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What does it mean to be Queer?

186 Answers
Last Updated: 11/26/2021 at 5:41am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, BSc Psychology (Honours)


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
July 27th, 2018 5:13am
To be queer means that you're not cisgender and heterosexual. Whether that means you're a lesbian, gay, bi, pan, ace, aro, an enby, or anything in between, you're queer, just because you're not cishet.
July 29th, 2018 11:51pm
If feel queer is an umbrella term used to describe sexual and gender identities "outside of the norm" by society's standards (heterosexual/heteroromantic, cisgender). So as long as you are not all of these you are queer. A cis lesbian would be just as queer as a trans lesbian, for example, since they are out of the cishet category
August 1st, 2018 12:11pm
Being queer is when you're not cis-gender or straight or hetero-romantic. So to say it easy: being queer is the opposite of being straight, "non-normative" as wikipedia would say. So being queer means that you're part of the lgbtq+ specturm
August 8th, 2018 8:57pm
For me, Queer means whatever I feel like on that particular day! One of the benefits of a catch-all term like "Queer" as opposed to "Bisexual" or "Gay", or even "Homosexual" is that it allows me the chance to continue to evolve without having to continually change how I label my sexuality.
August 10th, 2018 12:29am
It means you don't identify as a specific sexuality. Some people also use it as a word encompassing all LGBT+ people, but it depends on who you ask. If someone wants to be called queer, it is completely their choice.
August 11th, 2018 5:20pm
That's difficult to explain because people have multiple explanations. I interpret it as follows: to be anything in the LGBTQ+ spectrum, yet to be nothing. Does that make sense?
September 6th, 2018 10:25pm
To me, being queer means being part of the LGBTQ+ community, and being myself. It's the only word that really fits for me. It encompasses my gender identity, as well as my sexual orientation. For me it gives me almost a sense of self, and belonging, and it makes me feel comfortable. I find it's a really good label for me because otherwise, I have to use too many different ones and things get complicated! Like, it's much easier for me to say queer, than a "panromantic, polysexual, trans masculine non-binary person" but queer can mean whatever you want it to mean for you! If you feel it fits, go for it!
October 27th, 2018 9:18pm
Typically Queer indicates that you have a different sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression than what is mainstream. It is sometimes used as a condescending word, but have luckily in newer time been taken back and used by individuals within the LBGTQIA+ community about themselves in a positive manner. Subjects regarding the community often go by "queer theory" and the community itself by "queer-community". If you have a sexuality or gender identity that is more unknown or if you don't feel safe disclosing the exact nature of your identity, the word queer is a good way to indicate that your identity is not mainstream, but without having to disclose every detail of your personal-life to a stranger to explain it. It is a beautiful word and should only be used with positivity and love in mind!
November 3rd, 2018 5:00pm
Being queer is not a choice. Some people are born queer and are openly out, some people realised in their later years, there is not a unique way of being queer. Being queer can mean being Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Non-Binary, Asexual, Bisexual, Demisexual, Intersexed and so on.... It is an umbrella term to indicate somebody is somewhere on the LGBTQAI+ spectrum. If somebody comes out as Queer to you, it is important to stay sensible : Coming out is always a process that takes a lot of energy and courage and queer people still experience discrimation, support is the best answer. If you're queer and find yourself in a difficult situation, you can reach your local queer community, or even try to find some help online : there is a group chat for LGBTQ+/MOGII Support on 7 cups, and some listeners are specialised in LGBTQ+ issues.
November 29th, 2018 8:22pm
If you are talking in the sexuality way, to be queer is to be homosexual. If you are queer, you also identify as gay or bisexual. You are not straight. Being queer is not a bad thing. It can be confusing, and there may be a lot of hurt that comes with it. If you are queer, or someone else is, it is helpful to surround yourself with people who are accepting and understand. Like I said before, there is nothing wrong with being queer or gay or any other sexuality. You love who you love. It doesn't matter and no one should hate you for it.
January 3rd, 2019 11:16pm
Queer is used as an umbrella term, some times it is also used as a non umbrella term, queer can be used when you feel as if you don't fit into any other sexual identity or label or don't wish to fully use a label. As the umbrella term queer means anyone inside of the lgbt+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transexual plus) community. Whlist queer used to be used as an insult we changed it into an umbrella term, it is still being used as an insult and should be used as an umbtell a term with care. Hope I could help, if you need any other help message or ask me -pop
January 22nd, 2019 3:26am
For me personally, being queer means not really exactly fitting any of the other LGBTQ+ identity labels. For example, I I am attracted more than 90% of the time to other women. However, there is a very rare chance when I am attracted to a man. While lesbian doesn't really fit because I can be attracted to multiple genders, I don't really feel like bisexual fits either because of the disparity between my attraction to CIS men and women. Throw gender nonconforming folks into the mix which I am attracted to as well and attraction doesn't seem as clear cut as one may think. Queerness as an identity for me helps bridge that gap between what is logical and what is not. I hope that makes some sort of sense.
