Is the word 'queer' offensive? Why a newspaper in 2019 would use the term.
Multiple candidates made an appearance at the 2019 Capital City Pride Festival, here's what it looked like. The Des Moines Register
The Des Moines Register published a story this week that used "queer" both in the headline and in the story, prompting readers to ask why any newspaper would print such an offensive and insensitive term.
But is it? Well, it depends on how it is used, and who is using it.
Acceptance and how the word is used has evolved over the decades. The term is now embraced by many (but not all) in the LGBTQ community, according to the media monitoring organization GLAAD.
GLAAD’s current media reference guide defines queer as “an adjective used by some people, particularly younger people, whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual (e.g. queer person, queer woman).
Typically, for those who identify as queer, the terms lesbian, gay, and bisexual are perceived to be too limiting and/or fraught with cultural connotations they may feel don't apply to them. Some people may use queer, or more commonly genderqueer, to describe their gender identity and/or gender expression.”
Meaning, some people embrace the term, others do not.
The Register story that caught readers' attention was about the Rev. Anna Blaedel, who uses the pronouns they and them and describes themselves as “out, queer, partnered clergy.” Because the Iowa City pastor self-identifies as queer, the use is permitted and even encouraged, as is the use of their preferred pronouns, which the Register also uses.
Some terms are considered offensive in all cases. The United Methodist Church, for example, charged Blaedel with “being a self-avowed practicing homosexual,” which GLAAD calls an “outdated clinical term considered derogatory and offensive.”
The Register uses that term only in quoting the church complaints, as the Associated Press Stylebook restricts the usage of homosexual as a noun.
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