Queer as a word…
The word ‘queer’ can be viewed as quite a contentious word. Since its first recorded use in 1513, ‘queer’ came to mean anything that was not normal; something odd or set apart from the status quo. It is a word that is charged with emotive meaning and can be used to cause harm, but it is also celebrated by the LGBTQIA community and has been used in academia for many years owing to its inclusive nature. ‘Queer’ is a common umbrella term andmany individuals chose to call themselves ‘queer’ exactly because it does not require that you ascribe to a single or specific identity.
The word ‘queer’ is widely inclusive, which is why we have chosen to use it in our work. The complexity of the past cannot be constrained to the identity boundaries of modern society. We believe it’s not right to attribute a modern identifier onto the past when their understanding and approach to same-sex attraction and gender was different than our present understanding. . This is why the term ‘queer’ is so useful to historians – we are not foisting an identity on any of our historical stories, merely stating these figures were likely on the spectrum of same-sex love and gender diversity.
Historical Language: a warning
The historical documents we researched and the stories you read may contain words that are abhorrent and offensive to a modern day readerWhile it is important to remember our history, please bear in mind that the words used are very much of their time. Please take a moment to consider the impact this may have on your mental wellbeing.
If you would like some support, please contact the Intercom Trust on there confidential hotline 0800 612 3010