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The preferred term of reference for many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The term can also refer to something unusual or questionable. The word was originally derogatory but has now become accepted by most mainstream culture.

Term of offence used against homosexuals. Has been re-appropriated by gay culture in the same way nigger has been re-appropriated by black culture. Only ever used by homosexuals in an ironic tone: they do not consider themselves to be any different (aka better or worse) then anyone else. Using it as a term of offence is considered laughable rather than derogatory.

Actually, queer is also used as a term that can encompass all of the "queer" spectrum ... gay men, lesbian women, people who enjoy S&M (some consider themselves queer because they are outside of the norm of sexuality), transgendered persons, even those questioning their sexual identity. Because it is not associated directly with any of the groups, it can be used as a term to refer to the entire GLBTQQ community without singling any of them out.

Queers is preferable in some circles because it includes:
Gay boys
Lesbian girls
Bisexual boys and girls
Pansexual kids
Transgendered boys and girls
In short, all sexual minorities.
It's not preferable in all circles because some of the people that use it do not play nice.

Queer (?), a. [Compar. Queerer (?); superl. Queerest.] [G. quer cross, oblique, athwart (cf. querkopf a queer fellow), OHG. twer, twerh, dwerah; akin to D. dvars, AS, þweorh thwart, bent, twisted, Icel. þverr thwart, transverse, Goth. þwaìrhs angry, and perh. to L. torqyere to twist, and E. through. Cf. Torture, Through, Thwart, a.]


At variance with what is usual or normal; differing in some odd way from what is ordinary; odd; singular; strange; whimsical; as, a queer story or act. " A queer look." W. Irving.


Mysterious; suspicious; questionable; as, a queer transaction. [Colloq.]


© Webster 1913

Queer, n.

Counterfeit money. [Slang]

To shove the queer, to put counterfeit money in circulation. [Slang]


© Webster 1913

Queer (?), v. t. [From Queer, a.]


To puzzle. [Prov. Eng. or Slang]


To ridicule; to banter; to rally. [Slang]


To spoil the effect or success of, as by ridicule; to throw a wet blanket on; to spoil. [Slang]


© Webster 1913

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