Queer is not a slur.
Not when used as a self-identification, and not when used as an umbrella term within the community, at least.
See, here’s the thing: The most common identifier used by bi, pan, and trans people to describe their sexuality? Queer.
Given that multiple studies have shown that bi people alone comprise about half the community, that makes it by far the most common term we use to describe ourselves.
What’s more, it’s not just an identifier: it’s a rallying cry. It’s a banner the whole community has assembled under forever. “We’re here, we’re queer” is a cliché for a reason. It’s a statement of power, and of pride - yes, we’re weird. We don’t fit into the “acceptable” categories cisheteronormative society gives us. And that’s a good thing. It’s a call to demolish those “acceptable” boxes, to build a world we’re all part of.
Its rejection is a relatively recent move by the same homonationalism that brought us “Bi people don’t belong,” the thrilling sequel “Trans people don’t belong,” and the stunning conclusion “Ace people don’t belong.” It’s a deliberate strategy employed by respectability politicians seeking a seat at the table - taking the work we’ve put in and distancing themselves from us so they can tell the straights “We deserve your respect because we’re just like you! We even hate queers!”
(And don’t think it’s a coincidence that the community suddenly forgot the massive, massive overlap between “queer” and “poly” when building the very self-conscious image of two clean-cut upper-middle-class smiling young professional men or women either. Anything that wasn’t “respectable” enough had to go. My deepest thanks to the person who pointed this out.)
In the rush for our place in an oppressive hell, we’ve lost our revolutionary edge, lost our fire, and lost a lot of what drove us in the first place. Fuck. That.
I’m queer, and you will never take that away from me.