Colorado College Defends Use Of ‘Queer’ On Job Application

ColoradoCollege

Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado has come under fire due to its use of the word "queer" on a job application for a position recently posted on the college's website.

When asked to fill out the section "Voluntary Demographic Data" the application lists five options under "Gender": Not disclosed, Male, Female, Transgender or Queer. John Kichi, a gay Pennsylvania man, brought attention to the college's use of the word after applying for the position of Database Specialist at the school.

ColoAs The Denver Post reports, Kichi was none too pleased with the college's use of the term: "I couldn't believe it. I thought I was going to have a stroke," Kichi said. "It's totally from the Dark Ages…If them including it on applications isn't against the law, it should be." However, Colorado College views the matter differently, believing that offering "Queer" as an option when it comes to gender identity is actually an inclusive move that should appeal to the LGBT community:

As far as Colorado
College is concerned, using the term on applications is "intended to
represent the college's commitment to and acknowledgment of diversity
related to gender," according to a statement from the school. "Colorado
College is very much committed to diversity, and is very open about
sexual orientation."

The school's office of Minority and
International Students uses the following definition of queer in its
training: "An umbrella term describing people who have a non-normative
gender identity, sexual orientation, or sexual anatomy—includes
lesbians, gay men, bisexual people, asexual people, transgender people,
intersex people, etc."

While the school acknowledges that the term
is used as a slur by some, it adds: "Others have reclaimed it and are
comfortable using it to describe themselves."

Still some have been quick to point out that the term may be polarizing depending on a person's age:

Kichi, who was angry enough to send a complaint to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, is 66 years old.

Charles Irwin, the executive director of Colorado Springs Pride, a gay
rights organization in the city, said that Kichi's age may be the reason
behind the differing viewpoints.

"Queer is a challenging word, a word that's in transition," he said. "But today's youth embraces it very well."

Comments

  1. Phillip says

    I haven’t heard too many people using it as a slur. More often than not, it’s it word that people have been using to self-identify. I agree that people who are more likely to react badly to this are older generations. They won’t change it because a significant number of people self-identify as “genderqueer.”

  2. Diane says

    Unlike many in my generation I have evolved along with the meaning of the word “queer”. I have watched it move from a slur to an empowering affirmation of self. Colorado College (I live in Colorado Springs) is absolutely committed to diversity and furthering understanding in the community. I would ask everyone to take this opportunity to evolve with the word. – Queer when it wasn’t cool.

  3. JerzeeMike says

    “An umbrella term describing people who have a non-normative gender identity, sexual orientation, or sexual anatomy—includes lesbians, gay men, bisexual people, asexual people, transgender people, intersex people, etc.”

    Um, “non-normative?!” Escuse me but straight people’s orientation is “non-normative” to me.

  4. Joel says

    “five options under “Gender”: Not disclosed, Male, Female, Transgender or Queer.” Are those supposed to be mutually exclusive? How absurd to treat “Queer” as a gender.

  5. Sean Maloney says

    Yes, the use of the word “queer” is a personal choice and how you view the word, whether positively or pejoratively, is also a personal choice. However, the college is misguided in its use. It’s offensive when an impersonal thing like an institution uses it, and the college’s response is also ageist. Equally egregious.

  6. Eugene X says

    The school really should have been more precise by genderqueer since queer is used to describe ones non-normative sexuality as well. Twenty-five years after Queer Nation, I have a hard time believing that Kichi is unaware of the terms current use. By saying “I almost had a stroke” he parodies the figure of the grumpy old man.

  7. Canadian Observer says

    I think it is time someone pop their ivory bubble – the word is hardly “reclaimed”.

    Of course if there were a section on race, ethnicity and/or religious affiliation on their application form that includes other “reclaimed” words I might argue differently – but I very much doubt that this is the case.

    The linked article states that a representative of the college claims the questions “is akin to determining if someone prefers to be known as black or African-American”. They are fooling themselves. While not exactly analogous, it is MORE along the lines of asking if someone prefers to be identified as black, African-American or N*****.

