used as an umbrella term to describe individuals who don’t identify as straight
. Also used to describe people who have a non-normative gender identity
, or as a political affiliation. Due to its historical use as a derogatory term, it is not embraced or used by all members of the LGBTQ community. The term “queer” can often be use interchangeably with LGBTQ (e.g., “queer folks” instead of “LGBTQ folks”). If a person tells you they are not comfortable with you referring to them as queer, don’t. Always respect individual’s preferences when it comes to identity labels, particularly contentious ones (or ones with troubled histories) like this. Use the word queer only if you are comfortable explaining to others what it means, because some people feel uncomfortable with the word, it is best to know/feel comfortable explaining why you choose to use it if someone inquires.