I’ve come to embrace the Q in LGBTQ, but it didn’t happen easily or quickly.
I rarely see the acronym LGBT now without the Q added.
Through the years I’ve discovered that sexuality is expressed in so many more ways than I once knew existed. For me, “queer” works as a good umbrella word for describing alternative sexuality.
In the work and writing that I do, many also describe themselves as questioning. The Q works for them, too.
I do believe it is a generational issue. Here on Medium, LGBTQ has 46,000 followers while LGBT has only 4000.
At 77-years-old, I’m in the generation most likely to have been abused by the word “queer,” and the least likely to accept it now. When we were young, it was about the only epithet that was hurled at us other than “sissy.”
I wouldn’t describe myself as an activist, and I don’t try to force anyone else to use it. But I understand why the Q in LGBTQ is so important to many people.
In my friendship of contemporaries, I don’t see anyone particularly traumatized by its use. It’s the same with the word, “Faggot.”
Words don’t traumatize people; people traumatize people. It is people who weaponize words.