    I am not opposed to the use of the term Queer across the board, but I do find it telling that its most vocal supporters tend to be those whose spot on the LGBT spectrum is furthest away from the ones to whom the slur is traditionally used.

  8. says

    The Q-word is a slur, and even those who argue that it isn’t a slur have to concede that it’s slang. Not appropriate on any kind of job application or application for membership!

    This, as well as the rank falsehood that only “old folks” reject the Q-word, is yet another attempt by a hipster elitist clique to shove this highly polarizing term down everybody’s throat. It’s as asinine as telling Black people that they should approve of the N-word because it’s been “reclaimed”. I agree . . . words like “queer” and “n*gger” are indeed being reclaimed, by the dumbass types who coined them in the first place! And unfortunately, dumbassery is in very much in vogue nowadays.

  9. JMC says

    Canadian Observer.. no black people identify their race as the N word. Tons of LGBT+ people identify as queer. Your attempt to force a comparison between the two honestly just reads as ridiculous.

    I don’t like queer being used as a blanket term for LGBT+ people because many still have a problem with the word, but it’s a valid personal identity and I’m sure it’s wonderful for genderqueer students to receive proper representation on something like this when they basically never do otherwise. Just tick the box that applies to you and stop trying to rob others of being able to do the same.

  10. shanot says

    There are full-on “Queer Studies” courses and even majors at many colleges/universities across the nation, and have been for up to two decades now…what rocks have people been living under?

  11. terryp says

    I have a problem with the word. i remember it being used by bigots when I was growing up. Yes I’m an old man, but if the young want to use it, fine, just don’t call me it.

  12. Joseph Singer says

    When did gender evolve/devolve into what one’s sexual orientation they identify with? Gender has nothing to do with whether you’re gay or straight.

  13. JackFknTwist says

    Maybe in New York, maybe in California or some of the other bastions of ‘progressive’ thinking the word “queer” or “a queer” may be used to refer to one of us.
    Let me assure you all that in Europe if you call this gay – or any gay- ‘a queer’ you get a dig in the face.

    Yeah @ SHANOT,we are living under rocks because we will not be called queers; yeah, @JMC, we’re all ignorant because we won’t have ‘queer’ studies.
    Yes, the word ‘queer’ is a slur, it has always been a slur; and some of you trying to talk yourselves into a cocked hat will not change that.
    And all the dressing up of the word in your PC dialectics still leaves the word quacking like a duck.
    We have the word ‘gay’……that took long enough to get accepted……….now the radical-seekers don’t know when they have a success. Accept it; we will never allow the word ‘queer’ to describe who or what we are.

  14. JMC says

    I didn’t say anything about queer studies? I said it’s ignorant to not realize there are people who identify as genderqueer, which it unquestionably is. Neither Europe nor your personal feelings about the word are are at all relevant to the gender identity of people in Colorado and obviously should not keep people from being able to identify themselves as they are on a job application. No one’s making you tick the queer box, Jack.

  15. oncemorewithfeeling says

    “Queer” has been in popular use with the queer community for almost thirty years. Thirty years! It is so completely common and accepted that colleges frequently use it in class and study titles. This is beyond old news.

    In this instance, it’s used in relation to gender, because you are being asked to voluntarily state if you are genderqueer, which is a very common and accepted gender identification of how a certain culture identifies their gender.

    This is not even progressive on the part of the college. They’re only keeping current with the times and reality. Unfortunately, it’s not the least bit surprising that an elderly gay man was offended by it.

    These kids and their damn “queer”!

  16. Lars says

    Some people identify as Queer (as a gender identity and/or a sexual orientation). Why should Colorado College be condemned for giving people the option to voluntarily identify themselves AS THEY CHOOSE??

    This Kichi character needs to get a grip. If he doesn’t self-identify as queer, then he doesn’t have to. No one is making him!

  17. says

    Typically , “queer” is not used as a gender, though–as JMC pointed out–some people identity as gender queer. Some older people who distinctly remember queer mostly or only as a slur are, not surprisingly, not fond of it being adopted by our community. Certainly, queer studies and the non-pejorative use of queer–on collage campuses but not only–have been around long enough for anyone to understand the change in usage, even if they don’t like it.

