|What Do You Mean By "Queer"?
||[Dec. 7th, 2009|01:44 pm]
The Queer by Choice Community
Is there inconsistency with how this community uses the word 'queer'? It seems some people use it to mean they chose to be gay, some bisexual, some pansexual. There's definitely a connection with sexual and romantic preference.|
I think of "queer" as an umbrella term, including trangender identities. Transgender, also being an umbrella term, includes those who have not-the-norm gender identities and gender expressions.
Using this definition, if you chose to be queer, wouldn't that mean you chose to have a gender identity and/or expression different from the one expected of you by society?
Or does choosing to be queer mean you chose at least one aspect - sexual preference, gender identity, or gender expression.
If you feel you chose your sexual orientation, to what extent do you feel you chose your gender identity? your gender expression?
"Or does choosing to be queer mean you chose at least one aspect - sexual preference, gender identity, or gender expression."
Yes, this. I think that the term "queer by choice" includes people who are only queer in one aspect, and also people who are queer in more than one aspect but who only consider one aspect of their queerness to be a choice. And I think there are different degrees or styles of queerness in all aspects, and also different degrees or styles of choice in all aspects. (I'm using the phrase "or styles" to avoid implying that there is a linear spectrum of degrees of queerness and choice, because I don't think one can necessarily say that a person is 75% gay or 50% transgendered or 85% chose one of those things and 65% chose the other. It's not really that simplistic or neatly classifiable.)
You may be interested in the Transgendered Links
page on QueerByChoice.com, if you haven't seen it already.
I identify as a queer woman and a feminist, and I think that the butch aspect of my identity should skew me along the gender continuum, but I also don't want to say 'all women are x, and I am not x and so cannot be a woman', because that's not right. I'm also queer as far as orientation goes, in that I like my men femme and my women butch. ^_^
Did you choose to be a woman? Did you choose to be butch? Have you ever tried something else?
I don't mean to interrogate, I'm just curious.
Well, biologically I'm a woman, and all my life I've been treated like one and not really had the mind to challenge it, so I wouldn't call it a choice, no. I've presented more butch or more femme at different points (I can easily climb stairs and ride a bike while wearing a floofy ankle-length skirt, and regularly do). I like to do the thing of behaving in a butch manner while wearing skirts.
I think that what a person's inclinations are can't really be 'chosen' as such, but what one familiarises themselves with can.
There is a great deal of inconsistency in the ways that different people define words like "gay", "queer", "transgender", and so on.
This is where the element of choice appears: you can choose to define these words in a way that includes you, or a way that doesn't.