I am new to the positive use of the word queer. The town I came from never really used it but I had heard older generations use it in a more negative manner, usually meaning "odd" or "weird". When I came to the U of M and noticed people embracing this term it took some getting used to, and honestly I'm still getting used to it. The introduction states that the term "exposes the inadequacy of the straight-gay binary" and this statement really makes a lot of sense to me. Like I said earlier, the town I came from never really used the word "queer", but when referring to sexuality always used one of three terms: gay, straight, or bi (meaning bisexual). Nobody even knew what "asexual" or "pansexual" were, and as far as gender was concerned you were either a guy or a girl, and there was no in between or changing of that. This kind of small town cultural paradigm left no room for the transgendered person, for the sexually fluid person, the pansexual, asexual, or otherwise. The word queer as an umbrella term offers a more flexible identity for those who are uncomfortable labeling as gay, straight, or bi and adhering to the rigid definitions of these labels.
Breaking the Binary
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