Friday, March 2, 2012

Am I Queer?

In a recent discussion thread, the question was posited as to whether being poly oriented was enough to make one queer? To be honest, the whole concept of "queer" has largely passed me by. While I have many friends that self-identify queer, my partners tend towards using bi, straight, or mostly gay as descriptors, and that's the pool I've been swimming in. The question about poly in relation to queer got me thinking more about it though, and perhaps is setting me in the direction of a shift in self-labeling.

I'm not straight. I'm not gay. While being distinctly female, my more dominant take on life is often perceived as "masculine". I've been told by multiple people that I "Fuck like a man.", whatever that means! Being around 6 foot tall, I'm not the cute pocket-sized woman that blends in easily. My hair is vividly colored and short, maybe even a little butch at times. Clothes range from athletic for work, to slutty for play. None of my partners are conforming, although some may look it on the surface. I'm comfortable around people of any gender (or none) and orientation, but favor those who aren't particularly binary/straight/mono for social connections. Does any of this make me queer, or is queer something that must be claimed?

Is queer a political/social/sociological movement? This is probably where I haven't gotten on board the train thus far. On top of the energy that I put into parenting, my relationships, my business, and the local poly community, it just seems a bit daunting to don another hat that requires defending against the masses. Queer has always seemed an activist term to me. Something that requires being part of a movement. Perhaps I'm overstating? What if I get to just _be_ queer?

Part of me has a squick at the word itself. It seems designed to draw a line of "otherness" around those who claim it, and I tend towards seeing myself as someone who is on the farther reaches of a continuum, rather than on a completely separate scale. Poly, kinky and bi don't feel as distinct emotionally to me. How do others who identify with queer see it?

Food for thought. No conclusions at this time. More mulling required.