I have a question for the BBS community that has been bothering me for quite some time and I can’t really seem to find anything like consensus on. The word q***r in the past 5-10 years has taken on a radically different meaning than in decades past (though this clearly began some time ago as evidenced by the long-time inclusion in LGBTQ+). Much like the n-word, it has been reappropriated by the community it was (and still is) used to denigrate and marginalize. However, allies and supporters who are, to my knowledge, not a member of the LGBTQ+ community have also adopted it as a seemingly blanket term substituting for the awkward mouthful “LGBTQ+”. To wit:
I have searched for the answer in every nook of the internet I can think of, but I’ve hesitated to directly ask any of my LGBTQ+ friends for guidance unless it comes up in conversation naturally simply because it feels like a) asking an individual to answer for a wide-ranging community with disparate beliefs and interests as well as b) considering that community as a monolith that diminishes the nuance and complexity of the question. Even then I don’t really feel like I’ve gotten a good sense of the varying feelings surrounding it within the LGBTQ+ community (which is the only perspective that matters, IMO).
My stance at this moment is that, as a cis-gendered straight male, the word is absolutely off-limits to me the same way the n-word is as a white person. However, I also deeply respect @beschizza and know that he has probably done far more pondering on the question and has settled on the use out of thoughtful consideration and not just because he senses the changing tides and feels at liberty to do so.
Again, I understand the inherent unfairness of asking anyone from the LGBTQ+ community to give an authoritative answer, especially because there is none, but I also trust this community’s perspective and willingness to work through complex questions and would really like to hear varying perspectives on the matter.
Thanks in advance for the discourse and your patience with what I’m sure is a poorly-worded attempt at furthering my understanding and empathy.