    The College’s use of it was clearly not from the Dark Ages or intended as an old slur sneaked in among the other terms. That Kichi thought it was means he’s out of touch. I wasn’t born yesterday, but it doesn’t bother me at all and hardly should inspire a stroke.

  18. GregV says

    @CanadianObserver:

    This is NOT the equivalent of asking a student whether he prefers to be called “Black, African-American or N*****.”

    It is more parallel to asking students to check off whether their nationality is American, Hispanic or N*****, because, while one of those words is considered an insult by many who don’t use the word, it’s an insult to suggest the other words are mutually exclusive.

    Transmen are likely to identify as male and transwomen as female, and the college staff should surely be aware that gay people, asexual people and bisexual people (all of whom include very large numbers of people of ALL ages who are insulted by the suggestion that they are “queer”) can certainly be considered male or female.

    My gender is male. My sexual ORIENTATION (which is COMPLETELY a different question) is gay. Their checklist seems to suggest that if I am gay, then not only am I NOT male but that I AM lumped in as a “queer.”

  19. GregV says

    “It is more parallel to asking students to check off whether their nationality is American, Hispanic or N*****, because, while one of those words is considered an insult by many who don’t use the word, it’s an insult to suggest the other words are mutually exclusive.”

    Edit: I should have added “…and some of those words are NOT even a nationality.”

  20. JackFknTwist says

    @ ONCEMOREWITHFEELING:
    Stop trying to make this an ageist issue.

    The word “queer” is used by a particularly narrow culture-elite to beat the drum for what they conceive to be a progressive agenda.
    No…. ‘queer’ has not been popular for 30 years.
    No, its use is not ‘common’…..quite the contrary it is regarded everywhere as a slur, as derogatory, and is only used in society by those homophobes who despise us .

    And it is certainly not progressive in any way other than in some self-selected and self-appointed culture coven…? academia ??
    Quite frankly whatever words “colleges” use to peddle some abstruse course is not any basis for concluding that such use is generally accepted.
    And putting down someone’s views on the basis that the author is “elderly gay” is beneath contempt.
    We are striving for equality, that includes equality of esteem. That seems part of our gay fight which you obviously don’t respect. Are all the other self referred ‘queers’ of a similar disposition ?

  21. Alex Parrish says

    I am of the generation which finds this use by others outside the community as objectionable. The reasons have been listed by others at great length so i won’t re-hash them.

    If this university is as devoted to diversity as the article suggests, why do they need to categorize people to begin with? Why not just have a blank space for people to name their sexuality as they would prefer? Yes, I know — reports are necessary, but they could arbitrarily categorize people to fit their categories at some later point and without making a public fuss for it. If their reporting structure requires fitting a person into the LGBT pigeon-hole for reporting sake, at least they don’t have to cause the individual to make an offensive or inappropriate choice.

  22. DannyEastVillage says

    The Ivy-League University “gay studies” departments began changing their names to “Queen Studies” decades ago as social movements growing out of Act-Up-related activism emerged. I rather like the term “queer” myself. After all, it’s merely informal terminology used in common parlance in place of the more formal term, “deviant.” American “mainstream” culture that began to deteriorate in the middle of the last century had used both terms–“queer” and “deviant” in derogatory ways. In fact,however, neither term is necessarily derogatory, any more than the term “different” is derogatory.

  23. JMC says

    Jack, there is an undeniable element of age when discussing the word queer in the United States. I’m 20, I grew up in the south and have been bullied pretty ruthlessly my entire life for being gay but never once have I ever been called queer by a homophobe. Queer obviously still gets some use as a slur here, but it’s been mostly phased out with f*ggot and in the not so terribly distant future it won’t be recognized as a homophobic slur in America at all. It’s turning out to be what is probably the most successful example of reappropriating a slur ever and I think that’s pretty great.

    Again, absolutely opposed to it being used as an umbrella term (especially whenever Europeans are potentially in the mix which is very often.. the word made my British ex’s skin crawl) but whyyyy would you be so personally invested in keeping others from self identifying as they please on a job application? Get a grip!

