Jeanna Eichenbaum

The history of the English language use of the word “Queer” dates back to sixteenth century England. It originally meant “strange,” “peculiar,” “odd,” or “eccentric.” In the late nineteenth century, it came to be used as a pejorative to describe effeminate men or men who took a passive, receptive position in regards to sexual activity with other men. Reclamation of the term began in the mid 1980s, with use by the group “Queer Nation” in its manifesto, challenging both hetero and homo-normative ideas of assimilation. The Urban Dictionary goes on to add that queer is an identity that has been taken back, causing the word to be more inclusive of the whole of the LGBT community, and/or used to be specifically vague and non-specific about sexual orientation; an identity used because terms like “gay,” “lesbian,” and “bisexual” are not sufficient to describe one’s inner feelings… continue reading.

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