Jaremii, Louisville, Kentucky
What does the word queer mean to you?
I used to see the word queer as an insult, and in most cases it was used for that purpose. These days there’s a warmth, familiarity, and pride that I never expected with the word.
How do you identify?
I suppose I’m gay. That’s what a group of people at some point in time decided is the best word to describe someone like me. But I forget 1,000 times a day that I’m “gay” because what I’m attracted to is so choice-less and uncontrollable that… it’s natural. How could a few vowel sounds possibly describe someone?
What would you say to any person struggling to come into their own identity?
You will find your way. Those who seek, find. Don’t try to please the masses. Find 1-2 people who get you and sharpen yourself with them.
How does your own identity run how you carry yourself?
My emotions, instincts, and attractions feel like basic human emotions, instincts, and attractions. They don’t feel like some sort of queer motive or intention. They feel… natural.
Do you feel excluded from the “mainstream” queer community? Why or why not?
Homosexual or heterosexual or asexual, people naturally try to find a sense of belonging. “Issues” in the queer community are just people who are trying to feel or create a connection.
Who influenced the life you live now?
I have a great best friend who knows me inside and out and chastises me when he knows I’m in the wrong with someone and defends me when he believes me to be right. You can conquer the world with that kind of support.