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It quickly became a frustrating ritual for me, a self-identified queer woman and someone with a graduate-level education in gender and queer studies, to constantly be in a position of educating.While, in 2019, it seemed to me and my direct group of friends and peers that queerness was a pretty widely accepted and understood term, as I started to dig a little deeper, it became obvious that many people are still uncomfortable with or don’t understand what being queer means.“More often than not, the interest I get from [heterosexual] men is fetishizing,” says Katie, 29.“I have gotten requests for wild sexual interactions as well as requests to be a ‘unicorn’ — a bi chick who sleeps with or dates couples.During the ’80s, LGBTQ people began reclaiming queer within the realities surrounding the AIDS crisis and many of the misconceptions surrounding it.By the 1990s, queerness started to gain academic notoriety through the work of queer studies scholar .Regardless of how someone identifies, they should not feel as if they have to compromise on their expectations for a relationship.
“My queerness is a pretty big part of my life, and even if I were in a relationship with a man, I’d still attend queer events, consume shitloads of queer media, and have mostly queer friends,” says Hannah, 22.
Being queer, like being gay or straight is not a choice.
It is a form of sexual identification and gender, and for some, the term even falls into a larger social and political stance.
When I started to disclose on my dating profile that I was queer, then matched with men, I was often met with questions about the meaning of the word “queer,” accusations, and even some astonishment.
Men would either ask me to explain what the term meant, incorrectly assume they knew exactly what it meant, or completely misidentify me.