Q to R - LGBTQIA Healthcare Guild

A-Z Index      A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z    #  




Originally a pejorative term for an effeminate gay man but often used acceptably as slang among LGBT people. Offensive when used as an epithet. Use only if there is a compelling reason.

Queer, Queer Theory, Gender Queer:

Queer: can be thought of as a broader movement that challenges concepts of normalcy and challenges conventional thinking.  Queer culture, in this context, embraces difference as uniqueness as opposed to difference as abnormality. (Note: a historically stigmatized word that is being reclaimed).  Other variations: Gender Queer, Queer Theory


1. An umbrella term which embraces a matrix of sexual preferences, orientations, and habits of the not-exclusively- heterosexual-and-monogamous majority. Queer includes lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transpeople, intersex persons, the radical sex communities, and many other sexually transgressive (underworld) explorers. 2. This term is sometimes used as a sexual orientation label instead of ‘bisexual’ as a way of acknowledging that there are more than two genders to be attracted to, or as a way of stating a non-heterosexual orientation without having to state who they are attracted to. 3. A reclaimed word that was formerly used solely as a slur but that has been semantically overturned by members of the maligned group, who use it as a term of defiant pride. ‘Queer’ is an example of a word undergoing this process. For decades ‘queer’ was used solely as a derogatory adjective for gays and lesbians, but in the 1980s the term began to be used by gay and lesbian activists as a term of self-identification. Eventually, it came to be used as an umbrella term that included gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. Nevertheless, a sizable percentage of people to whom this term might apply still hold ‘queer’ to be a hateful insult, and its use by heterosexuals is often considered offensive. Similarly, other reclaimed words are usually offensive to the in-group when used by outsiders, so extreme caution must be taken concerning their use when one is not a member of the group.

Queer Theory:

In recent years, the work of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)--and some heterosexual--scholars has increasingly come to be grouped under the umbrella term queer theory. Drawing upon the earlier work of feminists and gay and lesbian studies, queer theory challenges implicit assumptions that underlie conventional, binary categories like "masculinity/femininity," or "homosexuality/heterosexuality." Queer theorists usually seek to challenge cultural norms, seen as oppressive, by "deconstructing" the implicit assumptions upon which such norms are based. Queer theorists' writings draw attention to the ways in which identities (including but not limited to sexual identities) can be socially constructed through history, language and custom, usually arguing that these identities do not arise from biological (essentialist) factors.


The questioning of one's gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or all three is a process of exploration by people who may be unsure, still exploring, and concerned about applying a social label to themselves for various reasons. The letter "Q" is sometimes added to the end of the acronym LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender).


The systematic subordination of targeted racial groups (Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Chicanos, API, etc.) who have relatively little social power in the United States, by members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites).

Rainbow Flag:

A flag of six equal horizontal stripes (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet) symbolizing the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

Crisis Information crisis.htmlcrisis.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0