Am I gay or queer?

Your point is taken, Belinda. But you're wrong about one thing: I actually embrace the word "queer" for precisely the reasons you've suggested. However, many in my generation reject the word because of its pejorative use in the era of our youth.

I no longer see sexuality as a spectrum, but a matrix of infinite descriptions. For you and for me, "queer" is that large umbrella than incorporates all those variations. Alas, a lot of people aren't there yet, and may never be.

While "gay" is more generally accepted, it has, of course, been used pejoratively as well. "That's so gaaay" is hurled at kids every day. Word choices do evolve as our society evolves.

"Homosexual" was removed as a favored usage because of its historic and clinical associations. Acronyms have expanded beyond usefulness. "Queer" is meeting a great deal of resistance. Heterosexuals are far less alike than they assume they are, but they don't seem to find a need for sub-categories.

I would hope that someday we might get to the point where we can accept without judgment that everyone is a sexual being and how we express that is an individual matter. Until we get to that point, any term we use is bound to "erase" someone.

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