What Does Being Queer Mean To You?

Categories: LGBTQIA + Rights

In honor of sexuality month, I decided to ask people the question, “What does being queer mean to you?” I present to you their answers, the real, the honest, the painful, and the beautiful.

Queer is a word that is large enough to encompass all of me, my experiences, my history, the possibility of my future. It allows me to expand and not limit myself, and it allows me to be me- C. Age  32. They/Them

To me, being queer means that I will have a community who accepts me for who I am and teaches me to be kind and respectful of others. People of all walks of life deserve and should be treated equally. It is hard to be closeted in a homophobic environment but knowing that there are brave individuals who risked it all to be out and to be their truest selves, that gives me hope that one day I can do the same- M. Age 17. She/Her

I think that queer is about breaking binaries. Embracing yourself without having to put a label on it.- F. Age 19. They/Them

Queer is being different than most people, but the concepts and ideas you will be exposed to in the queer community really endears you to a different way of thinking and broadens your mind.- Z. Age 19. He/Him

Being queer is anything outside of the cisgender and heteronormative norm of society.- A. Age 19. She/Her

Being queer means being part of a tiny, magical, wonderful percent of the population. It means fighting every day for a community I believe in.- E. Age 18. They/Them

Being queer can give people a sense of community but also isolates them at the same time.- S. Age 23  She/Her

Being queer opens opportunities to meet so many different people, have different experience, and to explore different things. Being queer is beautiful.- R. Age 19 They/Them

To me, a queer individual is someone within the LGBTQ+ community. The term is usually aligned with people who are not strictly gay or lesbian. Queer for so long was a derogatory term, so lots people aren’t comfortable with it, but I feel as though it has been reclaimed by much of the community now.- E. Age 20. They/Them

Growing up religious, I was never taught how to separate sex from gender, but the word queer gave me the words to question the binary.- I. Age 18. He/Him They/Them

Being fem queer means that there is a community I want to be part of, but most people look at me and don’t believe that I could be queer.- A. Age 22. She/Her

For me, being queer means I am very grateful for the people in my life. It is easy to lose people that you love when because of being queer, so I appreciate the people that I have much more.- D.  Age 19.  She/Her

To me, being queer means being invisible. I feel like in my experience, if you stay married to someone of the oppose gender, your queerness is somehow discounted. That pisses me off.- N. Age 51. She/Her

I am a CIS gendered man, so I never really struggled with my gender identity, but queer is my struggle with my sexuality. I don’t really identify with the term gay, but I consider myself  a same gender loving man. – A. Age19.  He/Him/His

Today, I challenge you to answer the question. What does being queer mean to you?


Jae Rosenberg is an undergrad student at the University at Albany. Raised in an ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community, college has been an eye opening and enlightening experience. She is passionate about women’s rights, mental health, and social justice, particularly in the realm of LGBTQ+ rights. She enjoys writing, photography, bunnies, and meeting new people.