  24. James says

    No surprise that the same self-hating fools who use queer would also fall back on ageism to attack their critics. I am 40 years younger than the guy in this story and I completely agree with him. Queer is antigay. The people who call gays “queer” – both the traditional homophobes and the “queer” activists – see gays as subversive outsiders who are inherently in conflict with their society. Both groups use “queer” to express that idea. And both are objectively antigay.

    I hope they fire the guy from Colorado Springs Pride. He seems to be the least qualified person to hold that job.

  25. daws says

    Considering they had Transgender as an option, my mind wouldn’t have jumped to “inappropriate”. It’s obvious they were trying to be inclusive. If I was the employer I would think this dude doesn’t have great common sense. Pass on him. Next applicant please!

    Queer As Folk? Hello. Using “queer” in this manner isn’t anything new or recent. You may not like it or want to use it but you have to at least acknowledge that some in the community don’t mind it and actually prefer the term.

  26. James says

    Oh forgot – as DannyEastVillage notes, this use of “queer” is not new. It is not a Millennial thing. It is actually old. It was created back in the late 80s/early 90s by elitist academics who are today in their 50s and 60s. So let’s not buy into this crap that “the younger generation” loves to call gay people queer. Don’t push your antigay garbage off on us.

  27. JackFknTwist says

    @ JMC :

    I have a grip !
    Many of us have attended top universities and risen in various professions without the need or necessity of “queer studies”.
    It is simply a self -regarding indulgent deliberately provocative construct…….
    There are some words and concepts which are irredeemable……..simply because of the baggage they carry.
    I’m not going to name them, but I believe the word ‘queer’ is one such word/description.
    No it has not been redeemed as many posters feel.
    Maybe it’s a difference in culture between Europe and the USA, but I can assure you that I identify with your British Ex,……the word, if used, provokes my immediate physical response.
    No it is not acceptable either in usage or in elitist academic fishbowls.
    These were my views, are my views and always will be my views irrespective of age….

    I am against people self identifying as ‘queer’ because from the Inquisition and since, the word has no meaning other than derogatory.
    The USA Colleges who try to reinvest the word should know by now that the horse is dead; stop flogging.

  28. says

    @James, you and Mr. Kichi perceive “queer” as anti-gay (which is fine) but not everyone does, and clearly it wasn’t intended as such by the Colorado College. It was intended to be inclusive. It certainly can be argued that their usage was misguided and inappropriate in that context, but to say the use of “queer” is “objectively antigay” isn’t true. Many people, myself included, embrace gay and queer.

    Age isn’t the only factor in how people see the word, but it’s one factor. I can’t imagine a young person thinking the word was from the “Dark Ages,” unless they think the early-90s were the Dark Ages (which is possible!).

  29. JMC says

    Jack, I’m well aware queer is still the predominant homophobic slur in much of Europe.. but we’re not talking about Europe. The word will be fully reclaimed before I die in the US. I’d never force the word on anyone or question why anyone has a problem with it personally, but it’s quite self absorbed to project your problems with the word onto everyone else. Queer has a very positive meaning to a lot of people. Let people self identify how they please, it’s really none of your business.

  30. bobbyjoe says

    Jesus. This person does know that “Queer Theory” is a longstanding, specific field of academic study, that the name is deliberate as it interrogates what “queerness” is, that it developed through the work of LGBT scholars (i.e., they were/are gay and they were/are LGBT scholars) like Judith Butler and Gloria Anzaldua? There’s a specific deliberate history of how that word is used in academia. A number of important scholars have embraced the word “queer,” it’s the way they reference themselves, and anyone who’s actually interested in reading LGBT Studies can read their many writings on it. He has plenty of other choices to check off if he’d like; but why would he deny a designation for others that they deliberately embrace?

    This guy comes across like the people who say “why can’t gay mean ‘happy’ like it used to?” or (to put it in terms of a new-to-college nitwit) “how can they be called ‘Modernists’ or ‘Futurists’ when they’re writing a hundred years ago?”

