I’m Not a F**king Queer

By OckyDub | Posted Sep 21 2016 | 20 Comments  

queer

As I’ve notice in the last couple of years more and more African-American bloggers have latched onto and adopted the term ‘queer’. Personally I cannot overstate enough the disdain and disgust I have for this word.

I understand the not-so-distant history behind the usage of the term throughout the 80’s Gay Rights and HIV/AIDs advocate movements. I’m old enough to remember news casts showing empowered predominately white protesters lead by Queer Nation chanting “We’re here, we’re Queer get used to it!” I also remember when some of its members infiltrated the original Arsenio Hall Show decades ago. The resulting exchange showed how many in LGBT society exist in a bubble.

The term ‘queer’ for the most part, was not popularly or widely used in black non-heterosexual communities in the last 20 years. We were too caught up on using other derogatory terms like “trade” and “DL”.

The solidifying changing of the guard came in early 2016, when the uber popular Huffington Post decided to change the name of the section dedicated to LGBT issues from Gay Voices to Queer Voices. While I agree that the term Gay is not inclusive to lesbians, bisexuals and not all transgender individuals; neither is Queer.

HuffPost said of their new liberating decision:

“We, like many others before us, have chosen to reclaim “queer” and to rename the section HuffPost Queer Voices because we believe that word is the most inclusive and empowering one available to us to speak to and about the community — and because we are inspired by all of the profound possibilities it holds for self-discovery, self-realization and self-affirmation.”

Shockingly the overwhelming majority of comments (spanning two articles) strongly rebuffed the change. All viewed the term queer as offensive, divisive or negative and I completely agreed.  

There are numerous websites and educational materials that also provide similar reasons why Queer is the current PC word to use for all things non-heterosexual related.

The website PRIDE has an article, 6 Reasons You Need to Use the Word “Queer”. Among the reason were:

*The word queer is inclusive for all members of the LGBT community.
*There is great power in taking a word that once was hurtful and making it our own.
*The word queer unites us.

The Queer Fact Sheet from the Gender Equity Resource Center from UC Berkley states in regards to queer being and insult:

For many years, the term queer has been used as an insult to refer to anyone who is seen outside of society’s heterosexual and/or gender “norms” as strange. In response, many LGBT people of earlier generations do not feel comfortable identifying with queer. In recent years, queer has been reclaimed, most commonly, by younger members of the LGBT community.

Really…only LGBT individuals from “earlier generations” find the term queer offensive? This is a form of propaganda and indoctrination. This is saying only “crotchety” old people find this word offensive but not the newer, “in the know” younger generation of gays.

This issue isn’t how one chooses to self-identify; it’s the selfish disregard from editors, authors and bloggers who do self-identify as queer and the enforcement of the term (in addition to queerness) upon their audiences. What is being said is, “I’m queer, and therefore this is how you need to self-identify too.”

For example when a self-identifying queer author or blogger says, “Queers need to come together to vote against state sponsored bill F5D7.” Or if they say, “As a queer man, I’m having a hard time dating.” They’re speaking to other self-identifying queers, while alienating those who do not recognize nor accept this term as an empowering self-descriptor….and guess what? They don’t care.

What I’ve also noticed is that this movement to use and force ‘queer’ as a descriptor for all things LGBT related, seems to have been imposed by more effeminate leaning gay men, feminist lesbians and transgenders.

Many non-heterosexuals (young and old) have experienced hatred, abuse and discrimination that were accompanied by bigots using terms like faggot and queer.  

When it comes to African-American or Black queers, here is what I find interesting and peculiar.

Since starting this website, over the last five years, I started seeing the term queer used more and more in the White LGBT mainstream. Gradually, I noticed the term being used more and more by Black authors and bloggers. The term I didn’t see in wide use by these Black authors and bloggers was “same gender loving”.

I was exposed to this term when I learned about activist Cleo Manago. He is the CEO of the Black Men’s Exchange and current commentator and guest co-host on Roland Martin‘s nationally syndicated show on TV one. He coined the term “same gender loving” back in the 90’s as a description for homosexuals and bisexuals, particularly in the African American community; as a culturally affirming African American homosexual identity.

What you also should know about Cleo is that he’s an unapologetic SGL activist who unabashedly speaks out against white supremacy and white lead LGBT power structures.

In 2015 when the documentary “Check It” was released, online mainstream media labeled it a film about ‘Queer Gangs’ in DC; Manago took to social media to insightfully vent his frustration of the usage of “queer” and foreshadowed what was to come.

The Decaying Impact of Black Neglect and White “Gay/Queer” Brain-Washing

The young Black people in this documentary do not call themselves “queers.” That is White homosexual political branding. Filmmakers are referring to these young people as being both “queer” and a “gang.” What they really are is neglected, displaced, pain entrenched, homosexual and some trans Black youth – surviving in despair, social decay, abandonment, confusion, defiance, misguidance (or no guidance) and internalized White programming.

