Adjective. In a very basic sense, anyone who is not heterosexual and/or cisgender. In the past, queer was a negative or pejorative term for people who are gay, and thus it is sometimes disliked. But the term is increasingly being used to describe all identities and politics that go against normative beliefs. As such, the term is valued by many LGBTQ+ people for its defiance and by others who find it to be an appropriate term to describe their more fluid identities.
“The term I use to identify myself has changed a lot. I ended on queer. I feel that I resonate with many of the identities in the LGBTQ umbrella and the term queer is so encompassing. It makes me feel validated. Validated that I don’t need to put a specific label on it — I love who I love and I am who I am.“
“Queer = connection. Connection with self, with others, with your identity, and with your community. Queer opens your life to finally hold a relationship with the world.”
– Hailey, 17 years old, Alabama
Youth Voices, Class of 2022