Embracing Queer Identity

Q

For a long time, I shied away from using the word “queer.” In fact I wondered why anyone would want to use it. Wasn’t that traditionally a form of hate speech? But eventually I found the term to be an empowering one.

What I like about “queer” is that it encompasses far more than the strict LGBT categories. Asexual, genderfluid, questioning — all have a place at the community table. (Some are welcomed more easily than others, but that’s a post for another day.)

I call my own identity queer because it feels like the best word that fits. And the protagonist of Etched On Me, Lesley, uses the same term to describe her own sexuality. I have her to thank for opening that door for me, and am so glad that we have reclaimed former slurs to provide ourselves with a richer, more inclusive language around sexual orientation.

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