Why do we use “queer”?
In a word, reclamation.
While we recognize that “queer” has been historically used as a slur and has brought direct harm to many members of our community, we also feel that it is important to reclaim this term for ourselves. We use queer as an inclusive term, to recognize all members of our rainbow community no matter where they fall on the spectrums of gender or sexuality. LGBT, LGBT+, LGBTQAI2S, and any other acronym fails to capture the diversity that exists within our community, limiting the inclusion to only those who are most visible, and excluding the idea of intersectionality while many members of our community hold multiple letters at their hearts. Why don’t we use “rainbow” instead? Rainbow is great; an umbrella term that is inclusive and recognizes the community, however it is also tied to many local, national, and international organizations that we do not share affiliation with including organizations that are designed for cisgender and heterosexual people to the exclusion of our community. Why not “pride” then? Pride is an amazing term, and closely tied with our community, but also closely tied with the parade, festival, and society. In order to differentiate ourselves from the Pride Society, Pride Parade, and Pride Festival, we have chosen to not use the word pride to identify ourselves as a group. We also recognize that not everyone who falls under our umbrella feels pride and we want to allow space for all people to feel welcome and find connection, no matter how they feel about themselves and their identities.
We have named our collective “Queer” in order to be as inclusive as possible and to differentiate ourselves from other community groups and organizations. Whether you visit us for our resources or connections, work with us, or only pass us on to others, we hope you will use the words you identify with most, whether or not those words include “queer.”