    It’s good he’s trying to go to college. This guy seriously needs an education, starting with a basic linguistics class about how words change, adapt, and are sometimes deliberately radicalized or reclaimed.

  31. John Freeman says

    Since when did “queer” become a gender as opposed to an orientation? Does being queer mean I’m not longer male? I don’t think so! maybe they were well intentioned, but to me its a fail.

  32. JackFknTwist says

    @ JMC :

    I guess we have different views on this . But thanks for your exchanges….. I really think that it might be a Europe/USA cultural divergence.
    I have never come across a university course called ” Queer Studies” in Europe.

    But on another point, I wish I was your age….I mean that sincerely…….my years have been dramatic, tragic and volatile.
    I would love to see what drama the next generation of young gays bring to the performance.
    Bon chance.

  33. Dean says

    Don’t wanna get into the queer issue but I have to say that the ageism used to attack this man is disgusting. I was reading the comments of people like OnceMoreWithFeeling and getting nauseated. Do you not understand what ageism is? Do you not understand that it is wrong to dismiss peoples’ ideas and beliefs because they are “grumpy old men.” If this is what it means to be a progressive, I want no part of it.

    I am 30 BTW, since that seems to matter.

  34. JJ says

    JMC, who is going to reclaim the world from your arrogance and racism? You don’t speak for Black people. You don’t speak for “tons” of Gay people. You don’t speak for young people. You speak only for yourself.

  35. Canadian Observer says

    I find it disconcerting that some are willing to dismiss concern about the use of the term based on their perception as to the age of those who object. In my experience, class (and class aspirations) and regional factors are easily as important as age. Outside of the ivory bubble (usually a pretty clear indication of class aspiration, if not necessarily of class itself) the use of the term queer is still largely pejorative. I think those so heavily influenced by Queer Studies should go back to some of their foundational works and do some thinking about how privilege is manifested up to and including claims to be able to arbitrate matters of language.

  36. says

    Britain is not all of Europe. Many activists and scholars and cultural figures embrace queer in Europe as well as the US. There are queer festivals across Europe, one of the largest being Queer Zagreb, which has now branched out and started Queer New York.

    Furthermore Queer Theory is taught in the UK and has been for years.

    Leeds http://www.gender-studies.leeds.ac.uk/prospective-students/taught-postgraduates/ma-gender-sexuality-queer-theory/

    Warwick, Kings College… I find various references.

    My own college’s group changed its name in 1998 to the “open queer alliance” and this year changed that to Q & A for queers and allies.

    But queer as a gender sounds odd by itself, though gender queer sounds fine to me. It works the same way as queer as a sexual orientation: queer rejects or critiques the whole system which results in heterosexist privilege, gender queer rejects or critiques the gender system that results in normative cisgender privilege. Yes it’s elitist, but this is a college we’re talking about, so if people are forced to read a book or learn something… that’s not a bad thing.

  37. JackFknTwist says

    In an odd way you make my point @ KEVINVT.
    Gender studies may be available as a study at a few universities in England….”Gender Studies ”

    But:
    ” gender queer rejects or critiques the gender system that results in normative cisgender privilege”.

    ” Queer as a gender sounds odd…..”
    That latter sentence is certainly a proposition with which I can agree. As regards your last comment,
    believe me some of us non academics have read books…..we have even written them.

    But the purported reinstatement of a word of derision, discrimination, bullying, even to attempt to reinvent it, is an insult to those of us who were beaten up with such insults ringing in their ears.
    Analogies should be obvious.

  38. Phillip says

    Being gender queer just means that you do not fit into the gender binary. You don’t identify as male or female. It has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality. End of story.

  39. JackFknTwist says

    PS :
    FYI,
    it is never “queer”…..it is “Fu**ing Queer”

    Surely the University Courses should be amended accordingly…” Fu**ing Queer Studies.”

  40. jjose712 says

    This seems a case of the college trying to be inclusive and failing.

    I know some people identify as queer, but if they are asking for your gender, a gay male is still a male, and a lesbian is still a female, so don’t understand why they have that choice

  41. Daniel says

    Nothing like cisgender persons forcing their own stereotypes onto those who don’t conform with their binary definitions of gender and sexuality. The gay community needs to take a long, hard look at how they treat those that are different from them. Where’s the love, people?

