You guys, I fail at writing Fabulous Friday posts on time. I’m skipping it this week, but I promise it’ll be back next week.
I love Out Magazine’s interview with Ezra Miller, in which he identifies himself as queer.
“I’m queer. I have a lot of really wonderful friends who are of very different sexes and genders. I am very much in love with no one in particular.”
He goes on to use the term “zefriend” in addition to “boyfriend” and “girlfriend,” in describing who he might date or be attracted to. I love this kid!
Miller’s choice to use the word “queer” is an important one. When we first started QueerPHC, we had a conversation about what we would call the site. We batted around the idea of calling it “LGBT PHC” but decided that it was too acronym-heavy. “Queer” is also used regularly in academia, in the context of classes on “queer studies,” something we very much lacked at Patrick Henry College. We also didn’t want to inadvertently leave out any group of people that fell under the queer umbrella but were not covered under the LGBT acronym.
And that’s ultimately why we use the word “queer” so much on this site. It’s a radically inclusive term: whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, questioning, intersex, asexual, poly, pansexual, genderqueer, a cross-dresser, or any one of a number of identities that stands in contrast to the heteronormative mainstream, we want you to feel included here.
But we also recognize that the word “queer” has a painful history as a slur used to marginalize and hurt the LGBTQ community. Please know that our use of the word is not meant to gloss over or brush aside decades of ongoing heterosexist and cissexist oppression.
Instead, our use of the word “queer” is a conscious decision to be “in your face” to those who would suppress our sexual orientations or gender identities. It’s a conscious decision to stand in solidarity with those who are very different from ourselves, but who share similar goals in that we all want the world to acknowledge our innate human rights, and our freedoms of expression. It’s a conscious decision to reclaim a word that our families, our schools, and our churches have used to tell us that our kind is “less than.”
And this is why we applaud Miller’s use of the word “queer” in defining himself. Queer-positivity lets queer kids of all stripes know that they don’t have to find a specific label under the queer umbrella before they can begin living and loving as themselves.