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CRF Reflection: What Queer Means to Me

Posted October 4th, 2010 by mclaugke

There are many ways for one to identify in terms of sexuality such as straight, gay, lesbian, asexual, and so on. One word though, has many uses, like a Swiss army knife of sexuality, and that word is Queer. The word Queer allows someone to create their own context around sexuality. It gives people a tool to expand on constricting social scripts, and its flexibility can give a sense of comfort to know sexuality does not have to be static. I identify as Queer, and I still prefer women as my sexual partners. This change of identity happened over the summer.

One realization I had was that I don’t identify with stereotypes that come with being a “straight” man. I don’t find kinship with the stereotypical sporty womanizing guy who goes out drinking every weekend. I also dislike the social scripts that say, as a straight man, I am automatically precluded from noticing that other men look nice. So to circumvent this restriction, the identity Queer is useful to me.

Queer is usually associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in terms of sexual orientation. In my experience, the word Queer means more of a political statement against the boxes of sexual orientation, not just a replacement for LGB or T. The idea behind Queer as a political statement is to paint one’s own image of who they are and how they present themselves to the world. The idea that a person can be in control of their identity is a very powerful one.

One thing that I wasn’t expecting from this process was the reduction of stress in my day-to-day life. When I think of my sexuality as “straight” I feel a rise in anxiety, but when thinking of myself as Queer, I feel the ball of stress in my stomach disappear. In short, the word Queer has helped me feel more comfortable with myself because it is a better representation of who I am. I’m not the stereotypical male. I don’t like sports, the concept of working out repulses me, I don’t strive to have a popular body type, and most of all, I hate having to play macho to signal that I belong in a space. I am, however, a nerdy boy who likes to play with his computer, make obscure sci-fi jokes, and would rather have the company of friends rather than a cold exercise bike.

Queer is a word that means many things to many people. For some it is a word to be feared, and for others it is empowering. For me it’s home.

Padraic McGraw
Community Relations Facilitator-Southside

The comments shared by the Community Relations Facilitator program are strictly the point of view from the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of UHDS. If this article has inspired a desire to dialogue, the author, another CRF, and/or any Resident Assistant, Cooperative Director, or Resident Director would be happy to participate. Please contact (, UHDS Multicultural Resource Coordinator, to assist in making arrangements.

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