Recently one of our fans asked, “What is the difference between gay and queer?”
What Does Gay Mean
The word gay by definition means a homosexual male, attracted ONLY to males. Today, this word has been adopted to describe any homosexual male or female.
For example: A lesbian (female who is only attracted to females) calls herself gay to express she is homosexual.
What Does Queer Mean
The word queer by definition means strange or odd and technically has nothing to do with being homosexual. This word used to have a negative meaning as homophobic people called gay people “queers”, but over time it has become a word that LGBT community adopted and now use it positively to describe that they are different from the norm.
Overtime, the term queer also became an umbrella term for the LGBT community. Since sexuality is a spectrum and is not black and white as we used to think it is, many members of the LGBT community find themselves being somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.
For example: A bisexual male calls himself queer because he doesn’t care to use a specific label; a gay guy calls himself queer just because he likes to use this term instead of gay.
When To Use Gay And When To Use Queer
There are a number of reasons to use both of these terms and in many instances they can be interchangeable. Some people don’t like the way the word “gay” sounds, while others would not be caught saying the word “queer.”
Some people like to express themselves closely to their specific label (gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, etc), while others don’t care for labels and just say that they are “queer” without any further explanation.
As far as labels go, whatever label you personally choose is what you are. No one can tell you what you are except for you.