April 13, 2022

What We Mean When We Say ‘Queer’

What We Mean When We Say ‘Queer’

As we know, the Q in LGBTQ+ stands for queer (or questioning).

A word that has so long been used as an insult has been reclaimed by the community; it is being increasingly normalised as a term that encapsulates all LGBTQIA+ identities.

In the words of Learning for Justice, “Reclamation is messy. The word 'queer' holds, in its history, both pain and empowerment. It has been a dagger and a hug, a dismissal and a welcome sign, a put-down and a motivation to stand up and march.”

The LGBTQ+ community—by definition—encompasses a diverse range of identities and experiences.

Many members of the community contest this normalisation of the word

'queer'. Some say it’s been an insult and justification for hate crimes for too long, and certainly some people still use it in a negative, insulting sense, which we absolutely condemn.

At Voda, we use 'queer' only with respect and pride.

To us, it’s a word used to encapsulate the range of identities in our community and positively reclaim on a word that’s historically been used against us.

To us, it means any identity that describes sexual orientations or gender identities that are not exclusively heterosexual or cisgender.

We will continue to use the terms ‘queer’ and ‘LGBTQ+’ interchangeably.

Queerness can be a verb, noun and adjective.

It resists categories, seeks expansive thinking and existing beyond what is expected.

In the words of the famous Stonewall riots chant:

"We're here, we're queer, get over it!"

Designed with leading LGBTQIA+ psychotherapists, Voda combines mindfulness with cognitive behavioural therapy to develop digital therapy programs centred for the LGBTQIA+ community.

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