A “queer gang.” So many will not even realize that this is a racist description. Ultimately, they may even take it on as “their own.” (As many Blacks have taken “Nigga” on as their own!). It came from White people, who, ironically, are seen as a benevolent, privileged, happier and superior source. Conditioned to see each other as just misfit faggots and Niggas, like so many young [Black] people, they have a deep need for relevance and relief. Any kind will do. Only White people can provide inferior “Niggas” relevance and relief from being just “Black.” As a result, ultimately, some will describe themselves in whatever ways that may bring them closer to Whiteness or “happiness”, be it “queer”, “gay”, “lesbian”, or a “gang-member.”

This White-led indoctrination, despite their racism, is historically rampant. To date, most same-gender-loving (SGL) Black people do not refer to themselves as “queers.” But, unfortunately, without intervention, it is coming. Most SGL Black folks did not call themselves “gays or lesbians” until the 1980s. Black empowerment and self-determination – which are roots to Black self-conceptual and behavioral health – are frequently derailed by anti-Black thinking among Black people, and unrealized White influences. These influences are successfully transmitted to SGL Blacks folks through Blacks in predominantly White college-culture, where they hear about “Queer Theory.” And, encouragement by homosexual Blacks with White partner preferences.

Unresolved anti-Blackness, Black conflict, and the infiltration of Whiteness have proved divisive among Black people. This still sustains a legacy of inter-generational, SGL dis-empowerment, instability, “HIV” and conflict. The decay is already in process. If we do not wake up and make intra-group reparations, this could help finally lead to complete Black destruction in North America.

I REITERATE! You won’t be able to say “But, I didn’t know” too much longer!

The reason I mention this is because it feels and seems like the non-white non-heterosexual community continues to struggle for self-identity, while not only attempting to provide digestible labels for consumption to an outside audience but also as a way to fit in and garner a seat at the table. In the process we continue to adopt language models from the larger white LGBT-Queer community instead of finding our own way.

As a co-founder and an author of hundreds of postings on this website, I want to reach and speak to the largest audience possible. I don’t want to alienate; even though I know due to sensibilities some subject matter will automatically do so and also put readers on the fence.

In my continued growth, I’m not comfortable with gay, same gender loving, bisexual or transgender men who come to this website and may be offended or feel excluded by a one-size-fit all alienating descriptor.

Not only am I potentially alienating them, I’m not taking into account how they personally may self-identify. By not acknowledging this, I feel like I’m taking their power and voice by saying, “You can’t identify how you want and I need you to identify with how the majority or mainstream gatekeepers say you should.” I find this elitist and egregious.

When doing research for this essay, I came across an organization that gets the complexities concerning the usage of this term. PFLAG states:

Traditionally a negative or pejorative term for people who are gay, “queer” is still sometimes disliked within the LGBTQ community. Due to its varying meanings, this word should only be used when self-identifying or quoting someone who self-identifies as queer (i.e. “My cousin identifies as genderqueer.”)

You may have already noticed in this essay, I simply say “non-heterosexual”. This covers the whole spectrum of people who don’t identify as heterosexual.

Labels and self-identifiers are important. Just as it’s not okay for heterosexuals to label and type cast non-heterosexuals for their comfortabilities (i.e. masculine gay = DL), it’s also not okay and actually worse when non-heterosexuals do it do each other.

Let me ask a blunt question; because in the 80’s a group of white gay activists got together and decided ‘queer’ needed to be reclaimed for empowerment reasons, therefor it was. What if they had decided “faggot” was a better option that needed to be reclaimed instead? Think about that.

Like the title states, “I’m Not a Fucking Queer”.

 

 

About the Author
OckyDub

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

   
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20 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. SwagJack
    SwagJack | September 21st, 2016
    0

    Nah. I don’t connect with that. And I understand that there’s a long history of white gay folks taking liberties and steering that identity ship for the rest of us. I rebuff that completely. I know that there are folks of color that connect with that term, but I don’t. I don’t know how inclusive of all the other letters in that funny little acronym it is. Mostly because I’m a proponent of folks living in the moment we’re in sociopolitically and seizing the agency to define themselves. Maybe this goes hand in glove with some folks. But not for me. I’m comfortable with bisexual. Queer just comes off too broad and all encompassing.

  2. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | September 22nd, 2016
    0

    I do not like 'queer' adopted as the default for any gays as a group, of any color. If a person wants to self identify that way, fine. But I agree with Ocky and PFLAG.

    have chosen to reclaim “queer”

    I am old enough to remember when certain feminists decided to 'reclaim' bytch too. Look how well that turned out.

