Sunday, November 4, 2012

Use of word QUEER

What do you think of this?

CAMPUS CHRONICLES: Fordham Adopts ‘Queer’ Due To Student Campaign

Student organizations at Fordham University may now use the term ‘Queer’ in official programming, a decision reached after lengthy discussions with administrators in early October.
A statement announcing the decision by The Queer Campaign, a student group at Fordham,  in conjunction with the student groups Pride and Rainbow Alliance, said, in part:
“After a long period of dialogue with the Dean of Students and the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development, the word ‘queer’ may now be used on both the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses of Fordham University, like any other word, by ANY club—as long as it is not derogatory. This represents a culmination of efforts enacted by the Queer Campaign…and many other communities at large.”
The Queer Campaign describes itself as “a movement for full rights to the usage of the word ‘queer’ at Fordham University at Lincoln Center.”
Tom Beaudoin, an associate professor of theology at Fordham, wrote on these recent developments in America magazine’s ‘In All Things’ blog. Beaudoin celebrates the decision as allowing a person to self-identify how they are addressed:
“Over the course of teaching college for the past dozen years, and through my own many missteps, I have come to see it as a basic rule of decency that as much as possible, people should be called whatever they prefer to be called. I have seen this rule of thumb proven helpful in many kinds of conversations across substantial differences…
“Of course, in a great many cases, letting adults specify the way they want to be addressed is not only a matter of decency, but also of dignity. This is especially the case where a part of oneself, or even something like one’s entire being, has not been acknowledged in situations where it mattered, and where people could have done differently.”
He writes that the re-appropriation of ‘queer’ from hate speech to a positive term has led to a new field of study, queer theory, and bears on religious studies and theology in smaller ways. More than this, Beaudoin identifies ‘queer’ as:
“Among many other meanings, queer means the dignity of speaking for one’s own identity and desires outside the expectations and constraints of what presents itself in many areas of life as the obligation to be (or become) ‘straight.’ This often quiet revolution is happening in uneven, but sure, ways across Catholic college and university life in the USA.”
In a follow-up post, he expands this conversation on ‘queer’ to the entire Catholic Church, where the characterization of LGBT persons is increasingly important in a milieu of negativity from some leaders.
Beaudoin’s belief that ‘queer’ is a nucleus for theological reflection is given a flesh-and-blood example  in the blog of a student writing on his experiences as a Queer Catholic. Describing the struggles of harmonizing these two identities, Nathan writes:
“This self hatred hit an all time low during my Junior year. I was in my “Christian Morality” class and my teacher told me that all “homosexuals” are “intrinsically evil”, “morally wrong”, and that “homosexuality is a mental disorder”. I went home… and I don’t think I had ever hated myself, my identity, more than I did that day. The ironic thing is that what kept me going, was my faith. I was a huge part of my youth group in my Church. My youth group was my safe-haven where I didn’t need to worry about being perceived as “gay” or “straight” , its where I truly felt loved by God and that the God we talked about in high school was not my youth group’s God.
“Your religion needs you. For me, I see so much beauty in my faith, in my Church. If you are struggling to come to terms, pray, experience, find God in the struggle. If I hadn’t struggled with my identity, my relationship with God would not be what it is today…You are needed, and that times are changing.”
The times are changing indeed and Fordham University is creating space for desperately needed honest conversation and expression about identity, sexuality, and faith.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

7 comments:

jimm said...

Not in favor of the word. Following the students logic, black ppl refer to themselves using the N-word, so we should call them that?

But then, I would also question the term 'straight' for heterosexuals. What's so straight about it?

Queer makes me think something is wrong, not right, not normal. How can someone say 'I was born this way' ,then label themselves 'queer'?

Coop said...

I sometimes refer to myself as Queer cause "Gay" has too much baggage too many perceptions associated with it. Gay could mean I talk with a lisp, am obsessed with Broadway musicals and know something about ladies Prada shoes.

Queer sounds better in my native tongue, too. Personally, I'd rather say I'm straight except I like other men. That's how I feel. ;-)

JustinO'Shea said...

WHERE is it written that I HAVE to say Queer. . .? I just DO IT. LOL

JustinO'Shea said...

OOOoopppssss. . .I meant: Where is it written I HAVE to say QUEEEAAAHH.
I DO QUEEEAAAHHH. . . yo ho ho

J said...

Years ago no black person would be caught uttering the word "nigger", and then rappers started using it, almost as a cockeyed term of.... endearment. Queers are doing the same thing now, mainly because they see themselves moving into the mainstream of society and don't feel the same sting at the word's utterance. Still, a lot depends on the utterer and the context. I suspect "the N word" will remain a stranger for respectable social discourse a lot longer than the noun queer will.

Gary Kelly said...

After 68 years, I've concluded that it's the rest of the world that's queer. Not me.

Stew said...

I like the word. To me it means different. I like to think that I am different.