What Does Queer Mean?


9 Answers

Shanesubber Richardson Profile
There are a number of meanings for the word ‘queer’, including describing something that is odd, or not as it is expected to be. It is because of this meaning that the word evolved to describe someone who is homosexual, because their tendency to have sexual feelings and emotions for someone of the same gender as themselves was thought to be odd, or not as was expected. It is for this reason that calling somebody queer was an offensive and derogatory term.

Language is forever moving onwards though, and now the word is less offensive and is now perceived as an affectionate term. However, this can be one of those instances when it is ‘not what you say, but how you say it’ to a person.

Interestingly, there has been a knock-on effect from using the word queer as an insult and often a prelude to violence, to include other words. For example, the word ‘gay’ is very seldom used for its original meaning of being happy and care-free. Now, it is also used more often to describe homosexuality. When compared to other lexis, the original meaning of the word has a lighter, more pleasant connotation. Unfortunately, the term ‘gay’ is now often used, particularly among younger people, to describe something that they consider as being odd, stupid or lame.

This language evolution is fascinating for anyone interested in linguistics. Although once perceived as a demeaning term, ‘queer’ is now being reclaimed by gay men and lesbians to indicate a pride in what they are.

This reclamation has upset some, but in the main it is seen as a positive step forward in ridding the world of unnecessary prejudice against people who, for the most part, like anybody else, just want to live their lives in a loving relationship.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It is used as a term of odd or unusual, but can also be a name for someone who is gay.
shamar shamar Profile
shamar shamar answered
Usually people use it as being gay or strange.
Yooti Bhansali Profile
Yooti Bhansali answered
Conventionally, the term queer was generally used to (and still is to an extent) describe something or someone which appears odd or weird. It refers to something that is unusual or out of the ordinary, something that is not easily comprehensible.

Its modern usage is the subject of controversy as the word 'queer' is now used informally to describe a homosexual person. This usage is regarded to be derogatory and offencive to many.

The word is still used in its original context, although it tends to have undertones of the new meaning to it.

The term is also used by members of homosexual communities to describe perhaps those who are stereotypes of homosexuals as society sees them. It is also used by those who do not wish to be labelled under categories like 'gay' or 'lesbian' etc.

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