    And back in the day, there was serious discussion about adopting 'f**got' just as well as 'queer'. The genesis of this has to take into consideration the context-the very liberal 70's and the real growth of outspoken 'out there' groups like the Gay Liberation Front(very revolutionary) and then the crisis of the AIDS epidemic. You had people who were very radicalized at that time. The adoption of the word 'queer' was one result of this, and an unfortunate one IMO.

    *I myself got somewhat 'caught up' in that radicalization at that time I will admit.

    I recall some of those chants:

    We're here, we're queer, get used to it!

    Two four six eight gay is just as good as straight!

    I think one watershed event was 'Queer as Folk'. It helped toward normalizing the word imo.

  3. OckyDub
    Ockydub | September 22nd, 2016
    0
    ColumbusGuy

    I think one watershed event was 'Queer as Folk'. It helped toward normalizing the word imo.

    In addition to 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy'

  4. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | September 22nd, 2016
    0
    Ockydub

    In addition to 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy'

    I forgot all about that one. I did not watch either of them. A few bits and that was it.

  5. Dante
    Dante | September 22nd, 2016
    0

    Yes! I HATEEEEEEE the term. And I hate that they added it to the acronym: LGBTQ. It just sounds like saying "pervert" or "weird" or "crazy". The buck will not go there.

    I'm Gay, Won't Stray, and It Will Stay Thay Way!

  6. Fanon
    Fanon | September 22nd, 2016
    0

    They love being "queer" until a homophobe (another word I'm not too fond of) calls them one…

  7. jusrawb
    jusrawb | September 22nd, 2016
    0

    I'm young and I refuse to be labeled as queer. I always thought it was something the white gays found fitting and trendy for them. I don't mind SGL but I usually just say gay no matter if your a lesbian, trans or anything else except Bi. Gay to me means not straight period.

  8. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | September 22nd, 2016
    0
    jusrawb

    I'm young and I refuse to be labeled as queer. I always thought it was something the white gays found fitting and trendy for them. I don't mind SGL but I usually just say gay no matter if your a lesbian, trans or anything else except Bi. Gay to me means not straight period.

    Not all white gays love being called queer. The White Gay Elite had deemed it so, but that does not mean they speak or represent all gay white men.

  9. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | September 22nd, 2016
    0
    Fanon

    They love being "queer" until a homophobe (another word I'm not too fond of) calls them one…

    Who are 'they'?

  10. BlackguyExecutive
    BlackguyExecutive | September 22nd, 2016
    0

    I guess I am the odd man out here. I don't necessarily see a problem with queer per se. I mean, as noted, the term queer is supposed to be more inclusive capture the wide gambit of LGBTQIA (or whatever the acronym is today).

    I don't ever use to term queer referring to myself as a gay man but I am not offended by the term either. I think like any other identity politic everyone is going to have their own frame of reference and preference. I know a lot of white gay men who also hate the term queer but I also so some men whose sexual orientation identity is extremely fluid and they don't necessarily identify with the term gay or bisexual either. I say to each its own.

    I also think the term really made a resurgence in the late 70s and 80s and really rebounded lately with the rise of Queer Theory Academic Scholarship.

    I mean we all know that one gay guy, black, white, and other, who got their undergraduate degree in gender and sexuality studies, went back and got their masters in Queer Studies, and now is working on finish their dissertation on the intersection of male bonding while rejecting the traditional gay stereotypes, commonly known as 'Bromance'. You know that guy, soon to be Dr. Cornelius Duvall Winston, Jr. <—-I made that name up because these guys have names like that.

    [​IMG]

  11. acessential
    acessential | September 22nd, 2016
    0

    The thing about sexual orientation and identity is that it's a fairly recent invention. Until recently, being LGBT wasn't an identity label nor did it describe what you were. In fact, there likely wasn't a word for it. It was just something you did. You were a man who liked to sleep with man. Or you were someone who was thought to be a male at birth, but later began to live your life as a female. These were just actions, not identities. The concept of "being gay" didn't come about until much later.

    With that said, I imagine that there was a lot of discomfort when the word "gay" was used to describe homosexual activity. And although many men still choose to identify as SGL, many men of color including myself still feel comfortable using "gay." So to me, this backlash against the term queer doesn't feel all that different from when people first started using the term gay.

    I personally don't identify as queer but I have used it as an umbrella term to identify sexual and gender minorities simply because it's an umbrella term and a lot easier to type out than the alphabet soup of "LGBTQQIAAPSzvdjamHcnd." And I think a lot of people are misunderstanding its usage. They're not saying every one identifies as queer when they name a section "queer." They're simply using it as an inclusive term for all sexual and gender minorities. People within it can identify as gay, bi, SGL, trans, or just simply a person who likes what they like without a particular label. It's kinda like the use of the term "people of color." It's usually used to discuss people in the context of white supremacy as an umbrella term for non-whites.

