By Andrew ConteNew York City (formerly of Sherrill)To The Editor:Since the online version of the Dec. 3 article “Gay Marriage Voted Down in NY” was printed, there has been an ongoing conversation. Some of the terminology that was used by readers to describe LGBT people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) and/or same-sex marriage was: “fruit and nuts,” “depraved, immoral life styler,” “never consider it to be normal,” “morally bankrupt,” “deviants,” “infectious to our society,” “abnormal behavior.”My responses were very rational, educational, and reasoned.Here is where the conundrum begins. In my last response, in an attempt to be very inclusive, I used the expanded notation: “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex.” The bugaboo, as I found out quickly, was the word “queer.” My post was censored, solely for the use of that one word. I removed the one word “queer” and the comment was then posted. How queer!!! (from Webster: strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint).From Wikipedia: In contemporary usage, some use queer as an inclusive, unifying sociopolitical umbrella term for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersexual, genderqueer, or of any other non-heterosexual sexuality, sexual anatomy, or gender identity. It can also include asexual and autosexual people.As you see, “queer” is an acceptable term. The context in which I used the term was clearly appropriate. But, having said that, I would like you to go back to the first paragraph. Each of those words/expressions was clearly pejorative in nature, coming from heterosexuals about homosexuals. However, their posts were allowed entry into the online Dispatch.The larger issue is this, however. Every person has the right to free speech.Each can define me or anyone or anything as she/he sees fit. What one does NOT have the right to do is to decide the way I define somebody or something, IN PARTICULAR, MY definition of ME.If one can refer to a gay person as a “fruit” as a reader did in the online version of the Dispatch with no repercussions, then I should be able to refer to our community as “queer,” with no repercussions.Finally, I will give the benefit of the doubt to the censors that they were trying to protect the LGBT community.....
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Semantics are so interesting!
Posted by De Sube at 12/19/2009 06:52:00 PM