January 23rd, 2019 6:02pm
To be Queer is to be Queer, It's an umbrella term. It can mean anything, if people can't find a label they go with Queer. Don't call someone Queer unless they identify as it, because someone could take it as an insult if they don't. I identify as Gay, because I'm a men who likes men. But, I'm still technically queer even if I don't identify as it, you can be l, g or b and still use queer. But, if someone has a very specific sexuality queer is the perfect term. If you like nonbinary girls and cis guys, for example, Queer is probably the term for you.
February 2nd, 2019 12:09am
The word Queer has been used as a slur in the past but is slowly starting to be reclaimed by individuals who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Many do not feel comfortable with using this word while others do. It's really up to the individual and how they feel regarding this word. It often is more respectful if you didn't refer to someone else as Queer unless you knew that they were comfortable with it. The reason for doing so is again because some still may not be ready to reclaim that slur to associate themselves with it. Basically the word Queer can be used as an umbrella term for someone who is part of the LGBTQ+ community. I hope that I was able to answer your question to the fullest of my ability.
April 10th, 2019 6:57pm
All Queer means is that you are not a heterosexual (straight) cisgender (your gender identity matches the one you were assigned at birth). Like "gay", Queer was originally used as an insult, but was taken over by the LGBTQIA+ community. It's actually what the Q in LGBTQIA+ stands for. Genderqueer is another common term. It basically means the same thing as non-binary. Genderqueer people do not consider themselves male or female, but rather neither, both, or a combination of the two. This is a simplification of the Genderqueer community. There is a lot of information and facts about what it means to be nonbinary or genderqueer, and I don't have time to explain them all. If you want to know more, a quick google search will turn up a lot of good information. I hope I was able to help answer your question!
May 10th, 2019 11:27pm
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities such as gay, trans, nonbinary, pansexual etc. It is considered by some to be offensive as it is a reclaimed slur but most young LGBT people are comfortable with it and it's becoming more and more popular as a catch-all term for anyone who isn't cisgender (the gender they were assigned at birth) and heterosexual (sexually attracted to the opposite gender) and heteroaromatic (romantically attracted to the opposite gender). The word does have a sketchy history though so older folks sometimes are uncomfortable with it so just be careful where you use it. Hope this helps, Ency.
June 6th, 2019 9:20am
To be queer means different things to different people, and it’s okay for it to mean what you need it to—that’s the beauty of it. For me, it means belonging to a community under the reclaimed umbrella term that accepts and celebrates diversity and encourages each of its members to be themselves at the pace that fits them/is safe for them. It’s freedom to express and feel my identity as valid and connect with others who make it safe, as well as a way to signal to those who might need it that I’ll always be that safe space for them too.
July 31st, 2019 5:40pm
To me, queer is an umbrella term for the LGBTQ+ community. To me, it just means that you fall somewhere on the spectrum of gay, bisexual, pansexual etc. However queer can hold different meanings and connotations for different people. For example, the word queer used to be used as a derogatory slur, like the word 'faggot', because queer also meant 'strange' or 'odd'. However, many in the LGBTQ+ community have now reclaimed the word queer and use it in affection to describe themselves and their LGBTQ+ friends. In fact, some say that the Q in LGBTQ stands for queer, while others say it stands for questioning. Whichever way, queer can mean many things, depending on who you ask, but is generally a term that refers to someone on the LGBTQ spectrum.
August 14th, 2019 1:07am
While the general definition might include something considered out of the mainstream or odd to the majority, would there really be any definitive answer to that question? Wouldn't everybody, in one way or another, be considered queer or odd by others, at times? ... I'm not so sure there can be one definitive answer to this, as personalities are entirely unique and individual. One person's experience, while similar in some ways to others, cannot possibly be entirely parallel. And would any definition claiming to be as definitive REALLY include all the unique idiosyncrasies that would be all inclusive under the term?
September 14th, 2019 8:58pm
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender. Originally meaning "strange" or "peculiar", queer came to be used pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late 19th century.The meaning of 'queer' has changed a lot over the past few decades. From being a slur, to being reclaimed by some LGBT people and rejected by others, 'queer' means many different things to many different people. ... Like the word Gay used to mean “happy”, queer used to mean “strange” or “different”. Queer is a word that describes sexual and gender identities other than straight and cisgender. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people may all identify with the word queer.
October 9th, 2019 5:15am
Queer can mean a whole lot of things to different people, but generally queer being the q in lbgtqi+ has a balance of meaning. When one begins to understand that he/she may not be opposite sex attracted, their process can go a whole myriad of different directions. There's a lot of possible denial. For example 'I can't be different to my community, that will make life hard' So one could try convince oneself to not be anything other than heteronormative. Or sometimes when one decides "ok, I am same sex attracted" it could still not fit exactly right, we could be Bi or even come to the conclusion that we aren't actually attracted to anyone. So that process of figuring out who we are could lead a person to label as queer - "im not sure yet but I am definitely not straight." Another meaning of queer can be how we behave irrelevant of our sexuality. I grew up identifying as straight, but was perfectly happy wearing dresses, having long hair, and behaving in non traditional "man" type ways. It had nothing to do with me feeling like a woman or at that stage being attracted to men or women, i just wasn't concerned with sticking with my cultural gender norms. So i could have been labelled a little bit queer. A little bit off the traditional. So one can behave queer. One could label as queer as being in between understanding and conclusion. Or one could label as queer to announce to others that you dont want to be boxed into any of the other labels.