    And yes, some people do identify as queer. That's fine. That's probably the best label to describe them. Sexuality is complicated and maybe they don't feel like any of the other labels apply.

    In conclusion, nobody is forcing you to identify as queer or anything else for that matter. It's just an umbrella term that CAN be used as an identity label.

  12. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | September 22nd, 2016
    0

    I don't want to be under the 'queer' umbrella. If we use 'non-whites', why can't we use 'non-heterosexual'.

    I actually do not like 'people of color' either. I have a color. Some 'people of color' have less 'color' than I do. It suggests to me the I must be a neanderthal albino. I am just pale as f**k people.

    It is funny how 'white' and 'black' really lack color. A white screen is a blank screen. 'Fade to black' means the screen goes black-and shows nothing also-essentially another blank screen.

  13. OckyDub
    Ockydub | September 22nd, 2016
    0
    ColumbusGuy

    Not all white gays love being called queer. The White Gay Elite had deemed it so, but that does not mean they speak or represent all gay white men.

    They absolutely don't. The overwhelming majority of backlash HuffPost Queer Voices received was from white men.

  14. OckyDub
    Ockydub | September 22nd, 2016
    0
    ColumbusGuy

    Who are 'they'?

    Those who like being called queer.

  15. OckyDub
    Ockydub | September 22nd, 2016
    0
    BlackguyExecutive

    I don't ever use to term queer referring to myself as a gay man but I am not offended by the term either. I think like any other identity politic everyone is going to have their own frame of reference and preference. I know a lot of white gay men who also hate the term queer but I also so some men whose sexual orientation identity is extremely fluid and they don't necessarily identify with the term gay or bisexual either.

    I agree, which is why I will use the term non-heterosexual when writing and presenting blog postings to the public. I have no idea of how the reader identifies so I don't feel comfortable writing a term like "queer, (and not even gay)" I think they should use or feel comfortable using just because I or others do.

    Personally I also strongly dislike gay but I have become comfortable using it. You can see the difference between my older postings up until now.

  16. Dante
    Dante | September 22nd, 2016
    0

    I'm just waiting for another term before there is a database, bc people want to stray away from simplicity.

  17. Dante
    Dante | September 22nd, 2016
    0

    I'm just waiting for another term before there is a database, bc people want to stray away from simplicity.

  18. Fanon
    Fanon | September 23rd, 2016
    0
    ColumbusGuy

    Who are 'they'?

    Idk, you tell me…
    [​IMG]

  19. J | September 29th, 2016
    0

    Good article. Maybe I don’t need to write that HuffPo article I was talking about.

    That queer shit is a deal breaker for me and feels like somebody who you coming to help save from drowning now climbing on top your head. Just when we’re coming around to the word gay, and trying to be more supportive in spite of major problem differences between POC and privileged overbearing white non-heteroseuals, now this, . Now many people who are privately SGL won’t want shit to do with gay shit.

    Did you see how Rolling Stone ran a whole article calling Frank Ocean queer and that he “redefines pop queerness”? Their quote: the new album “is queer in the word’s truest sense: nonconforming, elusive, boundless. It celebrates the intangible, the strange. It doesn’t play by the rules.” !
    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/how-frank-oceans-blonde-redefines-pop-queerness-w435732

    Man I would’ve been so pissed off. Unless a person self-defines as that, nobody including the media has any right to call another person that.

  20. GNerd2012
    GNerd2012 | November 2nd, 2016
    0

    I am so glad that I found this website. I thought I was the only one getting tired of hearing that label “queer.” It’s anyone’s right to identify how they wish, but it infuriates me to see that same cycle of “word-reclaiming” when it’s been proven to never work (bitch, nigga, and now queer). Even a close friend of mine has been trying to identify as “faggot” and make that word something positive. Smh.
    Emotions aside, I don’t have a problem with the Black, non-heterosexual community trying to find new euphemisms for themselves. We all deserve some kind of positive label and affirmations for ourselves, but I just wish most of us would take the time to think about what we are getting ourselves into instead of rushing into the next trendy word.
    P.S I don’t understand why “SGL” is all of a sudden a new word that was coincidentally invented by this random guy most of us has never heard of in the 90s. If you read publications printed pre-1990s on homosexuals, the term “same-gender attraction” was used frequently. Calling ourselves “same-gender loving” is only a minor deviation, and defeats the purpose of trying to be independent from the white gay community’s labels; although I do not know why everyone is so vehemently against the white gay community when they’re the ones who’ll have your back the quickest when the anti-gay laws and attacks go off. No one except black and white gays care about the African homosexuals being witch-hunted and murdered in Uganda….




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