  42. says

    Black people may be embracing the “N” word, but that does not mean they can use it on an application. it is totally WRONG! Regardless of what “young” people are saying. Young people say a lot of dumb things. Such as that’s so gay.

    This so called progressive college should know better!

  43. says

    I choose to refer to myself as “gay” period. Is that an option on their application? Because if it was not, then they have no representation for me. Nor do they have any right to force me into some other general “abnormal” category.

  44. Jamie says

    I hate the term “queer.” I don’t find it offensive but I just don’t identify with it. I hate that there are people trying to make that word happen, and thankfully most of them loiter on tumblr and in blogs.

  45. KidJ/NYU says

    You can see the dishonesty of the gender activist crowd. You cannot trust a word that comes out of their mouths. They first claimed that they were using queer as a way of reclaiming a slur. It would still mean gay, but by using it, it would rob the slur of its negative power.

    As we can all see from this story, that was a lie. They didn’t just reclaim a word that means “gay”. They changed the meaning. Now queer includes all gay people but also means “everything that is not the norm, everything that is subversive or on the outs in society.”

    Queer is the reaction by these self-loathing, self-destructive academics and activists to the growing acceptance of gay people in American society. They started to see gay people elected to office, gay people running businesses, gay people pandered to by advertisers. And they panicked. They want gay people to be forever angry, abnormal and marginalized, recruits for their great societal revolution. They don’t respect gay people as individuals capable of choosing the course for their own lives, be that the course of a rebel or the course of a conformist or something in between. They can’t allow us to make the “wrong” choice, and so they labeled us queer. Accordingly, the concept of queer is an attack on the autonomy of every gay person.

  46. AdamA says

    Y’all need to google some words. It takes less time to find out about genderqueer folks on the internet than it does to file a complaint. “Queer” may never lose its corrosive, bigoted connotation, and that’s a legit conversation to have. In the meantime, genderqueer people exist, and it ain’t slang to them.

    The guy may be “old,,” but he’s also cis, which clearly has something to do with his massive blindspot on this score.

  47. Brian in Seattle says

    Hey, I went to Colorado College during the fight against Amendment 2. (Look it up if you don’t know what it is. And then beat your head with a rock for being stupid). CC is an island of tolerance and light in a very scary, bigoted, backwards corner of America. They’ve been fighting Focus on the Family, the Christian Coalition of Colorado and Doug Lamborn for a long time and one of the most effective weapons they have is radical inclusion. Everyone is equal and welcome at Colorado College. Maybe you should thank them.

  48. drew says

    I love being queer! I have friends who prefer gay and give me a hard time about queer, which still sounds like a slur to them. So, we agree to disagree. For me, saying I’m queer means I’m a guy who likes guys, but also connotes an inclusive identity that joins with trans, bi, anyone outside the narrow “norm.” And when I self-identify, I like a word that can mean I stand in solidarity with ALL sexual/and/gender minorities, especially trans people, who face relentless opposition, and bisexuals, whose characters are assailed even as their identities are denied. We are a people who are still defining ourselves as a visible community, it will take a while to find nomenclature that feels right to everyone.

  49. emjayay says

    I get the use of queer. It indeed has been around, particularly in younger and academic circles, for decades. You know, Queer Studies and all that. Personally I think it will be seen as a relic of the very necessary Queer Nation period and will fade away eventually and everyone will accept “gay” as the general umbrella term for noncomforming to the majority sexuality.

    Meanwhile, nice try at being politally correct, but it doesn’t belong on an application. It’s quite possible that in a few years it will look like a choice of “Negro” would look like today.

    I really don’t think the commonly seen optional minority report form belongs on any application. There’s always a disclaimer about how no one will see it and it’s only for statistical purposes etc. but a lot of applicants don’t quite believe that. I have no knowledge of whether in all of history a single person looking at applications has ever seen the form and made judgements based on it, but based on my experience, mainly in federal government, I wouldn’t put anything past anyone.

