I have recently (in the past couple of months) started identifying as queer, instead of bi. Here are my reasons:
1. It feels more accurate for me. I am attracted to a wide spectrum of gender presentations and identities.
2. “Pansexual” sounds too clinical for some reason, and “bisexual” assumes a gender binary.
3. I like the political aspect of identifying as queer, as well as the sense of community it invokes.
4. I like the sound of the word “queer,” how it rolls around in my mouth from the back of my throat forward. It sounds juicy and fresh.
I really like UC Berkeley’s Gender Equity Resource Center info sheet on the word queer. Here’s a snippet:
“What does queer mean?
Queer has been used as… :
• an umbrella term for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community.
• a political statement, as well as a sexual orientation, which advocates breaking binary
thinking by recognizing both sexual orientation and gender identity as potentially fluid.
•a simple label to explain a complex set of sexual behaviors and desires. For example, a
person who is attracted to multiple genders may identify as queer.”
And, I found Wikipedia’s information on the word pretty interesting, too:
“The range of what “queer” includes varies. In addition to referring to LGBT-identifying people, it can also encompass: pansexual, pomosexual, intersexual, genderqueer, asexual and autosexual people, and even gender normative heterosexuals whose sexual orientations or activities place them outside the heterosexual-defined mainstream, e.g., BDSM practitioners, or polyamorous persons.
For some queer-identified people, part of the point of the term “queer” is that it simultaneously builds up and tears down boundaries of identity. For instance, among genderqueer people, who do not solidly identify with one particular gender, once solid gender roles have been torn down, it becomes difficult to situate sexual identity. For some people, the non-specificity of the term is liberating. Queerness becomes a way to make a political move against heteronormativity while simultaneously refusing to engage in traditional essentialist identity politics.”
I found it pretty interesting that poly could be considered an activity falling within the scope of what “queer” means. I like it; add it to my list above for the reasons why I now identify as queer 😀