By TooLesbian - 25/09/2014 02:33 - Australia - Kellyville
TooLesbian tells us more.
I am the OP for this post. She is not my friend, just the sister of a friend (I live with both). Where I live in Australia, "queer" is still used as a derogatory word against gay people, and gay men and women are often called that by homophobes in public. She is completely straight, but thinks she is revolutionary by joining the gay rights movement as an "ally". Because she knows gay people, she assumes that she is entitled to use words we call ourselves. She knows I'm not comfortable with the word "queer" because I've had it used against me by bullies at high school, but she continues to use it because "it's an umbrella term" (although it isn't, some a word SOME LGBT people call themselves). She isn't a homophobe, and I'm not insinuating that she is - just really annoying.
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No she's not. "Queer" is the term for everyone who isn't straight and the community as a whole- it's much easier and more respectful than to say the entire acronym and gets across the idea essentially the same. LGBTAIQQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Asexual, Intersex, Questioning, and, you guessed it, Queer. Just saying LGBT hasn't been an accurate representation of the entire queer community for a fair amount of time now and even the acronym I just used doesn't cover every sexuality that deserves recognition. I agree it's stupid her roommate got on her case about "stupid," and I realize some people still find the word "queer" to be a slur, but for the most part it's been accepted and her roommate isn't in the wrong about that.
But not everyone who isn't straight identifies with the word queer, for some, it's still offensive. Just like not all African-American people identify with the word Black. Most people are okay with saying stupid too, but that doesn't mean its okay for everyone.
The word queer means "very strange" or "odd." The word still means that even though in recent times, some use the word to describe homosexuals. Its the same thing with the word "gay." Gay means "happy." It still means "happy," but some stupid (yes, stupid) person used the word gay in place of the word homosexual. No word should be offensive to someone. The tone of voice of the speaker and also the speaker's meaning behind saying the word (context) should determine if it is hurtful or offensive. This could be a misunderstanding of cultural differences. In Hispanic countries, the word stupid is very, VERY offensive, while telling someone to shut up isn't. I know for sure that the culture here in the US has made me stray away from using the word queer even in the appropriate context. People are overly sensitive about a word of which they do not even know the original or true definition. In my opinion, if its not a misunderstanding of cultural differences, both OP and her roommate are being too sensitive about each other's use of words.
44, I don't know where you got the idea that "In Hispanic countries, the word stupid is very, VERY offensive". It's just (and not more) as offensive as it is in English... Also, just assuming that people who are "overly sensitive" don't know the original/true definition is quite *ahem* stupid. Maybe they just don't like the way it's used now. What century are you living in if you think those definitions are something other than very, very dated?
I too am so sick of political correctness. I can't keep up with which words are ok and which aren't. It used to be that dumb and stupid were the terms for the mentally challenged, then people used it in a mean and offensive way and it wasn't ok. Then retarded was the term but then that was used offensively. Then mentally handicapped was the term, then handicapped was used in a mean and offensive way and it wasn't ok to use. Now it's mentally challenged (and I could be wrong, maybe that's offensive now). People are always going to take a term and twist it to be a negative word, does this mean we constantly change the term and then yell at people that use an out of date term even if they aren't not using it offensively? I agree that people should take the person's tone and sentence structure into consideration before jumping down their throat. We need to have one word and just stick with it, and if we hear someone use it to be mean just ignore them, don't let their stupidity and rudeness change everything.
46- I've had two exchange students from Guatemala and a Spanish teacher from Spain. I have also worked at an authentic Mexican restaurant. I know the culture. I wasn't saying that OP's roommate is Hispanic, but just giving an example of a culture that finds the word to be offensive. I use the words with their original or true meaning because I read many books and poems. I mostly read literature that was written between 1860-1960, (unless it is modern sci-fi, of course.) It is overly sensitive to be offended by a word even if the context and tone is no where near offensive. Also, others have explained in these comments that queer is now an accepted term for LGBT. I did not know this until I read their comments, but this again supports my idea of cultural differences.
53 - I am from Guatemala, I would think I know the culture better than you do, and I'm saying that 'stupid' is not really that much different in Spanish. Also, I don't know where you got the idea that I thought you said OP's roommate is Hispanic. I'm not arguing on who's oversensitive or what, but it's rather idiotic to assume that people who are 'oversensitive' don't know what a word meant before.
#77 You can only reclaim a word for yourself. I know of plenty of black people who are offended by the N word coming from anyone. Regardless, if you identify in the LGBT+ Umbrella and are comfortable being called q*eer, that's great. Quite a lot of us are not, and more often than not it's still used to degrade and belittle us. It's inappropriate to call an entire group made up of many different identities and sexualities all q*eer. If you're speaking about a particular section of people (I.E Lesbians), call them by their name. (EX: Lesbian issues are women's issues.). If referring to the entire umbrella, LGBT+ is the most appropriate.
How does working at an " authentic Mexican restaurant" and two people you probably knew for a couple weeks suddenly mean that you "know" the culture? I am Mexican and estupido elis stupid in Spanish and it really isn't that offensive, maybe if you say it during an argument or to a stranger it may be a little offensive but for the most part not really. And also a lot of people of Hispanic decent who live in the u. S. Have a bit different culture than those from their native country because they have integrated some of the American culture. So no, please don't speak on behalf of a group of people you know nothing about.
Yes language evolves. But the problem is that there have been so many different terms for one thing all because of some rude and disrespectful idiots meant it offensively. Why let them dictate which words are ok. And it wouldn't be an issue except that well meaning people get chewed out for saying something that is out of date and now offensive when that wasn't their intention in the first place. Like op for instance.
Honestly, I don't see why "retarded" is a "bad word." I have the utmost respect for those who are mentally challenged, and I would never condone bullying or making fun of them. However, I call my sister and friends retarded occasionally when they say something obvious or do something stupid. In no way am I making fun of those who are truly handicapped; the definition of retarded is simply "Not working properly." I also don't even think of mentally handicapped people when I say "retarded" - I think of people doing dumb things. And when my computer is messing up, I also say it's retarded. When my dog runs into something that's been there for all 8 years of her life, she's retarded too. To me it's rather dumb to get offended over a word used in this context, when it's NOT offensive and when it's not being used to hurt someone else. Some people do say things to hurt others, and that's not right at all.
your friend is stupid... I don't call people names, but she's the epitome of stupidity