CARA — The word “gosh” has become synonymous with social justice activism.
That’s because the word is often used as a shorthand to describe the activism of those who advocate for social justice and are often labeled “queer.”
But it can also mean “a guy who thinks that way.”
For example, “gay” can mean someone who likes to dress like a woman, or someone who dresses up as a woman to be “gay.”
Or it can mean a person who is straight.
So, if someone is a “gay man,” “gay woman,” or “gay dude,” that means they are a “straight guy.”
But what about a “queen”?
“Aqueous” is also used to mean a man who has a vagina, or a woman who has vaginas.
But, “queena” is often a reference to someone who is a lesbian.
And “queeno” is usually a reference too to someone that’s bisexual.
So, when you hear someone using the word “queens” or “queers” in reference to their identity, you can sometimes be forgiven for thinking that they are using a slang term, a slangy, derogatory way to refer to people who have a different sexual orientation from their own.
But that’s not always the case.
For example: In 2012, a group of young, white men decided to organize a demonstration outside of a church in downtown Portland, Oregon.
They held signs that read, “A Queer Pride Day,” “Queer Pride is not for sale,” and “Queers should be allowed to live as they choose.”
One man held a sign that read: “I am Queer and I have vaginas.”
Another sign read: “…
Queer is not a word, but a social construct.”
That sign read “Queerness is not just a word.”
In this video from the “Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation” (GLAAD), GLAAD Senior Legal Counsel and LGBT activist Brian Brown explains the importance of using a neutral word when you use the term “queerness.”
What about “quean” or someone whose sexual orientation is asexual?
This can be the same as someone who identifies as bisexual, lesbian, gay, or transgender.
In the video, GLAad LGBT Legal Director and lawyer Lisa Mazzucchelli explains that if someone wants to be called “queany,” that’s their choice, but they can still use “quea” to refer specifically to someone whose orientation is sexual orientation agnostic.