We’re Gay. We aren’t Queer
The first time I heard “queer” being used as a nonchalant reference to ourselves as opposed to something yelled out a car window or at a beating, I was stunned. Did she actually say that?
Years later the usage was more common and many answered my objections to what I regard as one of the ugliest slurs in the English language with a disturbingly verbatim explanation: we’re “reclaimed” the word. This sounded less like an explanation than the recitation of a catechism.
And I don‘t believe it for one second.
To gays as old as I the word remains a vicious slur. I mean, if you’ve gone to visit a close friend in the hospital who’s been beaten nearly to death by men yelling this “reclaimed” slur at him, you’ll think twice before embracing it.
Younger gays, teens and early 20s, seem to be abandoning the slur and I know this from reading whines by many bemoaning the slur falling out of use. Awwww.
So, no, it’s not “most of us.” Maybe those who simply call themselves “gay” don’t find “queer” as offensive as I do but they’re not embracing it either. They’re gay. So what. They don’t have any ax to grind.
Which leads me to those who do have an ax to grind: the ones who identify with living on the margins, the ones to whom assimilation is the ugliest word there is, the ones for whom offending the “str8s” is job one. The ones who raise their voices in pitch and volume and take on that bar accent when passing “breeders” on the sidewalk. The “in-your-face” fuckwads who did everything they could to delay our progress for so long.
Gay people have a long history of committing political suicide. So-called pride parades where men pantomine analingus on floats. That’ll show ‘em.
This is what “queer” is all about. It’s the last gasp of the anti-assimilation crowd. It wasn’t them got us nationwide same-sex marriage, it was the “normal-acting” coworkers and family and friends who finally overrode the manufactured image from both sides of gay people as compulsive deviates.
Reclaimed, my ass. Just more stupid in-your-face shit.