Why was this useage of "queer" offensive?

I’m an old queer too, and I would not use that term, especially not in passing without any context, and paired (as Ulfreida noted) with a very neutral term. And I find it very surprising that Turble had no notion that anyone would be bothered by it.

@Turble, that you use it all the time with your close friends is fine. Would you write (or have written) a memo at work with that term in it? Or a notice in your church bulletin? Don’t we deserve the same consideration as those readers? If you’re as old as I am, you must remember the toxic history of that word. Reclamation doesn’t happen instantly just because you and your friends have embraced it.

If I end up getting banned for being an old queer atheistic Jew … well, so be it. I thought being on the cutting edge was a good thing around here.

Well the posts above should explain things pretty well.

I am shocked you don’t think queer used the way you did could be found offensive.

The young vs. old part has nothing to do with this. I do not know your orientation or age. None of that really matters in the context you used it.

We do not and will not have a list of banned words. Nor is queer a banned word. It is all about the offensive context of its use.

Queer has a long history of being use in a derogatory way. You pretty much have to be aware of this.

The way some folks tag the flag as if they’re in the final round of Jeopardy don’t be surprised if you get a topic ban preventing you from referring to yourself however you like.

A warning was uncalled for imo.

He was not referring to himself in the post in question.

How did it make you feel when you read it?

Turble, in his response, requested a banned word list. We do need to be aware of the taboos.

Age is a consideration. I would have had no problem using words like queer or Jap in conversation with my mother. However, I would not have used some words that are common on this forum, like motherfucker, cocksucker or asshole. Times change.

How about you make your point in a less coy manner if you have one.

If you get a mod note or warning about saying something bad, don’t say that thing again. Don’t violate that taboo and you’ll be fine.

Nobody is suspended or banned and nobody is in danger of losing their posting privileges.

You’ve been here far too long to think we’re going to provide a banned word list.

I also don’t see how the use of queer in this context as being offensive is a huge surprise. The overall replies seem to support this.

Let me add as just one poster, those that ask for bright line rules are usually the ones most likely to try and rule lawyer.

This is accurate.

As an ‘old queer’, then you both know the history of that word, and that its use is dependant on context. It’s a word used liberally, mainly as an adjective, by younger generations without regard to its history, but normally in a respectful context, and often tongue in cheek by older generations, but on an anonymous, mixed message board, throwing out ‘the queers’ is not appropriate. And if you are an old queer yourself (as I’m a middle-aged one), you know it.

It’s not about banning words, it’s about careful and respectful use of those words. Starting a conversation with ‘I came out as queer to my parents’ - perfectly fine. ‘Not another ad for the queers’… can you spot the difference?

So if he wrote queer people/ couples instead of queers that would be acceptable?

OK, I should know better.

That would be me. I only use the word at all when I am among people who refer to themselves that way. I came of age in the 1970’s when its use without perjorative meaning was very much restricted to the gay community. I’m still very cautious.


Thanks, I appreciate your comments.

If he’d been warned for this:

There have been lots of non-whites on TV for quite a while now but this preponderance of interracial and queer couples is something I’ve only been seeing since the last election.

I’d be in here urging that it be rescinded.

I think it was the combination of the word being used in a negative context rather than the word itself. Since the word also has a very negative connotation, care must be taken to ensure that it is not being using it as a slur. Since the quote was complaining about their inclusion, it was easy to read it as a slur even if you didn’t mean it that way. It would be better to use something more like “unconventional sexual relationships” or something like that which doesn’t overlap with a common slur.

That would require context. Obviously nobody is going to allow that using the word as an adjective is sufficient to deem its use appropriate.

We’re you offended by the usage, did you jump to some malignant conclusion about the usage, was yours and others reaction possibly over inflated?