On the use of the term ‘queer’

Hello, the Network has been contacted regarding the use of the word queer in a few of our social media posts because of the negative connotations it can carry, its problematic history, and the fact that some non-LGBT+ also use it to mean sexually subversive. As one of the Campaigns Coordinators, and the person who was responsible for the tweets in question, I’d like to make some clarifications, and apologize for any offense that may have been caused.

 

The use of the word in recent posts, which is what the concerns were referring to, were to do with Stockholm Pride (with reference to a tent that was named “Queers of Faith”) and about a course that I attended earlier this summer on gender and sexuality rights and activism worldwide. Here, the word was specifically being used to cater to an international audience, because the acronym LGBT+ does not translate into multiple languages. While queer is also an English word and one that definitely carries very specific and potentially distressing baggage in the West, it has been used as an emancipator term in other countries that are trying to talk to a global LGBT+ movement without losing touch of their own contexts. It is more easily transferable without having to rearrange the entire acronym, and it speaks to cultures, such as my own, where LGBT+ identities are not understood in the same vein as in the UK. in order to do justice to these very specific events, I felt it would have been unfair to relabel the terminology they were using.

 

Further, there are those in the Network and in the LGBT+ community more widely even in the UK who feel the term more accurately represents their identity and that is not something that should be ignored either. We’ll be discussing why some people feel that “queer” is a term integral to their identity, whilst others see it as offensive, in a podcast at the start of the academic year.

 

In the meantime, if anyone comes across the term in future posts (and in any posts that might have been left behind), please be mindful of the intersectional and international make-up of the Network, and that the usage of the term reflects that. “Queer” can be offensive in some contexts, and we are very much aware of that, but in the context of the Network, it is never meant as anything less than understanding and accepting.

 

Thank you for your understanding.

Love and solidarity,

Ibtisam

 

 

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