Someone, after watching my It Gets Better video, asked me if it was okay to use the word queer. I appreciated the question. I know it’s not always easy to know what is “right” or politically okay–AND it also varies from person to person, depending, of course, on their experiences, their backgrounds, their ways of thinking.
I self-identify as a lesbian woman, as queer, as a dyke. I’ve preferred “lesbian” for a lot of years. I am lesbian. I don’t identify as “gay” because to me that means a gay man–and I feel like, as so often happens in our society, women are left out of the picture. It took me many years, but I finally reclaimed the word “dyke”, and, years after that, “queer.” I think of it as reclaiming–loving and embracing words that other people have used to hurt me (and others). Knowing that if, to me, they simply mean I’m a woman who loves women (or one woman) then it doesn’t have the same power to hurt me, and can be healing. They feel like positive words to me now–and I’m glad of that.
That’s my personal take on it. It will vary among others.
What’s your take on it?
P.S. Thank you so much everyone who’s been sharing my It Gets Better video! It’s very important to me, and I really appreciate your helping to spread the word!