  50. alex says

    As other people noted, “queer” is an accepted term within academia. It is used in reference to both sexuality and gender.

    When applying for a job, it’s probably a good idea to do a little research about your potential employer and the industry first. Clearly, Mr. Kichi did not do that. If he had, he’d have discovered that the term is fairly common in colleges and universities.

    Colorado College even has a course called “Queer Performance and Body Politics”. Would this guy have complained every time he saw that word in his job as a Database Specialist?

  51. E. Carpenter says

    The job application form should have had no gender identity question or just a free-form space, allowing for any gender definition.

    I like the multitude of current and complicated words describing various gender identities because social gender has always been a cultural definition, not a biological one.

    We (majority culture U.S.) have never really understood that what is feminine in one culture may be masculine in another, or what is cisqueer in one culture may be manly in another. Bashing people for non-conformity to a particular gender model (including the recent ones) is ridiculous and cruel. There’s no objective way to tell if anyone else’s visceral gender identifications are more or less ‘real’ than yours.

    You are free to be queer if you want, as a gender identity – and free to be manly or gay or cissexual or homosexual or transqueer or pegboy, free to be any of the other modern, ancient and foreign variations, free to invent new ones – but show the same respect to other people you want for yourself.

    We’ll only get to true gender equity when we realize that cultural gender identity is personal and quirky, and like snowflakes, very very few people’s gender identities are the same as others, or stable over time. And that’s true even when a group of people use the same words to describe themselves and believe they are all saying the same things. Dig deeper and you’ll always find they’re not.

  52. Randy says

    If they were truly aiming for inclusiveness, why didn’t they simply write “Male, Female, Transgender, or Other”? Why use such a loaded word that excludes those who don’t buy into it?

  53. Kendall says

    Drew:

    So you identify with “anyone outside the narrow norm”? Anyone? Really? Rapists?
    Voyeurs? Snuff film enthusiasts? Nazi skinheads?

    No, of course you don’t identify with anyone outside the narrow norm. You have your own limits on what is acceptable and what is not, and then you pick and choose what is included in queer to match what you like and to exclude what you don’t. You aren’t transcending societal norms, judgments and exclusions; you are just substituting your own and using a slur to describe it. In my experience so-called “queers” are more judgmental, more angry,and more exclusionary than most normal people.

  54. etseq says

    For all you morons who claim that its only old white dudes that hate the term “queer” you obviously aren’t aware that NGLTF (who are embrace the term being the elitist lefties they are) does annual surveys every few years going back to the 90s. I dont have the links right now but I polled this very issue and only like 3% of LGBT identify as “queer” but the really interesting part was that NO african americans did. In fact, it was almost exclusively white bisexual women who were college graduates. So, this has nothing to do with age – it is an elitist class signifier.

  55. oncemorewithfeeling says

    No matter how many either don’t know about the genderqueer community or hate them for calling themselves that (or for whatever reason), the genderqueer community is real and is not going away.

    No matter how many hate queer people, queer people are real and are not going away.

    If you hate the word “queer” so much, that you refuse to accept the reality that the word is completely, totally and utterly accepted in academic and social circles globally, that’s too bad for you. You should hate more worthwhile things. Like our enemies.

    Those who refuse to recognize the fact that gender status was a voluntary option on the form and that “Queer” was referring to gender identity and not sexual orientation are bizarre. How many times do you have to be told that?

    Those who think it was a slur are, indeed, living in the Dark Ages.

    The argument that the queer community is small or female so they don’t count or matter is specious and bigoted, so any misogynist anti-queer bigot espousing it doesn’t count or matter. That the LGBTQ community is small so they don’t matter is a common argument used against us. Shame on you for being one of our enemies.

    This word has been in common use for almost thirty years. The only thing remotely newsworthy about this story is that an elderly man doesn’t like or understand change and progress and that is not news. It’s not even really sad, it’s just the way of the world.

    And when that elderly man is no longer with us, there will still be queers. You can’t win this, because you lost it over a quarter of a century ago. Maybe it’s time to move on?

