I’ve read quite a few posts from either viewpoint and so far I’ve kept my mouth shut on how I feel about this because I didn’t want to polarize - but lately I’ve seen more and more of the “but it’s a slur!!!” arguments and couldn’t take it anymore. I went on a twitter rant but promised to make a more organized and put together post so here we go. (it got quite long, I apologize)
there are a lot of wonderful posts about this out there already but I decided to still mention the points made there because honestly the more people hear it the better. feel free to approach me and I’ll link you to some of those other posts!
as a little backstory: I’m from Germany - aka a non-English speaking country and that actually plays a part in it but more on that later. I’m in my mid-twenties and I’ve identified as queer for about 7ish years now. I used to be very well connected in the community, especially the trans community and had some older friends who were there in the beginnings of our (German) community. so I know the history.
okay so, I’m just gonna list some points now in no particular order:
1. yes. queer is used as a slur. so is gay. so are basically all the other identities we have. because some straight people are assholes and are afraid of everything that’s different. BUT. queer has been reclaimed AGES ago. our forebearers fought long and hard to take it BACK from the straight people who stole it to hurt us. freely handing it over to our opposers now would be nothing short of trampling on our community’s history and invalidating the sacrifices the generations before us have made. also. “queer history”, “queer cinema”, “queer studies” are all legitimate (academical) terms. academics don’t cuss in their descriptors (and college courses).
2. queer is so much more inclusive than lgbt(+) or any of those acronyms. sure you could go lgbtqiaapf… but honestly that’s getting a bit ridiculous and frankly confusing. so for the sake of this argument we’ll stick with the “original” acronym LGBT. it mentions all of four identities. FOUR. out of the multitudes there are. I personally happen to have one of my identities mentioned there. that’s not a lot. but still, it’s something. my aroace nonbinary friend doesn’t have any. “but there’s the plus!” you say. great. a plus. lovely. how would you feel being represented by a plus that doesn’t tell you anything about what it actually means? exactly. that’s not representation at all. who tf even knows what that plus means. no mention of nonbinary people, fluid people, pan people, ace people, aro people, and the list goes on and on. that’s why it’s an amazing umbrella term. everyone can find a place in it.
3. it’s welcoming. this point is kind of tied to my second one but it’s important in its own right so I decided to give it its own number. it’s welcoming to questioning people. you know you’re different? not straight? but are you pan? are you bi? are you ace? or maybe aro? are you trans? are you non-binary? who the fuck even knows. it’s hard. I’ve been through multiple of these and it SUCKS. so having a community who goes “hey we don’t care how exactly you identify, we don’t mind if you haven’t figured it out you, you have a place here, you’re safe here and no one is gonna police your identity or gatekeep you” is super important. trust me.
4. it’s often easier. if I want to let somebody know I’m “not straight” without going into the details of my identity, queer is just a lot simpler and the other person will immediately understand what I mean. sometimes I just don’t wanna let somebody know all of my identities. sometimes I really don’t feel like educating people on all the terms I use. but I still want to let them know I’m part of the community. and honestly sometimes saying “hi so I’m a pansexual gray-aro gender-nonconforming trans guy” is too tiresome/long. “hi I’m queer” is concise and understandable to pretty much everyone. sure, if you’re a cis gay dude, lesbian or bisexual person you can just use one of those words - good for you (no really, it is good for you and I’m happy you have these terms). but who tf (that isn’t as deep in the community as I am and/or on tumblr) is gonna know what I mean when I talk about my identity? fucking no one. you can’t really use “I’m LGBT” as a descriptor for yourself. saying “I’m gay” doesn’t work either cause then a) I might feel weird cause I don’t actually identify as gay and b) there’s gonna be shouts of “but you’re not gay, you’re not allowed to use that word!” - well what am I gonna use then? exactly. QUEER. that’s where my nationality comes in as well. here no one knows what the fuck ace / aro, nb or even pan is. but they know what queer is. it’s like that in a lot of the non-english speaking world. get out of your US sometimes, folks.
