What does "Queer" actually mean?

Queer is a term that many in the LGBTQIA+ community use to define themselves. But how is it actually defined?

Katie Siddall
14th February 2022
The adjective "queer" comes with many connotations, both, positive and negative. The Oxford English Dictionary's first definition of "Queer" is "Strange, odd, peculiar, eccentric, in appearance or character. Also, of questionable character, suspicious, dubious."

How would you define "queer"?

I don't agree with the OED's definition - especially as it is the first definition, creating an instant negative reaction. I personally know people that have their own definition within the LGTBQIA+ community, all of which are positive. Some people label themselves as queer, others say they are part of the queer community within the LGBTQIA+ community. Dove Cameron has come out to say she's "super queer", making this a very positive connotation of the word "queer".

Yet, some describe themselves as queer as they don't believe they fit into society. Those that feel as though they don't fit into society are not necessarily within the LGBTQIA+ community; they may just feel as though they are odd. It just happens that the adjective has become common within the LGBTQIA+ community more so than other communities.

I don't have a definition myself, I say I belong to this adjective - or more accurately - this adjective belongs to me.

Whilst writing this article I am surrounded by those who are not apart of the LGBTQIA+ community so decided to ask them on their opinions. They came back with the general agreement that they don't feel entitled to give it a definition and they believe there are people who are in a better position to define it.

I don't have a definition myself, I say I belong to this adjective - or more accurately - this adjective belongs to me. I am queer and I'm happy that I'm queer; but within this I don't say that I am because I say that I'm bisexual. It becomes a complicated matter to define this term even when you are associated with it.

Feature Image Credit: @SandCrain, Unsplash

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