  56. oncemorewithfeeling says

    And those that think it’s ageist to point out the obvious are mistaken. Those that think that means that younger people can’t also be stupid or behind the times are also mistaken.

    Those that think it’s “elitist” — whatever the hell that means, as if being elite is wrong — may or may not be mistaken because I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Isn’t it “elite” people who are responsible for 100% of the progress made in the entire history of the world? How Republican of you to hate them.

  57. Paul Brownsey says

    The Right-On Language Sub-Committee of the International Association of Grade 1 Gay Activists issues so many pronouncements about what we may say or should say or should not say that it is difficult for we ordinary punters to keep up with them.

  58. Dominic says

    Um, wow. I was on the fence, but after reading Oncemorewithfeelings disgusting rant, I am definitely against queer. All progress in human history was made by elites? Are you an ignorant fool? What about the workers that build roads and schools and the teachers that teach in those schools? Was Rosa Parks one of the elite? I won’t even get into your defense of ageism.

    To hell with you and the superior attitude that you built up living in your weird bubble world. You really are bigots in your own way so i guess it isn’t surprising that you would be fond of words like queer.

  59. etseq says

    Oncemorewithfeelings proved my point…This whole embrace of the “deviancy” model of sexuality is some sort of stockholm syndrome where these radicals have somehow jumped the shark and think that they what the right wing says about us is actually true. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. “Queer Theory” likes to claim its “non-normative” but that is lie – its radically anti-normative, which is in itself a norm. It embraces ANYTHING – what is to exclude pedphiles, rapists, religious polygamists, etc. from this “inclusive” category???

  60. Paul Brownsey says

    Oncemorewithfeeling says, “And when that elderly man is no longer with us, there will still be queers. You can’t win this, because you lost it over a quarter of a century ago. Maybe it’s time to move on?”

    You can’t be sure that “there will still be queers”. The Conclave may have come up with a new designation by then which we will be hectored into using.

  61. Brian says

    I grew up in Colorado Springs and went to college in Denver. Culturally, gender-queer was/is an acceptable and definitive term for anything not 100% cysgendered. Colorado College is one of the most LGBT friendly campuses I can think of in Colorado. Any one trying to say other wise will not find much sympathy from queer Coloradans.

  62. etseq says

    Brian – you are confusing LGBT with “queer” on purpose like most sockpuppet commenters online. If you polled Coloradons, probably less than 1% would think “queer” was anything but an insult.

  63. Jason Chenard says

    The options offered are patently ridiculous and at odds with the most basic and accepted concepts of sexuality. The fact that the college seemingly doesn’t understand the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation is the primary issue. I’d have just crossed it all out and written in Gay Male.

  64. says

    I self-identify as Queer, as well as gay. And Canadian. And Scottish. And Lilliputian 😉

    Queer is an elective identity – it does not mean “gay” – in its own way it’s a sociopolitical statement of identity.

    My life and my outlook is a deviation from certain expected societal norms; I am of a differing point of view. I am not “the norm” – and have no desire to be. And I remain empowered, Out, confident and secure in my identities, including my queer one.

    I think the “queer is an insult!” brigade are pretty much ridiculous. So, “queer” was used as a slur against you, and that’s why you hate it? Ok – I was called “gay” when I was being slammed into lockers and beaten up on the way home from school. Does that mean I remain terrified and butthurt about the word “gay”? No. But then again, I have a spine.

    Queer – from a different point of view. Unique. unexpected. unfamiliar. atypical. curious. unusual. uncommon. offbeat. eccentric.

    Hi! Me 😀

    If identifying as Queer was what its detractors insist, then I’d be the anonymous internet commenter, not you 😉

  65. Randy says

    Queer is the only word which includes all minorities of sexual orientation and gender identity. Even the ridiculous alphabet soup of LGBTIQQ2S and so on doesn’t really do it.

    The only problem here is the offensive notion that there’s something wrong with being queer.

  66. Oliver says

    “Gender queer” also includes asexual and intersex people, not just lesbians, gay men, and bisexual folk. Gender is not biological. It references social and cultural differences.

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