5. this one is near and dear to me. queer is so much more than just an identifier telling people you’re not straight. it’s more than a label. more than a community. especially in the beginnings of our history it was most often used to denote that you’re different. you’re not the norm. and you don’t wanna be. you’re proud of being different. you’re celebrating being different and you’re not ashamed of it. it means you don’t want to assimilate, don’t want to emulate the “normal” lifestyle, don’t want to be that “well, he has a husband but you know, he’s not really gay, he’s just like us” guy. (nothing wrong with having a house with a picket fence and two children though, okay, I never said that! I actually want that myself) the celebration of difference has always been a strong suit in our community. and personally for many of us. this is where my other “oddities” and differences interwine with my queer identity. I suffer from anxiety. I’m kinky. I’m a witch, I’m questioning my religious beliefs, I don’t give a fuck about gender roles and I’m just a general oddball. and that’s how I LIKE IT. I’m good that way. heck, I’m fucking GREAT that way.
there are quite a few more arguments to be made for the word queer but these are the ones I feel are most important.
so yes, I’ve identified as queer for a long while and I will continue to do so. as well as use it as an umbrella term for our community. if you personally come up to me and ask me not to use the word queer for you specifically of course I’ll accept that - but don’t you dare tell me how I can and cannot identify myself and my community. as cis gays and lesbians you might not need the word queer. and that’s good for you. (no really, it is). but as someone who isn’t one of these things, for so many of us, queer is a word we desperately need (for the reasons listed above and more). so PLEASE don’t take it from us. a lot of work and love went into that word and it would be devastating to lose all that love and hope and sacrifice. we must not let this divide us. we must stay strong as a community, ALL of us, especially in the current times.
so no, I have never nor will I ever tag my identity as a slur and I urge you not to either. if for personal reasons queer is a triggering word for you, there are countless ways to get around that (just like with any other trigger - use tumblr savior, xkit or any other of those options). but don’t ruin it for the rest of us.
this has obviously just been my very personal opinion - feel free to add on to this! I welcome discussion about it - with people who agree with me but also people who disagree - the only thing I ask is to please stay civil and not to become personally attacking. thank you. sorry for making such a long and personal post but I just had to after all this time.
so to end this with an all time classic: WE’RE HERE, WE’RE QUEER, DEAL WITH IT.
Okay so hear me out, Nesta has Borderline Personality Disorder.
This excerpt, which I got from here, shows multiple symptoms of the disorder:
You only need to have five of the following to be diagnosed:
Fear of abandonment.
Unclear or unstable self-image.
Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors.
Extreme emotional swings.
Chronic feelings of emptiness.
Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality.
The ones in bold are the ones she presents in this short passage alone.
Explosive anger is the first to show up in the passage, and there’s no arguing with it - she literally wants to ‘rip and roar and rend the world into pieces’.
Extreme emotional swings are presented next. She flits between hate, caring, loving, and read a) more than others, and b) flits between them ‘in a matter of moments’. I don’t think you can really argue with this one, either.
Unclear or unstable self-image is perhaps a little harder to see. She describes her emotional swings as ‘trying on different sets of clothes’. As someone who has BPD, and who has friends with BPD, and who has done her research on BPD, it’s pretty common to flit between personality traits, trying to figure out who you are, picking up traits you like here and there. This is, essentially, the sentiment Nesta is expressing.
Now, for the ones that aren’t shown in this passage, but Nesta clearly has:
Unstable relationships. Feyre and Nesta have always had a rocky relationship. One moment, Feyre believes that maybe things are going to be okay between her and Nesta, the next second Feyre’s like ‘oh shit, no they aren’t’. I don’t have my book on hand to look up quotes (I’ve leant my copy out) but… yeah, Feyre seems pretty mystified by Nesta. There’s also the fact that since BPD people feel things a lot more than others do (which Nesta does, ‘too keenly, too sharply […] more than other people’ they tend to care for people to extreme amounts. It can get obsessive. I’m not sure whether Nesta’s love for Elain is just sisterly or BPD levels, but the difference between her feelings about Feyre and Elain definitely hint at something.
Impulsive or self-destructive behaviours. You could probably argue that kneeing Cassian (one of the greatest immortal warriors of Prythian) in the balls is probably a bad idea, born from impulse and very self-destructive. He could literally kill her within seconds (had earlier on spoken of shattering every bone in a human’s body and how much he wanted to). Of course, he likes her, so he won’t but whether or not she knows or suspects it’s still very impulsive and reckless. Lashing out with violence is also part of the explosive anger thing.
I’m not sure which symptom ‘and no one could tell or care’ fits under, but it’s pretty common knowledge that BPD people constantly doubt themselves and whether or not people like them, etc, so this does showcase this kind of behaviour.
So basically, I’m pretty convinced that Nesta has BPD, and it’s not just because I want my favourite characters to be like me (which is, of course, part of it) but mostly because I genuinely do think she could have it.