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I recently bcame a fan of 'Queers' on Facebook
They have their own definition:
"In contemporary usage, some use queer as an inclusive, unifying sociopolitical umbrella term for people whose sexual orientations or activities place them outside the heterosexual-defined mainstream" Which they say is an abbreviated definition from Wikipedia.

Personaly I like the umbrella term, but I lso believe individuals have the right to select their own terminologies.

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I also believe this definition ought to include gender. Eg, "...outside the fe/male mainsteam..."
HI Ad'm... I struggled for ages over what to put in the welcome banner at the top of the page... and settled on 'Queer Digital Storytellers' because, at least in my head, it's inclusive of 'all of us'... I'm always aware of needing to include straight allies too - especially kids of GLBTQI families who have pretty damn good insight into the politics of inclusion/exclusion etc.

So much of the debate seems to be about where the lines are drawn, who is 'us' and who is 'them'... and I guess that's not really very helpful.

But we live in a culture that is so dependent on words to help us understand everything. And words help to determine boundaries... although, as you point out, they needn't really have fixed meanings... they mean different things to different people, just like the individuals they seek to 'label' ; )

BTW any progress on a new story yet?
Having a label has always intrigued me... And it seems to be a massive point of contention within our community - some people don't want to label themselves or have labels put upon them, and then there are others that want the specific label for themselves and to be well recognised. I've always been curious as to why gay men are simply called gay but gay women have the label of lesbian... Personally, I'm not aligned to any particular label but certainly disagree with them being used derogatively.

Maybe seeking a label is a way of feeling like you belong... And yet, the debate over labels can so easily divide our community instead of uniting us as a singular and strong unit to fight.

Labels unfortunately have inherent disadvantages... As soon as I say I'm gay then people assume certain characteristics about me without getting to know me. For instance, it is widely assumed that because I am gay then I'm not spiritual so when I also tell people I'm a Christian then it really perplexes them (and provides me with great entertainment seeing them trying to get their head around it all!).

Interestingly, I was told of a new label which has been created... Pansexual. From memory, it's when someone has progressed through several labels or continues to move through them. The example I was given was a female who started as straight, to bisexual, then gay and is now transgender.
I much prefer 'Queer' to LGBTI which sounds like some sort of disorder, and just keeps growing. I think there's a role for both specificity and inclusive categories. Anyway I'm procrastinating - I got here searching for a workshop manual so shall continue on my way...!
The labels I use to identify myself to others can vary from situation to situation and from audience to audience. I often identify as gay to many people because it's the easiest way to sum up my sexuality in a way people will understand, despite the fact I have had, and would not rule out ever having, relations with people of the opposite sex.
I like queer because it's a word with a flexible meaning. Queer to me means 'not straight', and I don't mean straight in the heterosexual sense; I mean straight in the sense of having mainstream or conservative values and ideals. To me, queer people are the people who don't see human sexuality as neatly divided into separate categories.
I really like your interpretation of the word 'queer' Marc!!! I've not used the term to describe myself much as I find people often have a negative association with it... but like you, will usually use gay simply so people know immediately that I'm not heterosexual.


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