In celebration of Pride Month, we've created this feature on queer theory.
Queer theory is a way of thinking that dismantles traditional assumptions about gender and sexual identities. The field emerged from sexuality studies and women's studies. Queer theorists analyze gender and sexuality as socially and culturally constructed concepts. The goal of queer theory is to challenge traditional academic approaches and fight against social inequality.
Historically, the word queer was - and still can be - used as a pejorative term against members of the LGBT community. However, beginning in the 1960s in the wake of the LGBT rights movement, people in the community sought to reclaim the word queer as an umbrella term for all non-heterosexual, non-cisgender identities. That's what the Q stands for in the acronym LGBTQ! Despite today's wide acceptance of the word queer, it is still important to recognize that not all members of the LGBTQ community identify as queer, and may still find the term offensive.
For more information about the history of the word "queer," check out this YouTube video.