offers a perspective that questions cisgender and heterosexual identities being perceived as the standard or norm. It emerged in the early 19990s from queer studies (formerly known as gay and lesbian studies). Queer theory has a variety of meanings depending on its usage. It is broadly linked to the study and theorisation of gender and challenges the idea the being heterosexual as ‘normal’. Queer theorists study gender and sexuality as social and cultural phenomena. They analyse the categories, binaries and language that is used to portray these constructs.
What do the letters in LGBTQIA+ stand for?
+- additional gender identities and sexual orientations within the community that letters and words cannot fully depict yet.
Queer is a term that describes sexual and gender identities that fall outside of heterosexual and cisgender. It is an umbrella term that is both an orientation and a community for those who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. It is also sometimes used to describe a sexuality and/or gender identity that is complex, changes over time or doesn’t fit neatly into binary identities like man or woman.
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