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Queer? Have you ever wished that there was one word to describe the whole gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, better known as GLBT, communities? I sure do. There are those in the BTLG communities who argue that the word is “Queer.” There is the new Queue newspaper, the old Q newspaper, queer nation, and on and on. Now I like queer, don’t get me wrong. I use it a lot to describe myself. That said, I have to confess I don’t see it working out. Not for the usual reason you hear, that it is too soon to recover the word, the childhood taunts are still too fresh, the wounds too deep. I hear ya, but I would think if that was all that stood in the way of queer, time would heal it. No, I think there are two big problems that stand in the way of a queer take over. First, a story. I was at a party a couple of years ago with a friend. Now, I know no one else at the party. Thank god. These guys were NOT my type. They were ten of the loudest, biggest, rednecks you’ll ever meet. Never mind they were all gay. They wore rap around metallic sunglasses and belched for each other’s amusement. I’m not kidding. So the topic turned to the old saw, “what’s with all this glbtxyz crap anyway! What’s wrong with just gay? BELCH!” To which I replied, “For me, I like ‘queer.’” All ten men turned to me and stared. They didn’t say anything, just stared. Then I knew: never, ever in a million years will they ever, ever accept the word queer. These men were not queer. Queer implies a politic, an embracing of ones status as the other. These men were no more “the other” than any ten men you’ll find at a straight strip club on a Saturday night. Forget about it. Second point. There are those who don’t like queer for the same reason that I do like it: as a lesbian Ex-friend of mine once told me that she didn’t like queer because it did include bisexuals. Let’s face it; some people have no interest in a united B, T, G and L community. And I guess that the evidence is that there are more of them than there is of me. After all, language is a living, malleable thing. If there were a societal need or desire for one word to describe us all, there would be one. So I guess I don’t put much hope in the word queer. But, dam, I hope I’m wrong.


QUEER short