The Huffington Post has changed their category “gay voices” to “queer voices”. They’ve stirred up a big controversy and apparently lost some readers. Queer, in one sense of the word, means “odd or strange” which is causing a problem since a part of the battle has been to normalize being open about sexuality, even if it isn’t considered the ‘default’.
In my entire life I might have heard the word queer used to mean strange once or twice, usually from older teachers at my high school. I’ve read it often enough, but even then, usually in the context of sexuality.
Huffpost’s writers have addressed the name change in their own ways. James Michael Nichols, the Deputy Editor for Queer Voices, shared his backstory in defense of the word, as did Julie Tarney. They don’t and can’t speak for everyone, but that, according to Sarah Prager, seems to be sort of the point.
There is nothing that can make everyone happy. Some of us don’t particularly care what we’re called, but others really do.
I fit into the less-than-broad category of aromantic polyamorous pansexual submissive. I fit into the somewhat broader category of bisexual. (Most people know what that one is) I use the term bisexual when I’m first meeting someone, unless it’s a someone who sends up every single creeper flag in which case I will politely step away from his or her van and explain that unfortunately I’m interested exclusively in another gender.
I understand objections to the word queer, and I understand objections to the word gay. There’s a lot left to discuss about sexuality and not all of it has been successfully understood even by people who spend their entire lives and careers working on this issue specifically.
Which is why Huffington Post’s Queer Voices (LGBTQA+ whatever you want to call it) is so important. We have a LOT to figure out and a lot left to fight for. The Huffington Post has been a reputable source for information and the name shouldn’t matter as much as their platform does.
There are other sites that cover the same stories, but the Huffington Post has been one that has a lot of notoriety and they cover a lot of ground.
Also, let’s be honest, you’ll read the stories and care more about those than you ever will about the headline or the category that they happen to fall in.