Ok here we go. -braces self for 15,000 asks-
The word ‘queer’ is NOT not not not a description of a person’s sexuality or gender. Queerness is NOT a sexual preference or a gender ID that isn’t always considered ‘normal’. It is a reclaimed slur. For instance: I’m pansexual. That is the description of my sexual identity. I’m genderfluid. That is a description of my gender identity. Queer is neither. Queer is a slur that I have chosen to reclaim, one that has been used against me and people like me, a word that targets me. It’s my word to reclaim, I reclaim it. Not all gay/bi/pan/trans* people choose to reclaim it, but any gay/bi/pan/trans* person may choose to.
Queer is a reclaimed slur. Queer DOES NOT mean that people think you’re weird because of your sexuality. It’s unfortunate that straight people do have their sexual lives policed, but there’s a difference. Kinky straight cis people can’t reclaim queer, ever. Demi straight cis people can’t reclaim queer, ever. Cis (at the very least heteroromantic) aces can’t reclaim queer, ever. And the reason that they can’t reclaim it is because it is a slur that is aimed at the Ls, the Gs, the Bs, and the Ts. Perhaps there have been demis or aces that have heard ‘what are ya, queer?’ when they haven’t shown an ‘appropriate’ amount of attention to people presenting the opposite gender, but that’s a negative comparison to another person, not a slur aimed at asexual or demisexual people.
If somebody went into my ask box on anon and asked ‘what are you, a -insert racial slur aimed at PoC here-?’, that doesn’t give me the right as a white person to reclaim the slur. It may have been used in my general direction, but I’m not and can’t be the target of the slur. Of course race and sexuality/gender are different subjects, but that’s how slurs work. Only people who have been the target of them can reclaim them, and I’m not targeted by racial slurs. Heterosexual and heteroromantic people aren’t targeted by ‘queer’. I am.
That’s why. It’s that simple. Nobody is actually ‘queer’, because ‘queer’ is a slur, not a description. Of course, there are gay men, lesbians, bi-sexual folks, pansexual folks, and trans* peoples who choose to use it as a part of their/our identity in the empowering act of reclaiming the word, but this is what I need you to remember.
Although ‘queer’ has now (to a lot of LGBT folks) become an umbrella term for the community (and I have no problems with straight people referring to ‘the queer community’ as an umbrella term, although some LGBT folks do) it’s still a slur. Using it in a way that the actual queer community finds offensive is exactly what it sounds like. It’s using a slur against people who don’t have the privileges that you have.