I’ve heard this sentiment that it is immoral a lot on the internet, and I would like to hear more about it. It feels intuitively correct to me, but I would like to hear the reasoning behind it.

Examples to further the title's meaning
  • Calling someone ‘queer’ to mean they are weird, but not in a way intended as disparaging to those who are LGBT(Q+).
Not Examples

Discussion questions:

  • How does this factor into meanings of words fading away?
    • Does it still pack the same “punch” after it no longer is commonly used as a pejorative?
      • If not, at what point is it generally considered okay to use?
  • How does this differ/compare with reclamation?
Some potential reasoning that I've thought of on my own, feel free to discuss.
  • Bad actors can piggyback off of the use as a negative to help condemn the original target group.
  • It may directly harm the group, by them (also knowing the original context) coming into contact with it and causing/enabling self-hate.
    • This may apply irregardless of if they know it was intended as non-disparaging to them or not, but this is just speculation based off of my similar experiences.

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I apologize for any personal bias within this comment, I tried my best to limit it but I am fallible.

Though I would like a discussion in the comments, please refrain from insults and inflammatory statements towards your fellow lemmings, despite the hot topic. /srs

  • @RobotToaster
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    102 months ago

    Queer to mean “weird or odd” dates from the 16th century, it didn’t come to refer to homosexuality until the 19th century, so to me although it would sound dated the original meaning still has precedence.

    It’s similar to gay/gaily used in it’s original meaning in a lot of ways.

    • @Mouselemming@sh.itjust.works
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      42 months ago

      I’m in my mid-60s and I would still assume “queer” or “gay” when used about a human being refers to them being not-cishet in some way.

      I can see them being used about something inanimate. A rainbow flag and a US flag can both flutter gaily in a parade. And a queer old Cabinet of Curiosities might be intriguing.

    • @JoBo@feddit.uk
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      2 months ago

      These two examples are quite different, I think.

      Gay was not originally a slur, AFAIK. It was adopted as a less clinical descriptor by gay people, especially gay men (again, AFAIK). There have been concerted efforts to make it into a slur and it is often used in a derogatory fashion, but it does not have a pre-history of being used as a slur.

      Queer is the opposite. It was used as a slur and it is a rare example of successful reclamation of a word. A slogan in the 1980s on Gay Pride protests was “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re fabulous, get used to it”. At the time, queer was very much a slur so the chant had a bite that you wouldn’t hear in it today.

      • Hucklebee
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        22 months ago

        Wasn’t gay “fun” back in the day? As in, “I’m having a gay old time”

        Non-native, so don’t know much about the history.

        • @JoBo@feddit.uk
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          12 months ago

          Yes. I never said any different. It was adopted as a descriptor by gay men, not bigots trying to denigrate them.

          • Hucklebee
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            22 months ago

            Oh, my comment was more of an honest followup question about the language, not an attempt to attack the validity of your comment. I Didn’t mean to come across that way.