As a Gay Man, Does Being Called Queer Offend You?

gay pride queer

For gay men, “queer” has been an ugly slur

By Clayton Braxton

In recent days, we’ve seen a number of people, both gay and straight, use various terms as demonstrate their support of the LGBTQ community. It’s heartwarming – truly – given how much we’ve all been through.

However, there’s something that needs to be addressed.

I’ll preface what follows by saying I am the first to admit that our ever growing soup of acronyms used to describe the collective rainbow community can be difficult to keep up with. With each new year, it seems we add yet another letter to LGBTQA.

But as a gay man, there is one term that pisses me off because it just hits me the wrong way.

Queer.

I can only speak for myself and I recognize others may not agree but here it goes. The term queer has always been a nasty, vile slur that ranks right up there with another word that starts with F and rhymes with maggot.

Yet, I continue to see many straight people on Facebook and other social media outlets use “queer” as a way of talking about gays and lesbians in a way that makes it seem like it’s OK to use a “naughty phrase” because it’s become more PC.

Again, I may be going against the tide here but I personally do not find the word “queer” to be empowering. Not even remotely.

Stop for a moment and ask yourself how many gay, lesbian and transgender people heard the slur “queer” as they got kicked, stabbed, shot, maimed or beaten to death?

I can remember when I was in high school people saying things like, “Oh that guy is a queer – stay away.” And what about family members who hurled that term around like it was nothing, unknowing at the time that the slur was being said in front of someone like me who was gay?

There’s long been a debate about the word queer and rather or not it is truly offensive. I’ve heard everything from: “It depends upon how you use it” to “Until we come up with an all-encompassing term, why change it?”

My response is this – bullshit.

We don’t hear supporters of blacks and Latinos using slurs to demonstrate support. We don’t see college classes adopting historically offensive names to promote an area of study.

Yet as time marches on, more and more people are using this word in the media, on the web and in personal story sharing.

So why on earth has it become OK to do this with gay people?

How many gay, lesbian and transgender people heard the slur “queer” as they got kicked, stabbed, shot, maimed or beaten to death?

The social justice warriors have actively tried to grab on to “queer” by saying that as a community, we can reclaim this slur and fashion it into something positive.

Some people in the world of academia justify its use suggesting it’s a great way of referring to a minority community for research purposes.

Sorry but no, I disagree.

via GIPHY

Yes, there is a generational dynamic taking place with PC use of labels. But for a lot of gay men who are Gen Y, Gen X and older, “queer” was the choice slur for bullies, harassers and haters.

Look, I know that there are going to be many people who do not agree with what I am sharing here. I get it. And I recognize that it can be helpful to have a word or phrase that is inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, and pansexual.

But “queer” – at least to me as a gay man – isn’t it.

Maybe you are wondering if you should use the word queer when talking about the LGBTQ community? Perhaps you question if it is OK to use this term when referring to yourself?

Well, if you listen to the social justice warriors, they’ll tell you it is a personal choice. But isn’t that just slimy way of justifying their own use of the slur without really having to take a stand?

Here’s my final thought. If you have to worry about using the word queer, maybe you shouldn’t use it at all.



  • BruceTats

    I agree this is a vile term. The gender fluid and non gender conforming crowd did this.

    • Joan

      Don’t blame us. I’m gender non conforming. I don’t like the word queer either.

  • ThaddeusQuackenbush

    I don’t particularly care either way regarding “queer.” Personally, I don’t like the word “gay” and the phrase “gay community,” because as a bear, I’m not included in the “community” of body-fascist, diva-loving, hag-having queens. I call myself a homosexual, because I’m proud to be attracted to men.

    I also despise the GLAAD-stapo for dictating which terms are acceptable to use.

    • Lean Muscle

      You sound like a bitter, old bear that hates himself. You should go hate on other communities troll!

      • ThaddeusQuackenbush

        No, sweetie, I’m content with my life, but I have noticed you trolling on the fat-shaming articles.

        Good luck with your life and bless your heart.

    • Jacquie C

      As a straight women googling this exact question (curiosity from reading the word queer in another article), thanks for explaining that so clearly. Have a great life 🙂

  • Lucien O

    I prefer the term Queer! I don’t really like the term gay and when I use it to mean something about sexual orientation I spell it GAI to make it more palatable to myself! I like the term queer, I am very comfortable with that term! It has been around a lot longer than most other terms and I choose to own it. I don’t like other people getting to decide what I am labeled! I am here and a very proud Queer! Get over it! I an here, I am Queer, get used to it! I am not going to change my mind, I will never stop using it. No I don’t dislike myself. No I don’t care if other people find it offensive…since when did we all have to stop being offensive to everyone else? It is someone’s personal issue if they are offended by something….why should everyone else have to change because who they are and what they do is offensive to someone? We live in a nation of politically correct baby brats and I for one am sick of it! I am Queer! I also like the term Fairie! The word gay means Happy and I am not perpetually happy all the time! The word queer means strange and I am gleefully always that lol. So to each their own of course but I am Queer, I am a man who likes other men, I don’t need others to approve of my life choices. I am not going to change my mind on this.