What is Queer?

Language around sexuality and gender has shifted and changed throughout history. New words have emerged and existing words have altered meanings and the way they are used. Queer is an example of this repositioning.

In the 16th century, the word queer in the English language originally meant "strange," "odd," "peculiar," or "eccentric." It referred to something suspicious or "not quite right," or to a person with mild derangement or who exhibits socially inappropriate behaviour. By the late 19th century, queer was beginning to gain a connotation of sexual deviance, used to refer to feminine men or men who were thought to have engaged in same-sex relationships. Queer, fairy, trade, and gay signified distinct social categories within the gay male subculture. Queer was used among gay men in order to claim or self-identify with perceived normative masculine status. Howe

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