October 15th, 2019 3:23pm
Do you know the Hufflepuff house from Harry Potter and the Hermes house from Percy Jackson? Being Queer is kind of like being in those two houses. On one hand, you may not know what your identity is yet, but you know you are LGBTQIA+. That is like being in the Hermes house (house of tricksters and travelers) when you first arrive at Camp Half Blood in Percy Jackson. And on the other hand, you may already know you don't quite fit the definitions of any of the other identities and are just sort of your own thing. That is like being in the Hufflepuff house, a house for people who do not quite fit into any of the other houses, at Hogwarts in Harry Potter.
October 17th, 2019 4:43pm
Queer by definition is to be strange or odd, courteous of Google. But in my eyes to be Queer is so much more then that. As a member in the queer community I see it as amazing. It is not strange to me and I get excited when I see someone on the scale. Sure, it is not very seen in my community, some consider it bad, but it is amazing. Queer means to me as confidence. I mean it is hard being different, I know that for a fact and the people in that community can sometimes question even themselves, I know I have. I also see it as strength. I mean you gotta be pretty strong in what you believe in, in order to be you. There is so much more that queer means to me. Queer is stunning and amazing and if you are queer then you are amazing. If you are not and support it, thank you so much, I really appreciate it. Remember this, I would rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I am not, I don't know the author, sorry. You are beautiful and amazing!!
October 26th, 2019 6:27pm
Being queer in my opinion, is anyone who isn’t cisgendered and/or heterosexual, it is anyone who isn’t the average person, who has something different about their sexuality and/or gender. Eg, gay, lesbian, genderqueer, transgender. However some people, particularly the older generation of the lgbtq community may not like being called queer and do not identify with that label which is totally fine, as for years it was used as a slur against our community. So, in short, queer people are anyone that is in the lgbtq community although not everybody identifies with this term, so be respectful of people’s boundaries.
November 8th, 2019 6:32pm
Being queer means being any person in the LQBTQ+ community. You can be gay, lesbian, asexual,trans, or anything from that community and you will be queer.a term predominantly used by the LGBTQ community to stake a contrast from mainstream, heteronormative society.queer is an umbrella term that can be used by anyone under the LGBTQ spectrum. Queer conveys both an orientation and a sense of community. The word queer is sometimes used as a derogatory term but the reclamation of the word is like, ‘This is who I am. We don’t need to be like everyone else; let’s celebrate our differences, and don’t try to put me in any sort of box of who you need me to be because I’ll continuously try to break down the boxes.” It is worth noting that while the word queer is generally celebrated, some LGBTQ folks still prefer to avoid it due to its discriminatory history.
November 17th, 2019 10:39am
Being queer simply means that you don't follow societal norms, with your gender identity or sexuality. It used to be used as a derogatory term against member of the LGBTQ+ community, but has since been "retaken" by the community. The use of the word Queer by the LGBTQ+ community is often used to show that they don't care if people call them names, and they are proud of who they are. Though it can still be a difficult word to use/hear for some people, it is a word of empowerment for others. If we go back to basics, Queer simply means homosexuality, however it has a much more powerful meaning to so many.
November 20th, 2019 9:03pm
Being queer means your in the LGBTQ community. Everyone one of them is queer if you are gay or nonbinary. Some people choose to identify as just queer. Many reasons could make someone want to do this. So queer is the umbrella term for everyone, in the LGBTQ community. I have a friend who goes by queer, because they are nonbinary and like women. But even cis people could go by it. If you have a confusing identity that doesn't fit in one category it could be used. It is very broad, so there isn't one thing that it means, it means a lot of things.
November 22nd, 2019 6:54am
The textbook definition for queer is basically an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or are not cisgender. In simpler words, being queer means you identify as non straight or/and not the set gender you're born into the biological body of. Which means if you identify as bisexual, homosexual, pan sexual, gender fluid, transgender, etc. you're queer. Although some had attempted to incorporate heterosexuals into the ''queer'' category, essentially labeling straight people as queer heterosexuals, it was met with a wide range of criticism, as the queer community wants to keep it as a symbol of their pride.
November 24th, 2019 11:00pm
Being Queer is when you are not cis, nor straight. Being cis means that you have been assigned a gender and you still identify with the same one. Being straight means you are attracted (romantically and/or sexually) to the opposite gender. So, if any of those things don't apply to you or someone, you/they are, by definition Queer. Though, it is important to note that "queer" was originally an insult, that was reclaimed by the community. Some people in the community might not like being called as such. The word "queer" in arts and culture refers to a category of non-conforming people.
December 6th, 2019 11:22am
anybody who doesn't feet into known gender identities or sexual orientations (or not considered normal and usual) are called queer, in lgbtq+ it is used for people who won't fit into any of the other subcommunities but it can also be used for the whole lgbt community in some case...