Date: Fri, 3 Jan 1997 10:40:13 -0500


Subject: the use of "Queer" -Reply

Ron Butters writes:

Here is a response to your question about the use of the term


I use the word "queer" these days a lot, as a cover term encompassing

'gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgendered, transsexual'.

I didn't see the original that this was a reply to.

I wouldn't feel comfortable at all using the word "queer". I learned

it, in the 50s, as a derogatory word, parallel to "spic", "kike", and

"nigger". I know that many homosexual (etc.) people use the word now,

but as a non-member of the group(s) referred to I feel very intensely

that coming from me it would be heard as insulting, just as the

(affectionate?) use of "nigger" by some Black people among themselves

doesn't license me, a white person, to use it.

In fact, I was startled by the beginning of Ron's response, until I

inferred that he identifies himself as "queer".

Mark A. Mandel : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200

320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :